CMA CGM’s French West Indies Line Still Operates Weekly Transatlantic Passenger Sailings All Year Round
24/06/2011 Leave a comment
Everyone knows the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 operates a long-standing Transatlantic passenger service. But few know that there is another Transatlantic service, also descended from one of the big names of the North Atlantic trade, that still continues to trade, week in week out all year long. That line, today known as the French West Indies Line, is operated by the French container line CMA CGM as successors to Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, otherwise known as the French Line, which began serving this route 150 years ago, in 1862.
Until about forty years ago, a full passenger service was maintained by ocean liners such as the 19,828-ton Antilles, shown here, the last to be built for the route, in 1952. Note the electric cranes forward, for handling cargo. Ships built for the service in subsequent years were at first cargo liners and then container ships,but all have continued to carry passengers. The Antilles lasted until 1971, when she grounded off Mustique.
Today, a second generation of four container ships, built for the French West Indies Line, maintains a weekly service, connecting the French ports of Dunkirk, Rouen, Le Havre and Montoir with Fort-de-France in Martinique and Pointe-â-Pitre in Guadeloupe. The full round voyage takes 28 days, although one-way and stopover fares are also available. The four ships in question, the CMA CGM Fort St Georges, Fort St Louis, Fort St Pierre and Fort Ste Marie, are 28,000 tons deadweight carrying capacity, built in 2003, and each accommodates twelve passengers, the maximum that can be carried by a cargo ship without a doctor. Passengers are accommodated in an owners cabin and four twin cabins, each of about 195 sq ft, and two single cabins of about 155 sq ft. Each ship is also equipped with a passenger lounge, a gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool.
Fares for the full 28-day round voyage start at €2,230 (about £2,070) per person double or €2,280 (about £2,115) single, but one-way passages can also be booked from €95 (about £88) per person per day. Payment in US Dollars can also be arranged through London agents The Cruise People Ltd. Complimentary French table wine, Château Paquebot, is included with lunch and dinner, which passengers take with the officers.
For more details of passenger voyages on the French West Indies Line and in CMA CGM container ships in general please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail email@example.com.