Three Cargo Ships On A Round-the-World Itinerary Connected By Rail

For a world cruise that’s different, you can try the French Line CMA CGM. Its Columbus Loop service now offers a total of nine partial world cruises in each direction throughout the year, with the 89,787-ton CMA CGM Dalila, built in 2011, and 90.931-ton CMA CGM Figaro and CMA CGM La Scala, built in 2010.

World Cruises - CMA CGMThese three ships run between New York, Norfolk and Savannah on the East Coast and Seattle and Vancouver on the West Coast, sailing by way of the Suez Canal, or sometimes the Cape of Good Hope, and ports in Malaysia, China, South Korea and Japan.

The only thing is that one must travel by train or plane between the two coasts of the United States in order to complete the full round-the-world circuit.

Ports of call on the way out from New York include Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong, Yantian, Shanghai and Pusan, and in the opposite direction back from Seattle, Yokohama, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian and Tanjung Pelepas.

World Cruises - CMA CGM 2013These modern container ships carry seven (7) passengers each in three double cabins and one single. They come equipped with indoor  swimming pools, and meals are taken in the officers’ mess. The fare of €100 per person per day includes full board, port charges, deviation insurance and complimentary French table wine with lunch and dinner. CMA CGM Dalila and CMA CGM Figaro fly the French flag, while CMA CGM La Scala is registered in London.

Part voyages are also possible but the full 112-day round voyage from New York to Seattle and back, or vice versa, costs €11,200 (about $15,495 or £10,075). New York to Seattle is €6,000 (about $8,300 or £5,395) for 60 days and Seattle to New York €5,200 (about $7,195 or £4,675) for 52 days.

The next sailings from New York are by CMA CGM La Scala on August 7, CMA CGM Figaro on September 16 and CMA CGM Dalila on September 30, followed by CMA CGM La Scala again on November 25. Sailings from Seattle are by CMA CGM Dalila on August 8, CMA CGM La Scala on October 3, CMA CGM Figaro on November 14 and CMA CGM Dalila again on November 28. Departues from Vancouver take place three (3) days after Seattle and one-way fares to New York are €300 ($415 or £270) lower per person.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at passenger agents The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

A Long World Cruise From Oceania – Early World Cruises – And A Different Kind of World Cruise, By Container Ship

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 29th July 2013

InsigniaWhile European lines such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have traditionally offered longer world cruises each winter, stretching up to 180 days, most English-speaking lines have stuck to a formula that sees world cruises come in at 105 to 110 days. Oceania Cruises, however, has chosen for its first world cruise in 2015 in the 30,277-ton Insignia, an extended 180-day itinerary. Ironically, the Insignia (shown above) will be coming back from a charter to Hapag-Lloyd, which has been operating her as its Columbus 2, in April 2014. We also take the opportunity of this announcement to look at some earlier world cruises, dating back to 1891 and 1909, and not just to the usually-quoted 1922 of Cunard Line’s Laconia. Finally, we look at an alternative world cruise that is offered year-round – this time by CMA CGM container ship!

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                         (See previous columns)

Compagnie du Ponant and Norwegian Each Order A Ship – Princess Cruises Policy To Undermine Other Cruise Lines

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 22nd July 2013

Le Soleal

Last week came the news that, on the heels of accepting its new Le Soleal, Marseilles- based Compagnie du Ponant had ordered a fourth 264-berth vessel of its Boreal class from Fincantieri, followed by the news that Norwegian Cruise Line had ordered a second 4,200-berth vessel of the “Breakaway Plus” class from Meyer Werft. The fourth Ponant sister will cruise in Alaska by summer and in Australia by winter, while the intended employment for the second Breakaway Plus ship has not yet been announced. Meanwhile, after years of efforts by Carnival and Royal Caribbean to stop rebating by travel agents, Princess Cruises has made the unusual announcement that it will allow agents to give away as much as 10% of the cruise fare in on board credits in order to capture more business from other lines.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                         (See previous columns)

Regent Orders A Fourth Ship – Queen Mary 2 Completes 200th Atlantic Crossing – MSC To Double Its Ex-UK Fleet Next September

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 15th July 2013

quenmaryLast week came news that Regent Seven Seas Cruises had finally ordered its long-anticipated fourth ship. The 738-berth 54,000-ton Seven Seas Explorer will have a passenger space ratio of more than 73 gross tons per passenger. This compares to the new record of 80 tons per passenger on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2, introduced this May. Elsewhere, Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 completed her 200th North Atlantic crossing this weekend, having now carried about 500,000 Transatlantic passengers. Meanwhile, MSC Cruises will double its ex-UK presence in September 2014 with the addition of the MSC Magica to the UK-based MSC Opera, and has announced a new UK boss.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                             (See previous columns)

Regent Announces Fourth Ship With Its Seven Seas Explorer

Announcing Seven Seas Explorer

Today, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced the next chapter in its history. The ine hasse entered into a contract with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard to build the most luxurious cruise ship in the era of modern cruising. The new all-suite, all-balcony ship will be named Seven Seas Explorer with delivery scheduled for Summer 2016.

