The Blue Train

Day 1 - Day 2
  • Depart on the Blue Train at 8:50am from Pretoria Railway Station to Cape Town
  • (Note: You are required to be at the Railway Station one hour before departure, to enable your luggage to be tagged and for a welcome reception)
  • The suites on The Blue Train live up to its reputation for magnificence and splendour, with finest bed linen, marble tiles and gold fittings in the bathrooms. The suites extend the choice of radio and movie channels even further by including a private digital entertainment centre and an inviting selection of music CDs and big-screen movies on DVD. There are nine deluxe coaches on the first train and eight on the train with the conference car. The deluxe coaches have four suites per coach; one suite with a bath and the others with showers. They feature either twin beds with a shower, or double beds with a bathtub and handheld shower. The luxury suites extend one’s personal domain by more than a metre, and the twin or double-bed suites offer deep, long baths for slow, luxuriant soaking. Linking the private suites of The Blue Train are two wood-panelled cars: the lounge and club cars. Sheffield cutlery and crystal glassware on crisp white linen set the tone for a fine dining experience. Menus feature a selection of local cuisine, accompanied by award-winning wines.The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 27-hour journey through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery the sub-continent has to offer. From Pretoria, the “Jacaranda City”, The Blue Train glides past the gold fields of the Witswaterand, the grain, fruit and sunflower farms of the northern Cape, on to Kimberley, seat of South Africa’s original diamond rush. Kimberley is where Cecil John Rhodes established De Beers, today the biggest diamond mining concern in the world. The Blue Train arrives at Kimberly Station at approximately 5.10pm. You then disembark and are greeted with a glass of sherry, (produced from the Northern Province area) at the railway museum at the station. Accredited tour guides accompany you on a two-hour tour incorporating the highlights of the Kimberly area. At the conclusion of your tour you return to the train and carry on with your journey. The rail journey covers 1600kms (994 miles), heading smoothly and silently towards the heart of South Africa’s finest winelands and the ‘fairest city on earth’ -- Cape Town. Scan the desolately beautiful Karoo thirstlands, where ancient fossils attest to its history as a primeval swamp, where ostriches run wild, where the skies erupt into dramatic sunsets and from which Olive Schreiner, author of the classic South African novel “Story of an African Farm” drew much of her inspiration. Imbibe the emerald green Eden of the Hex River Valley, where most of South Africa’s export grapes are grown. Late autumn produces one of the world’s most extravagant natural sights when the barlinka vines transform into blazing crimson. The Hex River is also famous for one of South Africa’s most romantic and ghostly legends about a beautiful young girl, Eliza Meiring, who in 1768, went mad after her beloved fell to his death in the forbidding Matroosberg Mountains. Crossing the Hex River mountain range was a daunting task for surveyors in 1876 who had to plot the course the tracks should follow. The 16.3km (10.13 mile) Hex River Tunnel system, the fourth longest in the world, is a monument to advanced engineering skills. You pass through the town of Paarl, set in a wide, fertile valley surrounded by majestic, purple-hued mountains. Established in 1720 by French Huguenot settlers, the oak-lined streets are distinguished by beautiful old Cape Dutch buildings. Finally, the distinctive shape of Table Mountain appears in the distance as The Blue Train approaches Cape Town. In 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a settlement here to replenish the busy spice trade ships with fresh produce. Now a magnificent cosmopolitan city, Cape Town, is one of the cultural centers of South Africa with fine art, architecture, music and, of course, wine.

    You stay at The Blue Train Lunch, Dinner
    Day 2
  • Arrive Cape Town Railway Station at approximately 12.00pm

  • Breakfast