The Blue Train is one of the world’s most unique and luxurious experiences, a beautiful combination of classic elegance, old world charm, and contemporary service and cuisine. The train is so much more than a journey, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience that is absolutely ideal for adventurous clientele that seek true luxury in an extremely exotic and intriguing destination. The overnight journeys are roughly 27-hours in length, and include beautifully appointed cabin accommodations with en-suite bath or shower, private butler/valet service, exquisite gourmet meals, unlimited premium wines and liquors, cigars, use of lounge and club car, as well as a side excursion during a brief stop along the way.
The Blue Train travels an approximately 1,600 kilometer (1,000 mile) journey in South Africa between Pretoria and Cape Town. It is one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world. It boasts butler service, two lounge cars (smoking and non-smoking), an observation car, and carriages with gold-tinted picture windows, in soundproofed, fully carpeted compartments, each featuring its own en-suite (many of which are equipped with a full-sized bathtub). The service is promoted as a “magnificent moving five-star hotel” by its operators, who note that kings and presidents have travelled on it.
Blue Train Route
Facts about Blue Train South Africa
History of Blue Train
The Blue Train’s origins date back to the Union Limited and Union Express trains which began in 1923, taking passengers from Johannesburg to the ships departing from Cape Town to England. The Union Express introduced luxury features such as a dining saloon in 1933 and air-conditioned carriages in 1939. After a break in service in World War II the service returned in 1946. With the reintroduction of the train, the colloquial “Blue train” moniker, a reference to the blue-painted steel carriages introduced in 1937, was formally adopted as the new name. In 1997 it was refurbished and re-launched.
Operations of Blue Train
The Blue Train is operated by Luxrail, a division of Transnet Freight Rail, South Africa’s national railway operator; plans are underway to privatize it.
Operations currently require two Blue Trains in operation. One is Northbound and the other in opposite direction, Southbound – allowing for daily departures from both ends of the route. The first train accommodates 74 guests in 37 suites. The second accommodates 58 guests in 29 suites and features a conference or observation car at the back of the train. The trains travel at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour (58,2 mph).
The elegant lounge car with its large windows allows for panoramic views of the passing countryside. The interior, resplendent with original works of South African art adorning the walls, plush and comfortable couches and bouquets of flame lilies complementing the plush décor, makes the lounge car the ideal setting for sharing an apéritif with fellow guests, an interlude between meals, or after-dinner conversation over coffee.
The club car has the relaxed atmosphere of a gentlemen’s club, with card tables, a small library and a fully-equipped bar. Guests can watch a short film about the train’s route or enjoy a Cuban cigar and cognac before retiring for the night.
The Blue Train is the ultimate definition of luxury in motion. You’ll note it from the moment you step into your suite, which is transformed from an elegant, spacious lounge by day into a sanctuary of comfort at night.
The Luxury suites are more spacious, offering a choice between twin or double beds with bath facilities. The luxury suite also boasts a selection of compact discs and movies on DVD. They are equipped with 100% percale cotton linen, goose down duvets and pillows and private bathrooms with marble vanity basins, marble wall and floor tiles, gold fittings, and a choice of shower or bath.
Each suite is a world on its own, with individually controlled air-conditioning and an entertainment centre with a choice of movie and radio channels. The suites also have under-floor heating in the rooms and bathrooms.
All our meals are freshly prepared on board the train by executive chefs. Carefully selected South African wines complement the gourmet cuisine served on The Blue Train.In keeping with the classical ambience of the dining car, lunch is a casual affair while dinner is formal with men requested to wear a jacket and tie and ladies elegant eveningwear. Guests may also wear traditional attire to dinner.
Personal service of the highest calibre is standard on The Blue Train. Guests have dedicated butlers at their service to ensure the finest luxury experience.
The Blue Train has an aura of mystique about it. Kings and presidents have traveled on this magnificent moving five-star hotel whose very name has become synonymous with the ultimate in luxury and personal service. The routes of The Blue Train take you through some of the most breathtaking countrysides in the world. As the ever-changing scenery flashes past the windows, you can savor exquisite meals freshly prepared on board by top chefs and complemented by the best wines South Africa has to offer. When you choose to travel on The Blue Train, you choose to travel in a world of grace, elegance and romance.
Information Credits to Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, Palace Tours, bluetrain.co.za