The Blue Train has been synonymous with luxury and hospitality since 1946, its distinctive sapphire-blue carriages streaking through the spectacular scenery of South Africa.
Born of a dream to build a railway that would snake its way the entire length of the continent from Cape Town to Cairo, through the uncharted African interior, the Blue Train was originally named the Union Express. The plans were thwarted as the Great African Railway reached only as far as a bridge across the Zambezi River, overlooking the thundering smoke of Victoria Falls; however, the Blue Train grew its reputation as a ‘Palace on Wheels’ as it plied its routes between Pretoria and Cape Town.
Today, the Blue Train epitomises luxury railway travel, marrying traditional discreet elegance and excellence with modern amenities and comforts. Distant Journeys are proud to offer The Blue Train as one of their rail tours.
Distant Journeys’ Very Best of South Africa tour includes the two-night journey between Pretoria and Cape Town, a 31-hour journey of 904 miles, through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent.
Your Comfortable Suite
The Blue Train carries a maximum of 82 guests and offers a choice of two elegantly furnished suites; De Luxe or Luxury.
Both suites offer a spacious and relaxing lounge by day and a peaceful sanctuary by night, with goose down pillows and cotton bed linen making for a blissful night’s sleep. A personal butler is on hand 24 hours a day, to ensure that you have everything you need to make your journey aboard the Blue Train the most perfect experience.
De Luxe Suites (8m2)
Distant Journey’s guests will be accommodated in a wonderful and extremely comfortable De Luxe Suite.
Luxury Suites (10.25m2)
Offering more space, the delightful Luxury Suites benefit from bath tubs and a digital entertainment system, complete with a selection of music CDs and movies on Blue-Ray DVD.
All suites feature the following facilities
- Double or twin beds
- Private en-suite marble bathroom with luxury toiletries
- Underfloor heating
- GPS system and TV monitor track the train’s progress
Life on board the Blue Train
Life on the Blue Train is slow, allowing guests to surrender to the luxury of their surroundings and watch the magnificent South African landscape unfold.
On board guests can be assured of personal attentive service from a dedicated butler, comfortable suites, exquisite fine-dining and excellent wines. Linking the suites are the Lounge and Club Cars, ideal for an aperitif, an interlude between meals, or an after-dinner conversation.
Meet with newfound friends, or simply watch the ever-changing scenery pass by. Along your journey there is an off-train excursion to the once active diamond town of Kimberley.
To add to the stylish ambience on board the Blue Train, as the evening descends, the day’s smart-casual dress code gives way to elegant evening wear. An opportunity to dress up to the nines so synonymous with luxury travel of yesteryear.
Lounge & Club Cars
The Blue Train offers two convivial spaces in which to relax, mingle or just lose yourself in the vastness of the African panoramas as they unfold. The Lounge Car is conveniently situated in the middle of the train, a perfect spot for morning coffee, traditional afternoon High Tea or a tempting aperitif before dinner. The wood-panelled Club Car is designed along the lines of a Gentleman’s Club, where smoking is permitted and Cuban cigars are offered after dinner. Guests can relax with a post-prandial brandy or enjoy a hand of cards with friends.
To add to the stylish ambience on board the Blue Train, evening wear is elegant for ladies and gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket and tie.
Dinner is a feast for all the senses, the tables in the Dining Car laid with crisp Irish linen and twinkling crystal glassware ready for an array of local cuisine and finest Cape wines. The background music provided by the Soweto String Quartet blends with the hum of lively conversation and the chinking of glasses. The talented team of chefs offers a changing menu of fine dining, using local produce and the freshest ingredients to serve meals that will live long in the memory.
The Blue Train is featured in the following itineraries:
Very Best of South Africa