SOUTH AFRICA – DELUXE
The Blue Train is the most famous train in Africa and has a special place in the country’s history. Since 1923, travellers have been crossing southern Africa in style and comfort on board this luxurious train and, today, the third generation of Blue Train is superbly equipped to carry this tradition on. The trains are refurbished to standards that would be difficult to surpass anywhere in the world.
The concept has been to create a hotel comparable to the finest in the world, which moves from destination to destination, taking train travel to new heights. From the moment passengers arrive at the private departure lounge, to the last second of the journey, they will be enveloped in a timeless world of romance and elegance.
Each coach has its own butler and each private compartment is air-conditioned with en-suite bathroom and telephone. Each evening the beds are pulled out and made up by the butler, converting the compartment from a lounge into a comfortable bedroom. The dining car provides seating for 42 people and features the finest cuisine and South African wines. Lunch is a casual affair whilst dinner is formal and guests are invited to dress accordingly.
There are actually two train sets. These are very similar in décor and style and constant in quality, but they do have slightly different compositions. One train set sleeps 74 guests and also features a suite suitable for paraplegic guests. The second train set sleeps 58 guests but has an observation car at the end, with large viewing windows on three sides for maximum enjoyment of the passing scenery. Both trains offer a choice of Deluxe and Luxury Suites with the the main difference being that the Luxury Suites are about a meter longer and have a full-sized bath rather than a three-quarter. The Deluxe Suites come with a choice of either a shower or three-quarter bath.
The Blue Train’s main route is between Pretoria and Cape Town and is a 27-hour journey covering 1,600 kilometres (994 miles), through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent. Commence in Pretoria, the country’s administrative capital and glide past the gold-fields of the Witwatersrand and pass through the historic town of Kimberley, where the discovery of diamonds in 1871 led to one of the world’s most lucrative mineral rushes. The train then crosses the vast semi-desert Karoo overnight before slipping through a system of pitch dark tunnels – the fourth longest such stretch in the world – before emerging on the Hex River Valley. The summer roses that line the lush, fertile, emerald green vineyards and orchards greet the awakening traveller. Heading through the town of Paarl, set in a wide valley surrounded by majestic, purple-hued mountains, the train approaches the distinctive shape of Table Mountain beneath which nestles Cape Town. The journey then terminates in Cape Town, the ‘Mother City’ and seat of the nation’s Parliament.
The train then operates the same journey in reverse.
Twice a year the Blue Train travels between Pretoria and Durban with the journey taking 21 hours. Other routes are also undertaken on an ad-hoc basis. Contact us for details.
Tel: 01778 382 764