On Board the Blue Train
T he Blue Train is on the bucket list for everyone who loves to travel by rail. This is one of the world’s most luxurious train journeys, stretching around 990 miles between South Africa’s administrative capital Pretoria and Cape Town on the Western Cape.

The original trains along this route, the Union Limited and Union Express, brought thousands flocking to South Africa’s Witwatersrand – Ridge of White Waters – with a dream of digging their way to untold riches. But the area’s mineral wealth soon funded a burgeoning upper-class, one that came to expect a more opulent mode of transport. And the Union carriages became standard-bearers of the easy-living heyday of the 1920s, boasting everything from card tables to ceiling fans, to hot and cold water on tap.

Nowadays, you can expect modern luxury, matched by the ever-changing landscapes rolling past your windows. Elegant suites function as relaxing lounges during the day and then transform at night to subtly-lit, indulgent bedrooms, while the dining car and lounges provide the perfect environment to meet fellow guests.

Impeccable levels of service from on-board stewards is one of the hallmarks of this lavish experience. Nothing is too much trouble as they bring you attentive and welcoming service, while remaining discreet. All team members, from chefs and waiters to stewards and bar staff, are passionate about the train and its history, which comes across in their effervescence and good humour.

The Compartments

The Blue Train

The Blue Train offers two types of cabin: De Luxe and Luxury.

De Luxe Suites
The Blue Train

De Luxe Suites are bedecked with goose-down and 100 per cent percale-cotton bedding and feature individually-controlled air-conditioning systems, under-floor heating, opulent marble and gold-fitted bathrooms with scented bath salts and plush monogrammed towels, as well as electronic entertainment options.

The De Luxe coaches each have four suites that measure 4 by 2 metres (13 ft x 6ft 6 in). One of these contains a double bed and a ¾ size bath tub with handheld shower, while the others have twin beds with showers.

Luxury Suites
The Blue Train

Luxury Suites will enchant you from the moment your personal butler ushers you aboard. It extends the offering from a De Luxe Suite even further; by an extra metre of your domain, with twin or double bedded suites which offer you long and luxurious bath tubs and a private digital interactive entertainment system, with an inviting selection of music CDs and big-screen movies on Blue-Ray DVD.

Luxury coaches have three Luxury Suites that each measure 5.13 by 2 metres (17 ft x 6ft 6 in) and give you the option of twin beds or a double bed.

Your De Luxe or Luxury suites are your home-away-from-home lounges. All suites are fitted with WI-FI service that is complimentary to all guests. Use the telephone system in each suite to dial your butler, at no extra charge, for an apéritif or even call family and friends.

An act of alchemy transforms your sitting area into a restful night-time sanctuary. Goose down duvets and pillows and 100% percale cotton bedding envelop you as you drift off after a soothing, scented soak or shower in your marble and gold-appointed bathroom, lulled by the rhythm of the whispering wheels.

Dining and Bar Car

The Blue Train
Dining and Bar Car
The Blue Train

While The Blue Train lives up to its five-star reputation in every sense, its cuisine surpasses even the highest expectations.

On board chefs regularly refresh their menus to intrigue and tantalise your palate, as they prepare their signature dishes using the freshest of local ingredients. From Karoo lamb, ostrich and venison, to Knysna oysters and other award-winning Cape cultivars. All artfully presented in delicate crystal or on fine china, all contributing to the ultimate experience.

Underscoring the Dining Car’s atmosphere is a delightful selection of tasteful background music, ranging from smooth jazz to light classical to the mellow tones of the Soweto String Quartet.

If you require Kosher or Halal meals, or gluten-free vegan options, simply make your needs known at the time of reserving your holiday. You will also need to reserve your ideal dinner sitting. Our very elegant Dining Car comfortably accommodates 42 guests in a single sitting and, in the event of having more guests on the train, meals are served in two sittings to ensure all our guests experience utter luxury.

Relaxing Lounges
The Blue Train

The Blue Train offers two convivial spaces in which to build friendships over a beverage of choice. The Club Car, ideally situated behind the train’s engines offers the feel of a burnished, wood-panelled gentleman’s club where you are free to enjoy a Cuban cigar which we serve after dinner to round off a perfect evening.

Wind down and relax with cognac or any drink of your choice. Whether you’re after a game of backgammon, chess or cards, the lure of the big screen or a tome from the library’s selection, a fascinating chat with the barman or simply a solitary reverie of the star-lit skies, then the Club Car is your ideal setting.

The beautifully-designed Lounge Car, conveniently situated in the middle of the train, is an ideal venue to enjoy the charming view of the countryside, with its windows perfectly framing the ever-changing panoramas and interrupted only by rare works from some of Southern Africa’s finest artists – or an occasional gentle reminder from the barman that your glass needs topping up. Breeze into the Lounge Car for afternoon High Tea… a traditional English ritual of taste and aroma that is enhanced by the classic, elegant opulence of this carriage, or wander in after your five-course dinner banquet for another glass of award-winning wine or a taste of fine Port to round off your perfect evening.

Dress code
Dress code
The Blue Train

In keeping with the classical ambience of the Blue Train dining car, smart-casual dress is appropriate at lunch.

Dinner is more formal with gentlemen requested to wear a jacket and tie and ladies elegant eveningwear.