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The Blue Train

Overview

A moving and spectacularly comfortable five-star hotel is what the two Blue Trains offer. Sit back in luxury while the magnificent everchanging scenery of Africa passes by. They may provide the glamour of a bygone age but they also offer every modern element of style and comfort. The overnight trip between Pretoria and Cape Town is an unforgettable journey. While the two trains follow the same routes, they accommodate different numbers – one takes 74 guests in 37 suites while the other, slightly smaller, takes 58 guests. Each suite has a specially-made bed and either an ensuite bath or shower room with gold fittings and marble tiles, with each compartment also having its own specially-designated butler. 

The greatest attention is paid to food and wine so that every journey is a complete gourmet delight. The journey between Pretoria and Cape Town offers a different stopover in each direction – one at Kimberley where guests can experience the excitement of the great diamond rush, and another at Matjiesfontein, a legendary village which is now a National Historic Monument.

Highlights

Our Thoughts

The modern cousin of Rovos Rail, the Blue Train is a great addition to any South African itinerary. Arriving into Cape Town on the train is always special, and trying to keep the water in the bath whilst bathing is always an adventure.

Linking the private suites of The Blue Train are two wood-panelled cars: the lounge and club cars. The elegant lounges are ideally positioned for an apéritif, an interlude between meals or an after-dinner conversation over coffee, cognac and Cuban cigars.

Smokers will feel at home instantly in the burnished surroundings of the club car, where mellow lamplight sets the tone for quiet reflection or the glow of good company.

You can while away the miles with a game of cards, chess or backgammon, tune in to the big-screen television or browse through a volume from the library while savouring your beverage of choice from the well-stocked bar. Unwind, relax, and indulge.

The Blue Train experience is a banquet for all the senses and this is especially true of the dining car. Here the reassuring weight of Sheffield cutlery and crystal glassware on crisp white linen set the tone for the delights to follow.

As the sky darkens over the landscape, the day's smart-casual dress code gives way to a parade of elegant eveningwear or traditional attire, in keeping with The Blue Train's classic livery and earthy African décor.

Each meal is scored to a selection of tasteful background music, ranging from smooth jazz to light classical to the mellow tones of the Soweto String Quartet.

A meal on The Blue Train is an experience in itself. Their menus feature a selection of local cuisine from Karoo lamb and ostrich fillet to Knysna oysters accompanied by award-winning cultivars from the Cape winelands, all serving as the perfect complement to the landscape through which you are travelling.

Prepared from the freshest produce and ingredients, artfully presented in the finest Silver Service tradition, The Blue Train's legendary cuisine is an irresistible tribute to culinary mastery.

The Blue Train is fully equipped to accommodate vegetarian, Halaal, Kosher or other special dietary requirements, which should be specified when you make your reservation. Join one of two dinnertime sittings, or savour your meal in the comfort of your suite. A Continental or full English breakfast is served at your leisure.

There are nine Deluxe coaches on the first train and eight on the train with the conference car. The Deluxe coaches have four suites per coach; one suite with a bath and the others with showers. The Deluxe suites feature either twin beds with a shower, or double beds with a bathtub and handheld shower.

The luxury suites extend your personal domain by more than a metre, and the twin or double-bed suites offer deep, long baths for slow, luxuriant soaking. The suites extend the choice of radio and movie channels even further by including a private digital entertainment centre and an inviting selection of music CDs and big-screen movies on DVD.

Families are welcome - but be aware the Blue Train is an adult environment.

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