Surrender to the Luxury of Slow: Blue Train takes fresh approach with rebranding

2018-11-28 18:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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For 20 years, South Africa's icon of luxury - The Blue Train - has almost been stuck in time, but on Friday they launched a new vision for the brand. 

'Surrender to the Luxury of Slow' encapsulates what loyal passengers love about the Blue Train, and that is its relaxed journeys through the South African landscapes.

SEE: #LoveSA: Choo choo your way to Stars of Sandstone Steam Festival 2019 with the Blue Train

But they're not just recommitting to their leisure clients. The new rebranding also came with the launch of a new business offering, hoping to fulfil their MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) needs.

Businesses will be able to hire the train for private charters on all their routes, including a 'trip to nowhere' from Pretoria. They will have access to sublime gourmet food freshly prepared onboard, indulge in fancy liquor and handmade cigars in the Club Car and the Observation Car doubles up as a boardroom, as well as a dance floor for when the execs need to let down their hair.

Group of execs posing for a picture

South African Tourism Head of Global Trade, Bradley Brouwer (far right) with Transnet Executives. (Photo: The Blue Train)

Vincent Monyake, The Blue Train’s executive manager in his welcome note at the gala dinner said, “In the business of luxury, we build on heritage and legacy. The Blue Train has been a part of the South African experience for 72 years… and so, this repositioning, the first in over 20 years, is an audacious task that builds on the legacy of a national treasure, whose opulence and elegance continues to not only stand the test of time, but also challenge and push the category of luxury worldwide.”

ALSO SEE: Is it cheaper to travel by bus, train or plane in SA? 

Saxophone player serenades dining couple on train

Shumi Dantile and Terry Pheto enjoy Onboard entertainment. (Photo: The Blue Train)

older couple on a double bed on a train

Collen Vilela and Craig Mark try out the double bed in the Luxury Suite onboard The Blue Train. (Photo: The Blue Train)

Three women playing the roulette on a train

Talk Radio 702 Programme Manager, Moleboheng Sehume, and Lucky No. 8 founder and MD, Lebo Motswenyane have a go at the roulette table. (Photo: The Blue Train)

The Blue Train wants to become an all-encompassing one-stop shop for eventing, and by marketing the 'slowness' of its service, it offers business clients time to reflect and make informed decisions while on their transport service.

Speaking at the formal gala dinner, Transnet’s acting group CEO, Tau Morwe, said that The Blue Train “occupies a very special place in the hearts and minds of many in our country and around the world. Through the years, countless tourists to our beautiful country – from movie stars to presidents and prime ministers – and of course, our beloved Madiba - have all sung praises of this singular asset to our tourism industry.

"It is vitally important therefore, that we enhance The Blue Train’s iconic appeal to extend its market to further reaches – and target new markets in doing so.”

Another national treasure, famous artist Esther Mahlangu also graced the launch with her presence and her art, making it a truly proudly South African event.

PICS: Choo choo your way to a new train market in Elgin & other train trips to explore around SA   

Old white guy shaking hands with SA artist Esther

Transnet Group Chief Business Development Officer, Gert de Beer, and artist Esther Mahlangu. (Photo: The Blue Train)

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