Synonymous with luxury and personal service, The Blue Train traverses South Africa on a two-day route between Cape Town and Pretoria. Its heritage dates back to the 1920s when it first steamed to Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. After its wooden carriages were replaced by blue metal coaches in the late 40s, it was inevitable that its nickname of “those blue trains”, would stick. Kings, presidents, gold and diamond mining Randlords, celebrities, honeymooners and ordinary folk have ridden the rails, luxuriating in the train’s comforts. Unparalleled personal service comes with a personal butler, who sees to your every desire - from delivering a late-night snack to a friendly wake-up call.
The De Luxe and bigger Luxury Suites define style and class. The De Luxe Suites transform from an elegant lounge during the day, into a subtly-lit bedroom during the night. Goose-down and 100% percale-cotton bedding will see you snuggled in for a good night, with the sound of the rails lulling you to sleep. These cleverly designed 4x2m suites have en suite bathrooms with scented bath salts and plush monogrammed towels. The Luxury Suites are 5.13x2m in size and have enough space in the en suite bathroom for a full-length bathtub. What could be more indulgent than soaking in a bath on a train!
With every amenity considered, each suite is a private cocoon of comfort. If you can draw yourself away from the comforts and treats of your suite, head for the elegant Lounge Car with its large windows, plush furnishings and rare works from some of Southern Africa’s finest artists. Enjoy conversations with other guests and gaze at the ever-changing panoramas of the countryside.
The Club Car’s burnished wood panels and well-stocked bar has the relaxed atmosphere of a gentlemen’s club. Enjoy a game of backgammon, chess or cards, watch a movie on the big screen or settle into a wing-backed chair with a book from the train’s library. On The Blue Train, dining is a five-star experience. This is dress-up dining where evening gowns and jackets and ties add elegance to the night. The train’s accomplished chefs prepare signature dishes using the freshest of local ingredients - from Karoo lamb, ostrich and venison to Knysna oysters - with fine Cape wines to complement each dish.
The Routes of the Blue Train
The Blue Train travels a regular route between Pretoria and Cape Town and departs from the Pretoria and Cape Town train stations respectively. This journey covers 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) in 30 hours. The northbound route includes an off-train excursion to the Central Karoo town of Matjiesfontein, which was founded in 1884 by a Scottish railwayman who initially moved to the area as the superintendent of that stretch of railway. The town is a National Monument and has preserved its Victorian buildings and original nineteenth-century London lampposts.
The southbound trip includes an off-train excursion to Kimberley - taking you back in time to the days of the diamond rush.
A 19-hour overnight journey between Pretoria and Hoedspruit was added to the schedule in 2016. Four times a year the train travels between these two towns. On arrival at Hoedspruit Station, guests are transferred to their preferred lodges in and around the Kruger National Park, as per their travel itineraries.
Rates & Dates 2018
Rates & Dates 2019
A journey on this magnificent train is an exceptional experience. Whether you travel with a charter or on a scheduled journey between Pretoria and Cape Town, expect opulence, indulgence and the finest in train-travel luxury.
In addition to The Blue Train, we promote and package two other Luxury Trains in South Africa, The Rovos Rail and The Shongololo Express. These two also offer unique and once in a lifetime South African travel experience.