Blue Train Africa, South Africa
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Blue Train - Members of the Club (free to join- just subscribe to our newsletter) benefit from:
- Discount off the published prices of any journey;
- Free pre- or post-trip hotel (bed and breakfast) stay, 1 night, Cape Town or Pretoria. Free transfer from the hotel to the station. These offers apply to the following hotels - Pretoria: Sheraton Hotel or Castello Di Monte; Cape Town: Taj Hotel, African Pride 15 On Orange Hotel or The Westin;
- 50% child fare discount - age 6 - 11 years. 5 years and under free of charge, for conditions visit the Blue Train child policy;
NOTE: Train promotions cannot be combined, except with the Club and child fare discounts.
Fay says, "The 2-day journey on the renowned Blue Train between Pretoria and Cape Town is trouble-free and luxurious, fitting naturally into your touring plans for South Africa."
ABOUT THE BLUE TRAIN
Luxury assumes a new dimension on The Blue Train which you will feel from the moment you step on board this newly re-furbished train, which has been synonymous with luxury and hospitality since 1946.
Guests can expect personal and attentive service, a dedicated butler, sumptuous accommodation, sublime fine-dining and exquisite wines.
The Blue Train offers scheduled and charter services.
The scheduled route is from Pretoria to Cape Town or vice versa, and the charter routes are from either Pretoria to Durban or Pretoria to Hoedspruit.
BLUE TRAIN ACCOMMODATION
The suite is an elegant spacious lounge by day and a sanctuary by night with goose down duvets and pillows. Private bathrooms offer marble floor and wall tiles, marble basins with gold fittings, along with a shower/bath and under-floor heating in both the bathroom and bedroom.
All the suites have a writing desk, ideally positioned next to the window, where you can enjoy the view in style whilst putting pen to paper. Also provided are air-conditioning, radio/movie channels and a link to the driver's-eye-view camera. The GPS map on an overhead monitor means you can keep track of progress.
There are two types of suites.
The Luxury Suite has either twin or double bedded options with a long, deep bath for slow, luxuriant soaking - a rare treat on a train. The Luxury Suite extends the choice of radio and movie channels even further, with a private digital entertainment centre and a selection of music CDs and big-screen movies on DVD.
The De Luxe Suite features twin beds with shower, or a double bed with bath tub and hand held shower.
Note that De Luxe double bed suites are limited in number, and cannot be guaranteed.
Here the reassuring weight of Sheffield cutlery and crystal glassware on crisp white linen set the tone for the delights to follow.
Choose from two dinnertime sittings, or dine in your suite. The dining car seats 42 people, with 2 sittings for lunch and dinner.
Each meal is accompanied by a selection of equally tasteful background music, ranging from smooth jazz to light classical to the mellow tones of the Soweto String Quartet.
Lounge Car & Club Car
Linking the private suites are two wooden-panelled cars - The Blue Train's Lounge and Club Cars are ideal for an apéritif, an interlude between meals, or an after-dinner conversation. Smoking is permitted in the Club Car. Entertainment includes cards, chess, or backgammon, or a volume from the library. In the main lounge car, high tea is served each afternoon.
A video camera on the front locomotive gives a driver's eye view of the scenery and is shown on a screen in the club car and on a TV channel in the suites.
The burnished surroundings of the club car is the single public area where smoking is permitted, this being at the back of the train.
The conference car (an observation car) is the ideal setting for meetings, seminars, think-tanks or get-togethers with a difference.
With sufficient notice, the conference car can be adapted for smaller and less formal sessions. With full business facilities, plush lounge seating and breath-taking panoramas of the passing countryside, this is an experience that no client or colleague will ever forget.
This car also has a paraplegic suite.
NOTE: Not all departures include the Conference Car; ask for details.
Continental or full English breakfast are served at your leisure. Lunch and dinner 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. 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 us at 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.
BLUE TRAIN ITINERARIES
The real star of this journey is the African landscape, hence only one stop on the northbound journey and one stop on the southbound journey.
CAPE TOWN TO PRETORIA
Matjiesfontein (Northbound journey)
Founded by an immigrant Scotsman at a minor railway stop in 1884, Matjiesfontein became a fashionable oasis for the rich and privileged, renowned for a climate beneficial for chest complaints. Visited by Lord Randolph Churchill and Rudyard Kipling alike, it was also home to Olive Schreiner, one of South Africa's first feminist writers.
