Travel

Explore South Africa on This Ultra-Luxurious Train Ride

It's literally a 5-star hotel on wheels
The Blue Train, South Africa
Photo: The Blue Train via Facebook

We love jetting around the world as much as the next globe-trotter, but after a certain point, TSA lines and boarding-gate scrambles take all the fun out of traveling. That's when we swap the airport for the train station. And trust us, nothing will convince you to abandon your flier miles more than booking a ticket on South Africa's Blue Train.

Think of this ultra-luxurious train as the (literal) down-to-earth equivalent to those $23,000 airplane suites. Although it originally began carrying passengers in the 1920s, the Blue Train underwent a refurbishment in the 1970s that brought it back to its former glory; since then, it's been ferrying travelers to and from Cape Town in a style true to its heydey.

 

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According to Travel + Leisure, after you've been personally escorted aboard your wood-paneled carriage, the 31-hour train ride will coddle you with niceties, such as goose-down bedding, heated floors and, if you shell out for a luxury suite, a 24-hour butler who will cater to your every whim.

You can also take advantage of a few communal spaces, including a club lounge where you can relax with both a cigar and snifter of cognac in hand, and a separate panoramic lounge car offering afternoon high tea against the backdrop of sweeping vistas. Meanwhile, the dining car provides menus that include delicacies like karoo lamb, ostrich, venison and local Knysna oysters.

Rates for this far-from-an-Amtrak trip begin at roughly $1,164, though keep in mind that sticker also includes all your food and drink (yes, even boozy ones such as Champagne), in addition to off-train excursions and generous helpings of caviar.

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