Australia Or New Zealand: If You Are Planning To Sail There By Cargo Ship In 2020, This Is What You Need To Know

Nordpacific copyright Brian Saunders

The Nordpacific and Nordmaple offer eight sailings a year to Australia, with one cabin each

For “Down Under” sea travellers, things are not what they used to be. Not that many years ago, Contship, NSB, Rickmers and P&O Nedlloyd offered direct passenger space on fifteen ships running between Europe and Australasia, with a choice of sailing via Suez or Panama. The Bank Line also ran four ships to New Zealand and Blue Star Line and Columbus Line offered frequent sailings to and from the USA. And MSC once offered regular service via Durban.

Today, NSB operate but two direct ships, the 5-passenger Buxcliff and MSC Flaminia, sailing from London Gateway and other European ports via Suez to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle. But they do not serve New Zealand. The Nordpacific and Nordmaple do offer occasional sailings via Panama that call in New Zealand, but have only one cabin each.

Other than these ships, which are always fully-booked, one needs to use one’s ingenuity if one wants to sail all the way to Australia these days.

Sailing From Europe: If one wants to sail all the way, and there is no space on the direct ships, The Cruise People can offer a through passage with change of ships en route. But here are some facts you need to know before proceeding:

  • As Singapore is now the last port of call in Asia it  is no longer a quick trip from the UK. The outbund trip is now more than twice as long as the inbound voyage
  • Port Kelang requires passengers arriving by cargo ship to be able to present a valid flight ticket back to their country of origin.

Here are some sample transit times and fares from Europe to Singapore and Port Kelang:

  • Southampton/Singapore 50 days (€6,627 pp double or €7,627 single)
  • Algeciras/Singapore 45 days (€5,977 pp double or €6,877 single)
  • Malta/Singapore 39 days (€5,197 pp double or €5,977 single

If you don’t mind buying refundable flight tickets to allow you to disembark in Port Kelang, it will cut at least two weeks off your sea time and save lots of money.

  • Southampton/Port Kelang 36 days (€4,807 pp double or €5,527 single)
  • Algeciras/Port Kelang 21 days (€2,857 pp double or €3,277 single)
  • Malta/Port Kelang 24 days (€3,247 pp double or €3,727 single)

We have regular Australian sailings from Singapore and Port Kelang to Fremantle (9 days), Sydney (15 days), Melbourne (18 days) and Adelaide (21 days). One just needs to allow enough days between sailings in case there are slippages in the schedules

Returning to Europe. If you are looking to sail just one way then we would highly recommend the northbound voyage as with Singapore now being the last port in Asia, it offers much faster sailings back to Europe. Here are the typical transit times and fares:

  • Fremantle/Singapore 8 days (€1,087 pp double or €1,247 single)
  • Sydney/Singapore 19 days, (€2,407 pp double or €2,787 single) thence
  • Singapore/Algeciras 18 days (€2,467 pp double or €2,827 single)
  • Singapore/Le Havre 21 days (€2,857 pp double or €3,277 single)
  • Singapore/Southampton 21 days (€2,857 pp double or €3,277 single)
CMA CGM Aquila Copyright Jens Grabbe.jpg

The CMA CGM Aquila sails on the Columbus PNW Line from Seattle and Vancouver

Sailing from North America: For other combinations involving a change of ship we list below some routings and transit times via Asia and the Pacific:

  • Oakland/Hong Kong 16 days (Columbus Jax) (€1,887 pp double or €2,207 single)
  • Oakland/Hong Kong 19 days (Pearl River) (€2,217 pp double or €2,597 single)
  • Vancouver/Qingdao 26 days (PNW Line) (€2,987 pp double or €3,507 single)
  • Vancouver/Singapore 39 days (PNW Line) (€4,417 pp double or €5,197 single)
CMA CGM Amber

The CMA CGM Amber connects Hong Kong and Ningbo with Brisbane and New Zealand

With connections to Australia and New Zealand

  • Hong Kong/Brisbane 21 days (Anzex Line) (€2,647 pp double or €3067 single)
  • Ningbo/Auckland 21 days (Anzex Line) (€2,647 pp double or €3,067 single)
  • Ningbo/Brisbane 16 days (Anzex Line) (€2,047 pp double or €2,367 single)
  • Qingdao/Melbourne 18 days (A3N ANL) (€2,287 pp double or €2,647 single)
  • Qingdao/Sydney 21 days (A3N ANL) (€2,647 pp double or €3,067 single)

With return times back from Australia and New Zealand

  • Brisbane/Yokohama 12 days (A3N ANL) (€1,567 pp double or €1,807 single)
  • Singapore/Yokohama 15 days (A3N ANL) (€1,927 pp double or €2,277 single)
  • Sydney/Qingdao 20 days (A3N ANL) (€2,527 pp double or €2,927 single)
  • Tauranga/Hong Kong 14 days (Anzex Line) (€1,807 pp double or €2,087 single)

And return times back to North America

  • Hong Kong/Los Angeles 18 days (Pearl River) (€2,107 pp double or €2,467 single)
  • Singapore/Los Angeles 28 days (Columbus Jax) (€3,207 pp double or €3,767 sole)

Feel free to call or email and ask to see the various fact sheets or ask about schedules to find the possibilities that might suit you.

