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South Africa/ Un tren de lux

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Usually, luxury is attached to houses and clothes and jewellery. However, luxury assumes a new dimension on The Blue Train which you will feel from the moment you step on board this newly re-furbished train, which has been synonymous with luxury and hospitality since 1946. Guests can expect personal and attentive service, a dedicated butler, and sumptuous accommodation, sublime fine-dining and exquisite wines.The Blue Train offers scheduled and charter services. The scheduled route is from Pretoria to Cape Town or vice versa, and the charter routes are from either Pretoria to Durban or Pretoria to Hoedspruit.The train offers wonderful accommodation.  The suite is an elegant spacious lounge by day and a sanctuary by night with goose down duvets and pillows.  Private bathrooms offer marble floor and wall tiles, marble basins with gold fittings, along with a shower/bath and under-floor heating in both the bathroom and bedroom.All the suites have a writing desk, ideally positioned next to the window, where you can enjoy the view in style whilst putting pen to paper.  Also provided are air-conditioning, radio/movie channels and a link to the driver’s-eye-view camera.   The GPS map on an overhead monitor means you can keep track of progress.There are two types of suites on the train.  The Luxury Suite has either twin or double bedded options with a long, deep bath for  slow, luxuriant soaking – a rare treat on a train.  The Luxury Suite extends the choice of radio and movie channels even further, with a private digital entertainment center and a selection of music CDs and big-screen movies on DVD.The other type of suite is the De Luxe Suite which features twin beds with shower, or a double bed with bath tub and hand held shower.The De Luxe double bed suites are limited in number, and cannot be guaranteed.Then   there is the Dining Car.  Here the reassuring weight of Sheffield cutlery and crystal glassware on crisp white linen set the tone for the delights to follow.Choose from two dinnertime sittings, or dine in your suite.  The dining car seats 42 people, with 2 sittings for lunch and dinner.Each meal is accompanied by a selection of equally tasteful background music, ranging from smooth jazz to light classical to the mellow tones of the Soweto String Quartet.Linking the private suites are two wooden-panelled cars – The Blue Train’s Lounge and Club Cars are ideal for an aperitif, an interlude between meals, or an after-dinner conversation.   Smoking is permitted in the Club Car. Entertainment includes cards, chess, or backgammon, or a volume from the library.   In the main lounge car, high tea is served each afternoon.A video camera on the front locomotive gives a driver’s eye view of the scenery and is shown on a screen in the club car and on a TV channel in the suites.The burnished surroundings of the club car is the single public area where smoking is permitted.The Blue Train has a Conference Car.  The conference car is the ideal setting for meetings, seminars, think-tanks or get-togethers with a difference.With sufficient notice, the conference car can be adapted for smaller and less formal sessions.With full business facilities, plush lounge seating and breath-taking panoramas of the passing countryside, this is an experience that no client or colleague will ever forget.In terms of catering, continental or full English breakfast are served at your leisure.  Lunch and dinner menus feature a selection of local cuisine from Karoo lamb and ostrich fillet to Knysna oysters, accompanied by award-winning cultivars from the Cape winelands.  Prepared from the freshest produce and ingredients, artfully presented in the finest Silver Service tradition, The Blue Train’s legendary cuisine is an irresistible tribute to culinary mastery.The Blue Train is fully equipped to accommodate vegetarian, Halaal, Kosher or other special dietary requirements, which should be specified when you make your reservation. Join us at one of two dinnertime sittings, or savour your meal in the comfort of your suite. A Continental or full English breakfast is served at your leisure.Following departure from Pretoria, and after brunch and high tea, the Blue Train arrives at Kimberley Station.    Guests visit the railway museum, followed by an old tram for a ride down to the Open Mine Museum and a tour of the mine.  The tour includes a chance to win a diamond.  Guests are taken onto an enclosed ramp on the edge of the Kimberley hole.  Guests then return to the train for dinner, overnight and the remainder of the journey to Cape Town.Northbound, the Blue Train leaves Cape Town at 08.30 and arrives Pretoria at 13:00 the next day. It stops at the historic town Matjiesfontein, where guests can visit the famous Lord Milner Hotel and the old car museum.Guests must check in at least 1 hour before departure at The Blue Train lounges in Pretoria and Cape Town.Author: Tubonemi – Nigeria

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