West Palm Beach To Freeport Daily – P&O: UK’s Largest Ship – Uniworld’s Fifth S.S. Super Ship

The Cruise Examiner for 28th August 2017

Costa Classica

The addition of the Costa neoClassica will bring the West Palm Beach-Freeport, Bahamas, cruise service up to daily next spring

An announcement has now been made that a second ship will be added to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s West Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas, service. This will increase the frequency of getaway 2-night cruise departures to daily, with as many days stopover in the Bahamas as one wants. If all goes to plan, the existing Grand Celebration will be joined by a renamed Costa neoClassica (above) next spring. We take the opportunity to look back at some of earlier cruise services that have operated from Palm Beach. Meanwhile, P&O Cruises’ naming contest for its new 5,200-berth megaship, to enter service in 2020, has closed. And Uniworld have announced that it will convert an existing vessel into its latest S.S. Super Ship.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                            (See previous columns)

A Ten-Ship Weekend At Southampton – Mascot, Pathfinder or Ambassador? – Crystal Cruises Back In Dover

The Cruise Examiner for 21st August 2017

Pacific Princess

The 688-berth Pacific Princess has served as Princess Cruises’ flagship, mascot and its 50% Anniversary ship

This weekend at Southampton was one of the busiest of the season seeing five cruise ship visits on each of Saturday and Sunday, including the -ton Queen Mary 2,for a total of ten ships over the weekend, plus the passenger-carrying container ship CMA CGM Corte Real on Sunday. Elsewhere, we look at fleets that feature one smaller ship in addition to their main fleet of larger cruise ships. Finally, Crystal Cruises has returned to Dover after a two-year absence.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                            (See previous columns)

Why We Can No Longer Offer A Passage To India: Cargo Ship Passengers Are Banned By The Indian Authorities

Gateway of India by Ashwin Kumar of Bangalore

Terrorists seized a small fishing boat in 2008 to be able to land at Mumbai’s Gateway of India

Intending passengers often ask if they can book passage to India. And we have plenty of container ships with passenger accomodation sailing there, from American, European and Australian ports. But unfortunately we can no longer accept passengers in any of them.  The traditional “Passage to India” is no longer possible.

The closest we can offer is sailings to and from Sri Lanka on CMA CGM’s Columbus Jax route that runs: Halifax – New York – Norfolk – Savannah – (Suez Canal) – Port Kelang – Singapore – Jakarta – Laem Chebang – Vung Tau – Los Angeles – Oakland – Hong Kong – Yantian – Vung Tau – Singapore – Port Kelang to Colombo. The return voyage is then directly via Suez to Halifax and US ports. The quickest transits from and to North America are 26 days Oakland – Hong Kong – Yantian – Vung Tau – Singapore – Port Kelang – Colombo and 20 days Colombo to Halifax. But one must fly the section between Sri Lanka and India as there has been no ferry service between Colombo and Tuticorin since the Scotia Prince was withdrawn in 2011..
m.v. Kuber.
As to why sea passages are no longer possible, in an overabundance of caution, Indian authorities reacted to the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai by banning all commercial cargo ship passengers. This was because some of the Mumbai attackers seized a small fishing boat, the m.v. Kuber (right), to make a landing at the Gateway of India. But compare the Kuber to the typical Indian trade container ship below and the difference will be obvious.
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CMA CGM Bellini at sea
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Ask yourself how a 5,700 TEU container ship could possibly get anywhere near the Gateway of India, which was built to commemorate the 1911 arrival of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, as it was then known, on board the P&O passenger liner Medina. Opened in 1924, the structure later provided ceremonial welcomes to Viceroys of India and Governors of Mumbai.
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Since this spring, Australian trade ships returning to Europe can only carry passengers as far as Singapore, where passengers must change ships because the ships then call at two ports in  India, Chennai and Cochin, on the way back to Europe. Passengers can no longer sail straight back. In this case, it actually works out as the Asia trade ships are much faster getting to Europe than the Australia trade ships. Passengers just have to be content with a few days in Singapore or Port Kelang between ships.
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Passages to and from India are still possible when booked on seasonal cruise ships, however, although frequency of service is a problem and one must sail when they sail. Ask for details.
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For details of booking a cargo ship voyage with CMA CGM or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail
PassageEnquiry@aol.com.
 