Miri Lopusna, who handles our freighter bookings, can respond to any specific enquiry. You can reach Miri at CruisePeopleML@aol.com

Amadeus River Cruises: Special Fares And Offers On 7-Night Rhine And Danube Cruises

The Classical Rhine

Basel > Strasbourg > Cochem > Hoorn > Amsterdam or v.v.
Save up to £560 per stateroom + receive €100pp onboard credit

Includes:
★  Return flights & overseas transfers
★  Full-board cruise aboard Amadeus Silver II
★  Complimentary Wi-Fi

★ HIGHLIGHT: Guided Tour of Cologne Cathedral

 7-night fly-cruise from £1,779pp
Based on 31.10.19 sailing

The Romantic Danube

Vilshofen > Vienna > Bratislava > Budapest or v.v.
Save up to £600pp on selected sailings + receive €75pp onboard credit

Includes:
★  Return flights & overseas transfers
★  Tour guide and excursions
★  Full-board cruise including drinks at lunch &
dinner

★ HIGHLIGHT: Dürnstein and Melk Abbey

 7-night fly-cruise from £2,099pp
Based on 22.11.19 sailing

For details and bookings on either of these itineraries please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@outline.com

Why You Will Want To Cruise In The Ultra-Luxury River Cruiser Crystal Debussy

On Tuesday, four cruise agents from the UK, including a representative from Culture Cruises, flew to Amsterdam to inspect the latest Crystal River cruise vessel, Crystal Debussy, and enjoy a leisurely lunch. As you will see from our photos it was a sunny day. Below is the Palm Court, the main lounge of the Crystal Debussy and her three sister ships. The Palm Court, which can accommodate all 106 guests at the same time, is outfitted with skylights on both sides, allowing daylight to brighten the whole room. This lounge also boasts a full-size Steinway grand piano.


    This view shows the Palm Court’s dance floor and the bar at the after end

One way to assess this ship might be to read the email I sent my co-director when asked what it was like: “An excellent product. Full size but only 106 passengers. Best river value about £5,000 per person for 16 days Amsterdam to Budapest on Crystal Mahler. Very well managed kitchen and menus. Had the edamame beans, river trout and Dutch lamb stew. Typical American upmarket customers . The crew are 100% Crystal – no agencies, no franchises, no sub-contracted staff – they had trouble with the last of the ‘hired in’ staff creating the wrong mood.”

  This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cd-pool-and-spa-kevin-griffin-photo-1.jpg               Crystal Debussy has a counter-current swimming pool

Unusual for river craft, the Crystal Debussy and sisters have a swimming pool, as well as spacious spa and gym. The pool is a counter-current swimming pool so you can swim to your heart’s content.

Image result for crystal debussy bistro
The midships Bistro has windows both sides for views of the river and its shores, not to mention the ship traffic. As well as a daytime haunt, the Bistro becomes a Tapas bar for informal dinners, reservations required . 

Finally, the accommodations are all large, on a ship with lots of space. Below are the lounge and bedoom of a Category C Suite. Other rooms have convertable balconies with outward-facing beds from which to enjoy the passing river views.

Thus you can wake each day to enchanting panoramic views aboard this elegant all-suite ship with river cruising’s largest standard accommodations. And enjoy award-winning service, farm-to-table cuisine and enriching discovery bridging ship and shore.

With the highest staff-to-guest ratio among all European river lines, and professionals chosen for thire expertise and friendly demeanour, Crystal’s genuine hospitality sets the stage for a journey beyond compare.

This is a place where luxury is comfortable, and where supreme indulgence creates a sense of well-being. Day breaks with new views, and night falls into a dreamy slumber in your beautiful spacious suite.

Cuisine transcends mere excellence and enters the sublime. Menus of Michelin-level envy are sourced with the freshest ingredients and paired with the finest wines. Every meal is a celebration.

We will post some Crystal River offers on the weekend so keep your eye out.

Or if you want to know more in the meantime call either Kevin or Suzy at Culture Cruises on 020 7660 1450. Or email info@culture-cruises.com

The Launch of Culture Cruises … a new approach


Culture Cruises … more than just a cruise

Culture Cruises Limited is pleased to announce the arrival of a new company dealing exclusively with small ship cruising, river cruises and expedition voyages. The new firm will specialise in special interest cruises.

CULTURE CRUISES LIMITED

A new UK-based niche cruise marketing organisation opened last week when Culture Cruises Limited launched its website in London.