PRETORIA TO CAPE TOWN
Kimberley (Southbound journey):
Following departure from Pretoria and after brunch and high tea, the Blue Train arrives at Kimberley Station. Guests visit the railway museum, followed by an old tram for a ride down to the Open Mine Museum and a tour of the mine. The tour includes a chance to win a diamond. Guests are taken onto an enclosed ramp on the edge of the Kimberley hole. Guests then return to the train for dinner, overnight and the remainder of the journey to Cape Town.
Route & Map
This is a 27-hour journey of 1,600 kilometres (994 miles) each way, through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent.
Southbound, the Blue Train departs Pretoria at 08:30 and arrives Cape Town at 13:00 the following day. En route to Cape Town there is an excursion in Kimberley, where we take a step back in time to the days of the diamond rush.
Northbound, the Blue Train leaves Cape Town at 08.30 and arrives Pretoria at 13:30 the next day. It stops at the historic town Matjiesfontein, where guests can visit the famous Lord Milner Hotel and the old car museum.
Guests must check in at least 1 hour before departure at The Blue Train lounges in Pretoria and Cape Town.
Dates and Prices 2016/2017
Cape Town to Pretoria
2016: September 7,14,21,28. October 5,12,19,26,28. November 2,9,16,23,30. December 7,14,19,23
2017: January 6,11,18,25. February 1,8,16,22. March 1,8,15,22,29. April 5,14,19,26. May 5,10,17,24,31. June 7,14,21,28. July 5,12,19,26. August 2,9,16,23,30. September 6,13,20,27. October 4,11,13,18,20,25,27. November 1,3,8,15,22,24,29. December 6,13,15,20.
Pretoria to Cape Town
2016: September 5,12,19,26. October 3,10,17,24,26,31. November 7,14,21,28. December 5,12,16,21.
2017: January 4,9,16,23,30. February 6,14,20,27. March 6,13,20,27. April 3,12,17,24. May 3,8,15,22,29. June 5,12,19,26. July 3,10,17,24,31. August 7,14,21,28. September 4,11,18,25. October 2,9,11,16,18,23,25,30. November 1,6,13,20,22,27. December 4,11,13,18.
Price Per Person, in South African Rand
2016: Low Season: 16 November – 23 December 2016
2016: High Season: 01 September - 15 November 2016
2017: Low Season: 01 January – 31 August 2017. 16 November – 20 December 2017
2017: High Season: 01 September - 17 November 2017
PRETORIA TO HOEDSPRUIT OR HOEDSPRUIT TO PRETORIA
2016 The Blue Train will be heading up to “Big 5" country with the launch of its brand new Hoedspruit departures. These new departures will enable some fantastic new “rail safari" combination packages with the many wildlife reserves and private safari lodges in the Greater Kruger and Sabi Sands area.
The Kruger National Park is in the top three destinations that visitors want to see while on holiday in South Africa. It is one of Africa's largest game reserves between the two provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in the north eastern part of South Africa. The Kruger National Park houses Africa's Big Five: Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo and other numerous unique wildlife.
Departures in both directions are 15:00hrs, arriving 10:00hrs the next day – 19 hour journey.
Pretoria to Hoedspruit: March 17. July 7. August 11.
Hoedspruit to Pretoria: March 18. July 8. August 12.
Price Per Person, in South African Rand
Included: All meals, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and off-the train excursions excluding French champagne, caviar and external telephone calls.
Facilities: Temperature control per suite; 3 luxury suites per carriage, bathrooms with bath; 4 deluxe suites per carriage, 3 with showers, 1 with bath; luxury suites have hifi, audio CD and DVD systems; fax and postbox; first-aider on board with doctor available en route.
Smoking: Smoking is permitted in the Club Car.
Dress Code: Breakfast is casual. Lunch is smart casual. Dinner dress code is a jacket and tie for the men and elegant wear for the ladies.
Luggage: Storage space is limited in the cabin and soft top cases are recommended for easy storage. There is a luggage van for additional luggage (no restrictions on luggage), that a guest may not need during the journey.
Passport: Please be aware that visitors to South Africa are required to have at least three blank VISA pages (not endorsement pages) in their passports in order to receive an entry visa. Passports must also be valid for at least six months from the guests' return home date. Recommend a validity of nine months to prevent any problems.
Child Policy: Please go here for the child policy of the Blue Train.
Onward Travel: It is advisable to book flights the day after the train's arrival.
In addition to the photos in the gallery at the top of this page, see more photos from the Blue Train
BOOKINGS & RESERVATIONS
All prices are at publicly-quoted rates.
We will be happy to answer any questions and make the booking for you - contact us in the UK : +44 (0)1249 890205 or firstname.lastname@example.org Please sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed of interesting trains and special offers.
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