The Legacy Lines 50 Years Ago – Older Costa Ships Cascading – Ocean Adventurer Has A Remake

The Cruise Examiner for 14th August 2017

Franca C was converted into a diesel-powered cruise ship in 1959

The m.v. Franca C, converted in 1959 into Costa Line’s first dedicated cruise ship, cruised from Port Everglades

Continuing on the theme of fifty years ago that we started a couple of weeks ago with Cunard, this week we look at the legacy lines that survive today. The names of these lines, Cunard, Holland America, Costa and P&O, are all historic, and as it happens they are all owned by Carnival Corp & plc. The only lines outside these direct links are Celebrity Cruises, formed by Chandris Cruises, which is now owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Lauro Lines, which became the foundation of today’s MSC Cruises. Elsewhere, we look at recent fleet announcements from Costa Cruises. And another veteran expedition ship, Ocean Adventurer, gets a remake in Norway and Denmark.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                      (See previous columns)

Two Asia – South America Cargo-Passenger Routes Reinstated After Recent Ship Changes At CMA CGM

CMA CGM Carl Antoine in Santos courtesy Santos Shiplovers

The newly-delivered 6-passenger CMA CGM Carl Antoine trades between Asia and East Coast South America

With all the ship and route changes occurring at CMA CGM this year two South America-Asia routes that had not recently been available have now been revived.

One route (ACSA2) connects Chinese ports, Hong Kong and Taiwan with Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile while the other route (SEAS) connects Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese ports with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

The ACSA1 service is now being offered by four ships, the CMA CGM Hydra and CMA CGM Tigris, and the CMA CGM Estelle and CMA CGM Jean Gabriel, while the more recently-delivered CMA CGM Carl Antoine and CMA CGM Rodolphe have been placed onto the SEAS service. Each ship can carry up to six passengers in three double cabins.

ACSA1 offers a full round voyage of 77 days and SEAS 84 days, but by crossing the Andes between Argentina and Chile, one can also construct a full round-the-world itinerary via Asia and South America. The actual port rotations follow:

Map of the Asia Central South America 1 (ACSA1)

ACSA1: Hong Kong – Shekou – Ningbo – Shanghai – Pusan – Manzanillo – Lazaro Cardenas – Buenaventura –  San Antonio – Callao – Lazaro Cardenas – Manzanillo – Yokohama – Pusan – Kaohsiung – Hong Kong.

Map of the Asia South America East Coast 1

SEAS: Hong Kong – Singapore – Rio de Janeiro – Santos – Paranagua – Navegantes – Montevideo – Buenos Aires – Rio Grande – Navegantes – Paranagua – Santos – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Ningbo – Yantian – Hong Kong.

Typical transit times on ACSA1 are Hong Kong – Manzanillo in 27 days, Hong Kong – Callao 45 days, Callao – Hing Kong 32 days, and Manzanillo – Yokohama 17 days, and on SEAS Singapore – Santos in 24 days and Santos – Singapore in 25 days.

For details of booking a voyage with CMA CGM or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

“Great Time Aboard CMA CGM Andromeda” – A Cruise People Client Enjoys A 24-day Voyage Between Malta and Malaysia

CMA-CGM-Andromeda

The 10-passenger CMA CGM Andromeda sails between Med ports and Asia in the Mediterranean Club Express service

Passenger DBC has just written to Miri in our office about his 24-day voyage from Malta to Port Kelang, Malaysia. Under the heading “Great time on board CMA CGM Andromeda,” he wrote us as follows:

I want to thank you and your agency for all that you did to arrange my travels aboard the CMA CGM Andromeda.  It was an amazing and unforgettable 24 day experience.  The captain, officers, crew, and other passengers were warm and welcoming.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group. 

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DBC’s passage took him from Malta to Beirut and then through Suez to Jebel Ali, Dubai, and Port Kelang.

The CMA CGM Andromeda and sisters are fitted with two Twin and three Double cabins rated at €110 to €130 per person per day double or €120 to €150 per day for sole occupancy. While Malta to Port Kelang is 24 days, the weekly ANL Asia Australia Express sailings take just 8 days from Port Kelang to Fremantle, allowing a good connection and a frequent service from Europe.

