Blue Train to re-open – and prices have halved, for now

Business Insider SA
blue train
(Blue Train)
  • SA’s long-distance luxury passenger train service, the Blue Train, will resume trips in November.
  • There's a big re-opening special until end-March.
  • The cheapest new prices for the two-day trip is R12,715 per person sharing.
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SA’s long-distance luxury passenger train service, the Blue Train, will resume trips in November, with a steep re-opening special.

The train service has been in operation since 1946, but was suspended mid-March before the start of lockdown.

It will run again from November 1, with a re-opening price special that will last to end-March.

The discounted rates for the two-night trip between Pretoria and Cape Town (or from Cape Town to Pretoria) start from R12,715 per person sharing in a De Luxe suite – in high-season, this rate was R25,445 previously this year.

The price for a Luxury suite starts at R16,950 per person sharing – from R32,135 previously.

blue train
(Blue Train)

“The special rates follow a nation-wide call for more accessible domestic tourism and will be available for all residents of South Africa and tourists whose Covid-19 regulations allow them to enter South Africa from 01 November 2020,” says Vincent Monyake, executive manager of the Transnet-owned Blue Train. 

“The impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector has been one of the most visceral, felt across the entire tourism industry value chain. Our hope is that these special rates will encourage people in South Africa to experience our beautiful country through the windows of this national treasure,”

The experience includes five-course gourmet silver service dinners and lunches; breakfast and high teas; live entertainment and a full 24-hour butler service. All alcohol consumption on board The Blue Train is inclusive, including Cuban cigars. 

blue train
Blue Train

The journey features an off-train excursion in Kimberley where guests will visit The Big Hole and the Kimberley Mine Museum.

The special is only for new bookings. Travellers who had bookings during lockdown could cancel and receive a full refund, or postpone travel with a deadline of December 2021.

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