More than a train, the Blue Train combines the luxury of the world’s leading hotels with the charm of train travel.
In an era when time is a luxury, the Blue Train exists to indulge those wishing to see the South African countryside in slow-moving style.
Luxury train trips connect you to the country you’re visiting, move you along at a slow enough pace to take everything in, and let you indulge yourself.
The Blue Train is unique. Where else would you find a dedicated team of butlers ready to grant your every wish, a club car devoted entirely to cigar smoking, an observation car with floor to ceiling windows, carriages with gold-tinted picture windows, an onboard jewellery shop, a black-tie dinner service and unlimited, all-inclusive food and drink (the only exceptions being caviar and champagne), all on one train?
For most passengers spending a day and night on the Blue Train is a chance to indulge in a truly unique setting.
Why you’ll love this trip
During a five-star, 31-hour journey between Johannesburg and Cape Town, the train — which debuted in the 1923 — carries passengers through the rolling vineyards around the awe-inspiring mountain ranges, through the apparently arid desert landscapes and over the untamed savannah grasslands of South Africa.
From the moment you arrive at the Blue Train lounge at the station, the luxury begins. Sip on coffee in the lounge while you wait for the train to arrive before being led to your private luxury cabin on board the Blue Train. Once you get settled in you are greeted by your private butler.
The Blue Train
The Blue Train fleet comprises of two sets of trains: one of which can accommodate 52 guests, and a weekly train that can accommodate 80 guests and also has a conference car for serious business travellers.
The train’s soundproof and fully carpeted suites can actually convert from a living room to a bedroom, have private ensuite bathrooms as well as individually controlled air-conditioning. Passengers can choose from either the De Luxe suites, which measure 86 square feet and come with a three-quarter bath, or the Luxury suites, which measure 110 square feet and include a full-sized bath.
As one would expect on luxury train trips, The Blue Train serves up only the best of fine dining experiences. Meals are prepared by a team of executive chefs, expertly paired with premium South African wines and served in an elegant dining car on fine china.
Breakfasts are served at your leisure. Lunch and dinner menus feature local cuisine from Karoo lamb and ostrich fillet to Knysna oysters. If you feel a little peckish in between, there is no end to the food on offer: freshly baked goods, platters of fruit, or you can ask your butler for a snack.
Passengers have the choice of two wood-panelled lounges where they can relax with a drink of choice or enjoy traditional English high tea. In the club car, card tables, backgammon, chess or a good book from the library’s selection and a fully equipped bar are on offer.
CAPE TOWN TO PRETORIA
Kimberley (Northbound journey). 3 days/2 nights. The Blue Train leaves Cape Town at 16:00hrs (registration at the Blue Train lounge from 14:30hrs) and arrives on the third day in Pretoria at 10:30hrs. Day 2 the train arrives at Kimberley Station in the afternoon. The bus transfers guests to the Open Mine Museum for a tour of the mine, a visit of historical sites and then onto an enclosed ramp at the edge of the Big Hole. Day 3 breakfast is served before arrival in Pretoria.
PRETORIA TO CAPE TOWN
Kimberley (Southbound journey): 3 days/2 nights. The Blue Train leaves Pretoria at 16:00hrs (registration at the Blue Train lounge from 14:30hrs) and arrives on the third day in Cape Town at 10:30hrs. Day 2 the train arrives at Kimberley Station. The bus transfers guests to the Open Mine Museum for a tour of the mine, a visit of historical sites and then onto an enclosed ramp at the edge of the Big Hole. After this exciting tour, guests are welcome to refresh themselves and enjoy aperitifs lunch. High tea is served later allowing you to relax before pre-drinks and dinner. Day 3 breakfast is served before arrival in Cape Town.
The Blue Train currently operates between Pretoria and Cape Town on select Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and between Pretoria and Hoedspruit on select Fridays and Saturdays.
- These prices are indicative only.
- Note there are three tiers of pricing depending upon when you choose to travel.
1 Jan – 31 Aug
1 Sep – 15 Nov
16 Nov – 31 Dec
1 Jan – 31 Aug
1 Sep – 15 Nov
16 Nov – 31 Dec
50% off 2nd guest in cabin
If you travel during May – July 2019 and get 50% off for your partner or a 2nd guest in a cabin. Ask us for more details.
- 2 nights’ accommodation
- All daily meals
- All beverages including alcohol while on board (except the flash French champagne)
- Snacks and high tea
- Sightseeing excursions accompanied by qualified tour guides
- Private butler
South Africa’s Blue Train is a reminder of what it means to experience luxury at a leisurely pace.
Tick this amazing trip off your bucket list.
Step back in time and into the shoes of some of the wealthiest people, including kings, presidents, politicians, and celebrities, who like you have indulged in luxury train trips.