The luxury blue train is operated by Luxrail which is a division of the Transfer Freight Rail, it is South Africa’s national railway operator. The famed Blue Train covers an approximate distance of 900 miles or 1,600 km journey between Pretoria and Cape Town in South Africa . It is definitely one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world and boasts of two lounge cars one for smoking and the other nonsmoking, a butler service, an observation deck, and car and more faculties which speak luxury. The service is even promoted as a magnificent and moving five-star hotel. From presidents to Kings, everyone has taken a ride on this magnificence.
The Blue Train Routes
The train travels at a speed of up to 56 mph or 90 km/hr. Routes of blue train include:
1. Pretoria To Cape Town
The route from Pretoria to Cape Town is a 1,600 km (994 miles) and 31- hour long journey through diverse and splendid scenery which the African subcontinent can possibly offer.
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2. Pretoria To Kruger National Park
This luxury Train also travels to the Limpopo province of South Africa, which houses the Kruger National Park that is one of the best game parks of the world. It is home to the Continent’s big five. These are 19-hour journeys which take place on specially selected months of the year and give passengers an opportunity to experience some amazing new rail safari combination packages along with the private safari lodges that are found in the Sabi Sands and Greater Kruger area.
The first train that runs can accommodate 74 guests along with 37 suites. The second train can fit in 58 guests in its 29 suites and it also has an observation car at the very back end of the express.
Facilities Offered In The Blue Train
The rooms consist of individually controlled air conditioning, DVD player, remote controlled television, hairdryers, and room-safes. The television monitor is hidden above the wardrobe.
There is free Wi-Fi throughout the entire train and it is complimentary.
There are safes in all of the suites. Each and every precaution possible is taken, but the train can’t be held liable for items which are unattended in suites.
- Telephone service
There is a telephone in the suite which allows passengers to dial the assigned Butler or manager for the whole day, 24 hours. If you have to make an external call them to contact the train manager or your Butler.
All snacks and meals are included in the fare and if passengers are in need of snacks then they should contact their Butler. Lunch and dinner are generally served in two sittings while the breakfast will be when you want to have it.
- Dress Code
There is a dress code for evenings where ladies are requested to wear something elegant while the vents are requested to suit you are with a jacket and tie. The dress code for other meals is casual.
The lounge car is a meeting place for a post or pre-lunch guests and also for drinks. Apart from this, afternoon tea is also served in the lounge, but if passengers want a cigar or cognac then the club car is ideal.
The bar is opened as soon as the train begins its journey and it closes after the last guest leaves. All drinks are included in the fare except for some imported beverages which passengers can purchase from their butlers.
There are special cars and suites where smoking is allowed and the club car is one of them. Passengers can contact their butler to know about the smoking spots.
- First Aid
For any medical emergencies contacts your Butler. There is always a first aid kit in the train.
There are two technicians who travel on the train for maintenance and for any other unforeseen electrical or other problems which may arise in the functioning of the train in the midst of a journey. All if it is done to ensure that passengers are as comfortable as possible.
The security of blue train is one of the best which can be afforded. There are guards on the train who are charged with the safety of the passengers so that you can travel carefree.
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Schedule And Price
The blue train prices and schedule of the blue train are as follows for per person sharing:
Low Season Fares
Pretoria to Cape Town and Cape Town to Pretoria
From 1 January- 31 August and from 16 November to 31 December
• De Luxe Suite- 18’405.00R
• Luxury Suite- 23’050.00R
High Season Fares
From Pretoria to Cape Town and from Cape Town to Pretoria
1 September to 15 November
• De Luxe Suite- 22’715.00R
• Luxury Suite- 28’690.00R
For a Single Adult who is traveling alone just add up 50% to the above rates.
Tips For Travelling In The Blue Train
There are some travel tips which should be kept in mind while traveling in the Blue Train:
• Remember that the train isn’t responsible for any luggage left unattended.
• Carry valuables in a carryable bag so as to keep it safe with you.
• The cost of external calls or faxes are not included with the amount of the fare, so keep this in mind.
• If you have any queries don’t hesitate to call the train manager for any information you need.
• Carry your visas, there are assigned personnel who will help you out with this.
• Carry identification and other official documents pertaining to travel and booking as well.
• Follow the evening dress code.
The Blue Train is luxury incarnate. It is like being back in the days of the old with all the sumptuous luxury that came with it. From the drinks to the cigars and from the food to the service, you will feel like you have stepped back into time into an era now forgotten. All of this combined with the scenic beauty of the place will surely increase your excitement for being here and will end up making your South Africa vacation, one of the most memorable trips of your life.