At 54,000 gross tons and accommodating just 738 guests, Seven Seas Explorer will be the largest vessel in the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet. The ship will boast one of the highest space ratios and staff-to-guest ratios in modern cruise ship design enabling the line to deliver the highly personalised service and extraordinary experience that clients have come to expect from Regent.

This new ship order is part of Regent’s disciplined growth strategy to expand its footprint in the luxury market. Since  purchasing the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand in 2008, its ships have sailed full with industry-leading yields. Expanding the fleet will allow for a greater array of itineraries.

With the Seven Seas Explorer, overall fleet capacity will grow nearly 40%, making Regent Seven Seas the world’s largest luxury cruise line.

Seven Seas Explorer will feature spacious and sophisticated designer suites, ultra-elegant public areas, a wide-range of dining options with six gourmet restaurants, an expansive Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Regent’s signature nine-deck atrium, two-story Explorer Theater and many other amenities all created with the personality, warmth and soul of classic and timeless design.

The moment guests step aboard Seven Seas Explorer, they’ll know they have arrived somewhere special. The use of exotic stones and polished woods, designer furniture, rich fabrics and sophisticated lighting combined with what promises to be a museum-quality eclectic art collection will clearly position Seven Seas Explorer as the new standard in luxury cruising.

The Seven Seas Explorer follows the 28,550-ton Seven Seas Navigator (490 guests), complete by Mariotti in 1999, the 48,015-ton Seven Seas Mariner (708 guests), launched by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in 2001 and the 41,827-ton Seven Seas Voyager (708 guests), completed by Mariott in 2003.

Further details about Seven Seas Explorer will be announced in the coming months so please stay tuned. In the words of its executives:

“We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your tremendous support over the years. As we look toward the future and the evolution of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, we know that our success will flourish as a result of our mutual partnerships and the powerful value proposition of providing the Most Inclusive Luxury Cruise Experience in the world.”

Frank J. Del Rio
Chairman & CEO
Prestige Cruise Holdings
Kunal S. Kamlani
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Graham Sadler
Managing Director UK & Europe, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

River Cruise Orders Dominate 2014 Deliveries – QE2 To Sail For Singapore – Saga’s Price Guarantee Satisfies

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 8th July 2013

Viking Longship

One of Viking Cruises’ 30-strong fleet of Viking Longships, the Viking Skadi, introduced this year

We have a look this week at Cybercruises’ Cruise Ships Orderbook for 2014 to find that of the forty-two cruise ships on order for delivery next year, fully thirty-six are for river and coastal cruising, and fourteen of these are Viking Longships for Viking Cruises. Meanwhile news arrived over the weekend that the Queen Elizabeth 2 is due to leave Dubai in October for conversion to a 400-suite hotel ship for an as yet undetermined major city in Asia. And we revisit fare guarantees as they are now offered in the UK market.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                (See previous columns)
Above: Stavangerfjord 1918 – 1963. Below the new Stavangerfjord (photo courtesy

LNG Powers New Stavangerfjord and Bergensfjord – Le Soléal Delivered to Ponant – Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Almost Ready

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 1st July 2013

le-solealTwo notable new ferries, the 20,000-ton Stavangerfjord and Bergensfjord, are in the process of beng placed into service between Bergen, Stavanger and Hirtshals in Denmark, with a day voyage back to Langesund. They are notable as being the first important passenger ships in the world to depend solely on liquified natural gas (LNG) for fuel. With the imposition of a new 0.1% sulphur limit within the Emission Control Areas of Europe and North America in 2015, cruise ships are sure to follow, as LNG means lower emissions of CO2, Nox and Sox. In Ancona last week, Fincantieri delivered Le Soléal (above), the third in a series of 10,950-ton niche cruise ships to Compagnie du Ponant. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong.preparations go ahead for the opening of the new Kai Tak cruise terminal to serve the Chinese cruise market from this October. Royal Caribbean, Cruises Ltd, which has a 20% interest in Kai Tak, expects to carry 200,000 Chinese on its own ships this year.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                    (See previous columns)
Above: Stavangerfjord 1918 – 1963. Below the new Stavangerfjord (photo courtesy