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Ambience and venturing into Africa, that's Premier Classe for you!

Agree, your guess is as good as mine…  

To attest to the above sentiment the deluxe Premier Classe, which is owned and operated by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is one of the country’s luxury long distance rail service.

Established in 2001, with only two coaches hooked onto the Transkaroo commuting between Johannesburg – Cape Town – Johannesburg) during that period, it accommodated only 28 passengers.

Fast forward to 2006, Premier Classe grew exponentially with passengers to 84. But that alone was not enough to carry the cost the train had accumulated.

To keep abreast of today’s technology, a refurbished Premier Classe set was introduced in November 2007, with additional features such as technological sophistication in its new dining, conference coach (which can be turned into a dance coach) and a smoking lounge that is equipped with a plasma screen and DVD player, more spacious compartments, and well appointed bathrooms to name but a few new additions.

Thanks to ownership of PRASA, (having invested millions) the train has now become one of the sought after for the agency, including the popular Shosholoza Meyl (cash-cow) which is frequented by those (with lesser disposal) who travel weekly throughout the country.

The target market for Premier Classe is those with deep pockets and penchant for ‘Le Good Life’.

Last week, as part of its campaign to conscientious the public on its awareness it took few journos and guests to Macufe, an annual music and arts fest in Bloemfontein. The purpose was to introduce new products offerings. It worked magically…

On board Premier Classe is bedding, amenties, breakfast, lunch and dinner, air-conditioned sleeper compartments with single-berth coupes, two-berth coupes, family compartments and communal lavatories and showers. Aha!

Now that’s ambience…

For those adorned with swagger car transport for sedan and 4×4’s has been made available, however, be warned it does not come cheap though!

“Your window to a world in one country will take you to places you’ve never been before – from rugged snow capped mountains to wide open plains to the crashing waves of the ocean side – and take your imagination to that place where the sun never sets,” that’s how it has been labeled by ardent travelers. 

Onboard Spa was launched as part of increasing numbers but had to be withdrawn owing to marketing strategies which the agency felt were not up to scratch. Whatever, that means!

Our ‘Oscar award winning’ host Lesedi Mapheto, Marketing and Communications Senior in the office of Group CE Lucky Montana, said new innovations and plans will be unveiled soon.

Leonard Potgieter Marketing Manager at Premier Classe once pointed out that:”We’re hard at work strategizing on how best to market this brand to the outside world. Plans are afoot to create the hype around Premier Classe in future.”

“Apart from marketing the brand, our core mandate is to ascertain safety measures of passengers; provide efficient and functional rail transport in the country and encourage the public to use this kind of mode of public transport, amongst others,” he said.

Currently the train commutes from Johannesburg to CT and Durban.  However, PE & Hoedspruit (Mpumalanga) have been discontinued until further notice.

But according to Mapheto, those routes will be opened soon.

On good authority, we can confirm that talks are on-going to possibly feature the internationally renowned Victoria Falls -Zimbabwe on the earmarked marketing plans for Premier Classe by its parent company.   

This, according to an independent tourism analyst, would be beneficial in the long run but costly to the company, after being asked whether this would be economically viable?  

With the AFCON tournament next year in SA, we reckon the train will be in demand or kanjani?

Now, if you feel traversing is part and soul of your heart, look no further than the Premier Classe!

For bookings and rates call: Call: 086 000 8888 or fax: 086 652 6994

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