A Revival In The Australian Cargo-Passenger Trade With Four Newly-Assigned Ships From CMA CGM And Two More From NSB
18/04/2016 Leave a comment
As recently as January we wrote that the direct Europe-Australia cargo-passenger trade had closed. Now, only three months later, with the vagaries of the world container ship market, we can report that four 10-passenger container ships are joining the route for CMA CGM, with a one-way passenger capacity of about 150 berths a year.
In January, CMA CGM had just withdrawn the 6-passenger CMA CGM Matisse and CMA CGM Utrillo, its last two remaining passenger-carrying ships on the direct Europe-Australia-New Zealand service via Panama.
At the same time, the 7-passenger MSC Monterey and sister ships were being moved from the Suez route to other services, with the MSC Monterey now serving the Europe to California trade.
Ten years earlier there had been fifteen passenger-carrying container ships running between Europe and Australasia. But now, two basic alternatives remained for cargo ship passengers travelling from Europe, and both involved a change of ship, either in the USA or in Asia. And in recent months, the only direct cargo-passenger service between Europe and Australia has been a single-ship service by the 10-passenger CMA CGM Bellini.
However, there is now very good news for travellers to and from Australia in that the Bellini‘s sister ships CMA CGM Mozart, Puccini and Rossini are now joining the North Europe Med Oceania (NEMO) Line via Suez, resulting in sailings about every 23 days.
Port rotation is London Tilbury, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Le Havre, then Fos sur Mer, Genoa and Damietta, Egypt, in the Mediterranean, through Suez to Réunion and thence Fremantle,
Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The return voyage brings the ships to Singapore and Port Kelang then back to Europe via Chennai, Colombo and Cochin to Damietta, Malta, Salerno and London Tilbury.
As well as embarking in London, passengers may now join in the Mediterranean. Genoa to Sydney for example is 33 days compared to 44 days from London. The fastest trip from Europe to Australia is 25 days Genoa to Fremantle. Fares are set at €110 per passenger per day in double or twin cabins, or €120/130 per day single.
On the return voyage, passengers from Australia are able if they wish to transfer at Port Kelang to the French Asia Line 1, which offers a 22-day transit to Southampton, compared with 31 days to Tilbury on the NEMO Line.
The CMA CGM Rossini left London on April 7 and sails from Genoa tomorrow, CMA CGM Bellini leaves London May 5 and Genoa May 17, CMA CGM Puccini leaves London May 12 and Genoa May 24 and CMA CGM Mozart leaves London May 19 and Genoa May 31. Subsequent sailings for each ship are then every 13 weeks thereafter.
Service is also once more available on the MSC route on the MSC Alessia and MSC Ilona. But these 5-passenger ships, which are managed by Bremen-based NSB on behalf of German owners, are still subject to last-minute transfers to other MSC routes. Nevertheless, the Australia to UK return can be booked as a through voyage.
The MSC Australia Express starts at the new London Gateway terminal on the Thames, proceeding via Antwerp and Le Havre to Fos sur Mer, La Spezia, Naples and Gioia Tauro in the Med, and via Suez to Mauritius and Réunion before proceeding to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle.
While northbound passages from Australia to Europe can be booked on the NSB ships via Singapore, Colombo, King Abdullah and through Suez to Valencia and London Gateway, the full 91–day trip can also be booked as a full round voyage.
For further information on booking your sea passage between Europe and Australia please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.