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Monday, 09 January 2012 17:39

The Blue Train - South Africa

Written by  Crescentrating Staff 08
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Allow yourself to indulge in a bit of luxury as you board the Blue Train in South Africa

Taking visitors to some of the most exotic destinations of the country, the Blue Train is titled as a "moving five-star hotel". The original concept of the train was launched in 1923 as the Union Limited and Union Express trains. The service was discontinued during World War II and then restarted in 1946. The train was refurbished and re-launched in 1997.

Itineraries: The most frequent route of the Blue Train is between Cape Town and Pretoria and vice versa. Traversing a distance of 1,600Km the train takes almost 27 hours to cover the entire distance.

On the Northbound Journey, the train starts from Cape Town in the morning and arrives at Matjiesfontein just after lunch on board. The train stops here for a short duration for a sightseeing tour. Pre-dinner snacks and dinner are served onboard and the train reaches its destination, Pretoria, in the morning.

On the Southbound Journey, the train starts from Pretoria in the morning and reaches Kimberly in the evening. The train makes a short halt at Kimberly where visitors can enjoy sightseeing. The journey is continued and dinner is served on board. The train reaches Cape Town in the afternoon the following day.

There are several special packages that take visitors on different journeys such as Pretoria to Durban; Pretoria to Bakabung Game lodge (2 nights stay); Ivory Tree Game Lodge (2 nights stay); Zambali Game Lodge (2 nights stay) and the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve (2 nights stay) OR Jock Safari Lodge (3 nights stay).

Accommodation: The Blue Train has an interior that will leave guests in awe; there is a choice between Deluxe Accommodation and Luxury Accommodation. All the suites are equipped with facilities like air-conditioning, telephone, TV, and en-suite bathrooms.

Deluxe Coaches - there are eight deluxe coaches on the train with conference cars and there are four suites in every deluxe coach with twin beds or double beds.

Luxury Coaches - there are eight luxury coaches on the Blue Train, each with three suites. The suites have a choice of two twin beds or one double bed. The luxury suites provide a choice of radio or movie channels.

Dining & Entertainment: The Blue Train offers a fine dining experience with an excellent selection of cuisines.The dining car is spacious enough to accommodate 42 people. Lunch is usually casual whereas dinner is a formal affair. Throughout the journey delicious snacks are served in the suites. The Blue Train may be able to arrange for special dietary needs including Halal food availability. The train also features an elegant lounge car where guests can relax and interact with fellow travelers. A conference car equipped with excellent audio visual and technical equipment is available for guests to entertain themselves with when they're not busy staring at the wonderful scenery outside.

Boutique: There is a jewelry boutique on the Blue Train where guests can purchase some exclusive pieces and rare gems. The boutique also has leather goods, books, golf shirts and other apparels.

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