On Board the Blue Train: Travelling in South African Luxury
Adventure World's Campaign Marketing Manager, Millicent Myers, shares her experience of 27 hours of old-world luxury on board the Blue Train
traveling from South Africa’s capital, Pretoria to Cape Town.
“Good Morning my name is Sbongiseni and I will be your butler on this journey to Cape Town,” isn’t what you expect to hear as you embark on an overnight rail journey, but the Blue Train is no ordinary train ride.
If you want to travel across South Africa in style, look no further than the Blue Train. The 27-hour, all-inclusive rail experience boasts five-star accommodation, fine cuisine, a personalised butler service and breath-taking views of South Africa’s countryside.
It’s no surprise that it’s considered to be one of the world’s great luxury train rides. My journey begins at Pretoria Train Station’s exclusive pre-departure lounge for Blue Train guests. Sbongiseni escorts my husband and me to our elegant suite, where we find a bottle of South African sparkling wine in a silver ice bucket and fresh flowers in front of a huge full-width window.
The route ahead covers the 1,600 kilometres between Pretoria and Cape Town, with one stop in each direction: the historic diamond-mining town of Kimberley on our southbound trip, or the fashionable old town of Matjiesfontein on the journey back to Pretoria.
As the train rolls along at 90 km/h, we explore our opulent surroundings. There’s a formal dining carriage where a black tie dinner service will be held later that evening, a club car devoted to cognac and Cuban cigars, a lounge car that serves high tea and fresh canapés, an on-board jewellery shop and a dedicated team ready to serve our every need.
Dining on the Blue Train is a highlight; the chefs regularly update their menus as they prepare signature dishes using the freshest local ingredients. We chose from pepper-crusted springbok, seared duck breast, Knysna oysters and other delicacies, all artfully presented and matched with award-winning South African wines. Dinner is an elegant affair and having spent five days in Kruger National Park, my husband removes a creased shirt and dinner jacket from his luggage, which Sbongiseni whisks away and returns looking brand new.
That night, we sleep soundly thanks to the carriage’s steady, rhythmic motion and in the morning, we’re treated to dramatic views as we approach Cape Town. We prepare for breakfast and can’t help but feel sad that our journey is ending.
Experience all the luxury of the Blue Train
with Adventure World, priced from AU$1,469 / NZ$1,618 per person. For more information, enquire now
, call (AU) 1300 295 049 or (NZ) 0800 238 368 or see your travel agent.
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