For further details on booking a voyage with CMA CGM or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

One Ocean To Acquire Hanseatic – Other Cruise News: MV Werften Delivers First Ship – TUI Discovery To Be Based At Newcastle

The Cruise Examiner for 7th August 2017

RCGS Resolute profile

One Ocean Expeditions has taken a long-term charter on the 146-berth RCGS Resolute, to enter service in November 2018

Last week, Canadian-based One Ocean Expeditions announced the acquisition of a third ship for its expedition fleet, while indicating that it would probably be doing more business in non-polar regions as well as in the Nova Scotia port of Sydney. Meanwhile, the Baltic shipyard MV Werften has delivered the first vessel under its new ownership by Genting Group of Hong Kong. The 106-berth Crystal Bach, which will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube, will be the second ship in the Crystal River Cruises fleet, following the 154-berth Crystal Mozart on the Danube. Finally, Thomson Cruises has confirmed that it will base its 1,830-berth TUI Discovery at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2018.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                         (See previous columns)

Salerno To Baltimore, Transatlantic In Grimaldi Lines’ Twelve-Passenger Grande Congo

Grande Congo photograph copyright Frank Behrends

The Grande Congo and her sister ships can carry up to 12 passengers each

As well as Fiats, Italian-built Jeep Renegades and containers, each ship in Grimaldi Lines’ Salerno-to-Baltimore service is fitted to carry up to twelve passengers. Rachel Slade crossed the Atlantic with her two stepsons on the Grande Congo in July 2017. Here is what she wrote to us on her return to the US:

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you and Miri for a memorable journey and tremendous service.

We took a Grimaldi ro/con ship from Civitavecchia [vessels now sail from Salerno] to Baltimore in July 2017. I cannot overstate how polite the master (Captain Francesco Rago) and crew were, and how welcome we felt during our 12-day cruise across the Atlantic. The food was delicious, and the espresso on the bridge every evening was unforgettable. The master taught my stepsons how to use a sextant and identify steering stars, and we learned a lot about Italian food and politics. We look forward to traveling with Grimaldi again someday.

But getting underway was a journey unto itself, and the whole ordeal gave me a chance to see how hard The Cruise People work to make sure their customers have a positive experience in the very unpredictable world of commercial shipping.

I first booked a ship through The Cruise People from Lisbon to Jacksonville for June. Within weeks, that entire shipping route was cancelled, forcing Miri to scramble to find me room for three passengers on another ship crossing the Atlantic during the high season. She finally found a Grimaldi ship, scheduled to leave Italy on June 21. We booked our flights from Boston, and waited in anticipation.

One day before we left the States, Kevin contacted us to let us know the ship would be delayed a couple of days, with a June 24 departure. Not a problem–we booked an AirBnB in Civitavecchia.

Then things got worse. When we got to Rome, I contacted the port agent who informed us that the ship had been rerouted to Turkey and wouldn’t leave Italy until July 1.

Kevin spent considerable time working with the shipping company to get the details, and helped us get a deduction on the cost of our passage, which was truly appreciated, considering the fact that we had to spend 10 extra days in Italy. It was a heroic effort, and made me feel that even in this era, some companies truly care about their clients’ experience.

When we finally got on the ship and headed out to sea, we were thrilled and relieved. Suffice it to say that we had terrific weather–sunny, warm–including a few days when the temperamental Atlantic Ocean was as flat as a sheet of glass. We truly appreciated the chance to unplug from the world for a week!

Thank you again for everything.

Grimaldi Lines Owners cabin bed room 1

The bedroom in a Grimaldi Lines Owners Cabin

For others who may be interested there is a sailing from Salerno about every 11 days. The present ships on the route feature an Owners cabin and five Inside cabins and one-way fares from Italy to the USA are as follows:

Owners Category EM2: €1,700 (about US $1,905) per person for two
Outside Category DE2: €1,300 (about US $1,455) per person for two
Inside Categories DI2/BI2: €950 (about US $1,065) per person for two

Owners Category EM1: €2,300 (about US $2,575) for sole occupancy
Outside Category DE1: €1,700 (about US $1,905) for sole occupancy
Inside Categories DI1/BI1: €1,200 (about US $1,345) for sole occupancy

The duration of each voyage is about 11 days to Baltimore or 14 days to Jacksonville. The latest schedules call for departures from Salerno on May 2, 16 and 30, June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, Aug 8 & beyond on 2018.

For further details on booking a voyage with Grimaldi Lines or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Bravo UK Cruise of the Performing Arts May 19, 2018 – Free Stateroom Upgrade Plus £200 per person savings

http://newsletter.cruising.com.au/link.php?M=41433&N=4431&L=113257&F=H
For further information please contact The Cruise People Ltd at 88 York Street London W1H 1QT +44 (0)20 7723 2450, UK Freephone 0800 526 313. Or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com