Blue Train Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About The Blue Train
We understand that you will have many questions about booking a Blue Train Tour. The most frequently asked are below but please do not hesitate to contact us about any further questions you have as we are delighted to help.
How far in advance do I need to book ?
This train tour is an exclusive trip with very limited departures through the year. Consequently we strongly advise our clients to book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. This particularly applies to the higher level cabins which there is strong demand for.
Can you obtain & advise on the visas for us ?
Visas (if required) can be quite complex so we recommend using a specialist visa agent and have an arrangement with CIBT Visa Central who offer a reliable service for all the visas you will need for your trip. Of course, we provide all the necessary documentation which must accompany your application. Note that the onus is upon the client to ensure passports and visas, as may be required, are valid prior to departure for Africa. Passports must have at least five blank visa pages and must be valid for at least six months from your return-home date.
Are your tours financially protected ?
Yes! All our trips come with financial protection either through our ATOL if the trip includes a flight or insurances which comply with the UK package travel regulations for any trip that does not include a flight. In addition our ABTA membership means we must adhere to their strict code of conduct.
Can you book international flights for us ?
Absolutely! Our ATOL license means that we can book international or indeed internal flights. We get particularly good access to the best deals on British Airways as we are an appointed operator.
Can you book further travel for us ?
Yes! We can offer extensions to further explore the destinations at either end of the trip. Just ask us for details.
What is included in the tour ?
With the exception of staff gratuities, Caviar, French Champagne and external telephone calls, everything else onboard is included in the rate.
Do the beds fold away ?
The beds fold out of the panel concealing the seats under it. Should guests require their bed to be made during the day, please ring for a Butler.
Are their conductors looking after us on the train ?
Each coach has a Butler whose pleasure it will be to ensure that guests enjoy a memorable experience. Butlers are available 24 hours a day for the duration of the journey.
What is the check-in time for the tour ?
Check-in is between 06:30-07:00, boarding gates close at 07:45. Guests are requested to check-in at least one hour prior to departure. Check-in takes place in The Blue Train VIP lounges situated at Cape Town and Pretoria stations.
What meals are included ?
All meals and room-service snacks are included in the rate. Should guests require a snack the butler can be contacted. Lunch and dinner are usually served in two sittings and cater for 42 guests per sitting, while breakfast is served between 07:00 and 10:00 at guests leisure.
Can people with disabilities take this trip ?
One train set is compatible for disabled persons. Customised wheelchairs on board The Blue Train have been specifically-designed to negotiate the train’s corridors. A Butler will be on-hand to assist guests should they require.
What if I prefer a double bed to a twin bed ?
Due to the limited number of double beds it is advisable that guests specify their preference upon making a reservation.
What is the dress code on the Blue Train ?
In keeping with tradition it is a compulsory custom to dress formal for dinner to match the sheer elegance of The Blue Train. Evening wear is elegant for ladies and gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket and tie. During the day the dress code is smart casual. No shorts and flip-flops are allowed in the Dining Car.
Can I drink the water on the Blue Train?
Bottled water is supplied in suite. The butler will provide more water on request.
What is the electricity supply on the Blue Train?
The electricity supply on-board is 220 volts. Lights switches are located at the door and the bedside table.
What if medical attention is required ?
Trained first aid personnel are on-board at all times. In the event of an emergency, doctors can be contacted at the various stations en-route.
What is the policy on tipping on the Blue Train?
The fare does not include gratuities. Our guests are not obliged to give the staff gratuities. However, should guests at their own discretion wish to do so, guests are encouraged not give gratuities to individuals, but to rather use the gratuity box located at the entrance of the club (smoking) car. Gratuities are then shared equally amongst all the staff (including the kitchen staff) at the end of each trip.
Can I get laundry done on the Blue Train ?
A limited on-board laundry and valet service is available and is included in the rate. Please contact a butler for assistance.
Can you cater for specific dietary requirements ?
Kindly specify any special dietary requirements at the time of booking. The Blue Train is happy to accommodate all culinary requests.
Us room service available on the train ?
Room service is available 24-hours, free of charge.
Are their safes in the cabins ?
Safes are provided in all suites. While every precaution is taken, The Blue Train cannot be held liable for loss of valuable items left unattended in suites.
Is smoking allowed on the Blue Train ?
Smoking is only permitted in the Club Car. All suites, the Lounge and Dining Cars are strictly smoke-free zones.
What distance does the train travel?
1660 km (904 miles).
How long is the train ?
Long train – 399 metres; short train – 294 metres.
How long has the train been running ?
The Blue Train was launched and has been in existence since 1946.
How many carriages does the train have ?
Long train – 19 carriages; short train – 14 carriages.
Is there a doctor on board ?
Trained first aid personnel are on-board at all times. In the event of an emergency, doctors and emergency personnel can be contacted at the various stations en-route. Please note that The Blue Train personnel are not allowed to administer any medication to guests.
Can we open the windows ?
For safety reasons, The Blue Train windows are double-glazed and cannot be opened. The Blue Train is fitted with a centrally-controlled air-conditioning system. All private suites are fitted with individually-controlled air-conditioning systems.
Are children allowed on the Blue Train?
Children are allowed on board. Children aged 2 years and younger are to share a suite with parents or a responsible adult. No special meal menus are available for children. A strict Children Policy is applicable and must be signed by parents or guardians prior to boarding.
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