After undergoing refurbishments in the first half of 2022, the Blue Train once again graces the railway lines of South Africa. Known for its elegance and sophistication, The Blue Train roams between the vibrant cities of Cape Town and Pretoria on a two-night trip of ultimate travel bliss as well as a two-night return journey between Pretoria and the renowned Kruger National Park for a luxurious safari experience. The train’s origin dates back to the 1920s when its frequent route also included journeying north to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
However, it retired from the tracks during the ominous days of Word War 2, only to be renovated later between the seventies and nineties. After years of restoration, modernisation and a fresh coat of Royal Blue and Cream, The Blue Train was relaunched in 1997 with an electric, diesel-powered engine and even more luxurious qualities. Today, this deluxe “hotel on wheels” has reinvented the idea of opulent travel and quality service, playing host to several World Leaders, VIPs, honeymooners and local folk looking for leisure.
The Blue Train offers De Luxe and Luxury suites that exemplify the meaning of class and relaxation. The De Luxe Suites transform from a graceful lounging space by day, into an intimately lavish bedroom during the evening. These expertly designed 4 x 2m suites are equipped with twin or double beds, an en-suite bathroom with a shower, electric entertainment systems, some of the finest goose-down pillows, and 100% percale-cotton bedding necessary for a peaceful night’s sleep.
The slightly larger 5.13x3m Luxury Suites offer many of the same leisurely amenities with double beds. Touches of gold and marble finish off the bathroom’s interior, which features a full-length bathtub - Indulgence at its best!
The Lounge/Observation and Club Cars
If you are able to draw yourself away from the serenity of your suite, head towards the centre of The Blue Train where the elegant Lounge Cars are situated.
Here, the perfectly framed windows will allow you to soak up glorious panoramic views of the South African countryside, with the addition of impressive works of art, all whilst sipping on award-winning wines or afternoon High Tea.
If you are in the mood to indulge in a Cuban cigar and a game of Backgammon, then the Club Car is just for you. With gleaming wood-panelling finishes, a well-stocked bar and the same relaxed atmosphere as a gentlemen’s club, there is no better place to unwind with a cognac, before or after dinner.
The Blue Train withholds a magnificent five-star dining experience as professionally trained chefs use fresh, local produce to create mouth-watering dishes. From tender Karoo lamb and ostrich to salty Knysna oysters, each dish is perfectly prepared to excite the palate. Lavish evening gowns, suits and ties add to the royal atmosphere of this fine-dining experience, as you relish in the delicious food, notes of jazz and comradery with other guests.
The Routes of the Blue Train
The Blue Train’s regular route between Pretoria and Cape Town equates to 1600km (1000 miles), which is covered over a period of 42 hours. Check-in is between 14:30 and 15:30, with departure due to be at 16:00. The Northbound trip has an off-train excursion to the quaint, Victorian town of Majiesfontein in the Central Karoo. Soak up all that the town has to offer, from pubs and coffee houses to museums and historical buildings. You may even enjoy a guided expedition around the town on the local big, red London bus. If you are on the southbound trip, a stopover at Kimberly’s Open Mine Museum and The Big Hole is where your excursion will take you, transporting you back to the days of the exciting diamond rush.
In addition to the regular Cape Town - Pretoria journey, there is an annual return journey that departs Pretoria and visits the Kruger National Park. The 45-hour trip includes 2 nights aboard the Blue Train and an open vehicle safari in the world-famous Kruger National Park. This makes for an ideal trip for travellers with limited time that are wanting to enjoy a luxury train in South Africa and a safari in South Africa’s flagship national park.
Taking a trip on the glorious Blue Train is a unique way to view some of South Africa’s beautiful locations. Whether you are travelling with a charter, or on a scheduled trip between Cape Town, Pretoria and the Kruger Park, the class and elegance that this train provides, is what creates its superior five-star quality. With personalised service and attention to detail, The Blue Train epitomises premium 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 (to be merged with the Rovos Rail in 2024). These two also offer unique and once-in-a-lifetime South African travel experience.