SOUTH AFRICA The Blue Train offers corporate groups a different way to experience the country’s game reserves, golf courses and more by taking a trip aboard its luxury car trains either on its regular scheduled run or on an exclusive charter service.
Fitted like an upscale boutique hotel, the train is equipped with suites boasting five-star amenities with comfortable beds, a digital entertainment centre and private bath. The Dining Car resembles a fine-dining restaurant while The Club Car is an ideal venue for aperitif or an after-dinner conversation coffee, cognac and Cuban cigars. The Lounge Car is the place to enjoy English High Tea. The Conference Car offers the privacy needed for a think-tank or a small group seminar for up to 22 people.
The Conference Car
According to Hanlie Kotze, Blue Train executive manager, they have hosted a range of events from product launches, VIP breakfast, lunches and dinner parties, business meetings and small conferences among others.
On its scheduled route, the train travels between Pretoria and Cape Town. On a charter service, however, the company can tailor make its own route.
The Dining Car
“Our corporate clients can tailor-make a charter with a difference. For example, a golfing or safari charter, with the train stopping at or near golf courses and game lodges that are situated along the rail route,” Kotze said.
“As long as the option they choose involves rail networks that are compatible with The Blue Train’s technology, it can be arranged. Full catering and bar facilities are available on board,” she added.
The Lounge Car
A charter service can last from a five-hour trip to an overnight – down to a weekend getaway, mostly for incentive groups. For example, a group will depart Pretoria for Hoedspruit (Kruger/Sabi Sabi area) on Friday evening, arriving at the Sabi Sabi on Saturday morning. The group then will spend an activity-packed day with game drives, elephant rides, hot-air ballooning, etc. They will then board the train for the overnight return trip, arriving in Pretoria on Sunday morning.