Conferencing on The Blue Train – a different kind of luxury


The Blue Train has long been associated with luxury. Kings and presidents alike have experienced its unique offering. Conferencing on this five-star hotel on wheels is unlike anything else. Liesl Venter finds out more.

From magnificent views to its captivating experiences, The Blue Train is the ultimate in luxury.

“It is a conferencing experience unlike any other,” says Joseph Sono, Blue Train assistant account executive. “From a VIP cocktail breakfast, lunch, or dinner, to a company incentive, to a product launch or re-launch with a difference, a Blue Train charter offers a memorable and invigorating reminder that you’re going places.”

According to Sono, the world-renowned Blue Train has been associated with the best in luxury hospitality and tourism since its inception in 1946. “This legacy remained and was once again accentuated after the train was reconstructed in 1972, and again after a total refurbishment that was completed in 1998. The Blue Train has gathered an impressive list of accolades, such as being voted the world’s leading luxury train for four consecutive years in a row – 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and Africa’s leading luxury for seven consecutive years – 2009 to 2015,” Sono says.

Conferencing on the train is not only unique, but also an intimate experience. “The Blue Train runs two train sets,” explains Sono. “Train set 1 can accommodate a maximum of 54 guests and train set 2 accommodates 82 guests. A conference car can be added to train set 2 that can be used either as a conferencing facility or as an observation car.”

The conference car, he says, accommodates up to 22 delegates and is fully equipped with audio-visual and technical equipment for a high-level business meeting or a small conference. The conference facility also offers technical support such as an overhead projector and screen.

But instead of being stuck in a conference centre, delegates are traversing the South African countryside. “The train travels from Pretoria to Cape Town on a weekly basis; and also travels to another South African iconic destination, Hoedspruit, close to the Kruger National Park during selected months,” says Sono. “Our rail networks extend from Pretoria to Sun City; Pretoria to Durban; Pretoria to Oudtshoorn; Pretoria to Kimberley and Pretoria to Port Elizabeth (via the Garden Route) depending on rail network and compatibility with The Blue Train technology.”

He says the train is ideal for any corporate looking for a luxury conference venue. “The Blue Train can be chartered for custom jaunts lasting from a few hours to several nights,” says Sono.

This, he says, is an important attribute as the service can be customised to meet a corporate’s specific needs. In fact, it can meander just about anywhere along the standard routes, while cross-border excursions are also available.

“It’s your sojourn, it’s your train. It’s our pleasure” is the corporate and charter sector’s motto.

“We are able to accommodate any corporate, whether they want to combine business and leisure, conferencing on board and then stopping for an invigorating round of golf or an African safari along the way or those with a more stern agenda. The train has all the necessary facilities to service business-orientated journeys,” Sono concludes.

“We are able to accommodate any corporate whether they want to combine business and leisure, conferencing onboard and then stopping for an invigorating round of golf or an African safari along the way or those with a more stern agenda. The train has all the necessary facilities to service business-orientated journeys,” Sono concludes.