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Culture Cruises logo

The new company has been formed by Kevin Griffin and Suzy Cooper, two enthusiastic culture-loving travel entrepreneurs who aim to provide cruises with special interests: the sort of cruises that they would like to go on themselves. Their cruises will be designed for people who prefer to combine the superb relaxation of sea travel with interesting themes, fascinating lectures and superb shore visits.

This sense of purpose, in splendid combination with the unique R&R that a cruise can provide, makes the whole experience more exciting and rewarding for those who want more than just a cruise.”

The new company was formed as a joint venture in September 2018 and is managed by two directors, Kevin Griffin, and Suzy Cooper, its managing director.

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Among others, Culture Cruises is working with Ponant, who are expanding from five ships to a dozen, all newbuildings. Above is Le Lapérouse of 2018 (Photo credit Philip Plisson, Ponant)

Culture Cruises will offer cruises that are equally enjoyable for individuals, couples and groups, and the company will work with only a few carefully-selected cruise operators who provide elegant ships with extremely high standards, and exhilarating itineraries.

Kevin founded The Cruise People Ltd in London in 1992, when the UK cruise market was just beginning to grow (numbering only 229,000 then compared to more than 2 million now).

He was twice chairman of the Leading Cruise Agents of the UK and now holds a minority interest in a US river cruise project, whose vessel is presently operating under charter.

Suzy was a founder member and director of online travel agency Singular Travel, which she formed in 2004. Suzy has worked as an independent tour guide, tour manager for a wine tour operating company, as cabin crew for BOAC/British Airways and is also an Art Historian.

The Singular Travel website campaigned for and provided better deals for single travellers. Still championing that cause, Suzy has now formed Culture Cruises with Kevin in order to help single travellers pay fair prices and also to enjoy the company of like-minded folk … on special interest cruises.

On the river side, Culture Cruises will be working with Ama Waterways, whose AmaKristina is seen here (AmaKristina at Vilshofen on Danube in Germany)
On the river side, Culture Cruises is working with Ama Waterways, whose AmaKristina is seen here at Vilshofen, on the Danube in Germany

Kevin and Suzy describe themselves as “entrepreneurs with a mission.” Their ultimate goal at Culture Cruises is to differentiate themselves from the rest of the cruise market by introducing cruise tours that focus mainly on cultural themes: Art and Architecture and Food and Wine, as examples.

In order to create a reputation for quality and exclusivity, they have developed a small portfolio of selected partners that operate refined ships that carry only between 100 and 540 guests each. They have agreements with Ponant, Ama Waterways and One Ocean Expeditions and are also now working with Crystal River Cruises and Hurtigruten.

Culture cruises first booking was a Northwest Passage transit with One Ocean Expeditions (The 146-berth RCGS Resolute)
Culture Cruises’ first booking was a Northwest Passage transit with One Ocean Expeditions (left, One Ocean’s 146-berth RCGS Resolute)

Culture Cruises has opened as a niche cruise agent, and although its programme has been kept under wraps until now, it has already made its first booking, a transit of the Northwest Passage with One Ocean Expeditions in August.

Now operating as agents for Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL) holders, by 2020-21, the new company’s owners intend to turn the it into a fully-fledged tour operator, with its own programmes, lecturers, tour guides, etc. The company is already researching and recruiting suitable lecturers and guides.

Culture Cruises’ new website has just opened and can be found at www.culture-cruises.com while a dedicated blog is being developed at www.culture-cruises.blog.  Or feel free to Email us at info@culture-cruises.com.

For more information please call Kevin Griffin on 020 7660 1450 or 07842 576270

A Ponant World Affairs Cruise in the Baltic, m.v. Le Durmont d’Urville – August 5-13, 2020

Critical & Timely Conversations: A World Affairs Cruise in the Baltic  
Sail on an extraordinary journey aboard Ponant’S 5-star Le Dumont d’Urville along the Baltic Sea, with some of today’s most relevant thinkers and policy makers engaging in discussions about world affairs. They’ll visit the historic cities that ring Baltic shores, including two full days in St Petersburg—arguably the most magnificent city on the Baltic, where virtually the entire city is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Le Dumont d’Urville Baltic cruise   Email Culture Cruises for detail mailto:info@culture-cruises.com
Prestigious Guests
Admiral James Stavridis – Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News.

Bill Burns – Former US Ambassador to Moscow, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Robin Wright – Contributing writer, New Yorker magazine, Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Learn more about our esteemed guests here
Please contact Culture Cruises for further details at +44 (0)20 7660 1450

Exclusive Greek Isles Yacht Cruise In The Crystal Esprit – From Athens August 11, 2019, From £5,755 per person

ATHENS ROUNDTRIP

The Crystal Esprit – Greek Isles

A Crystal Esprit Greek Isles cruise departing August 11, 2019, is now available as a charterer has cancelled. Mediterranean sailings this summer are all very busy so this is a great opportunity for you to sail on Crystal’s stunning yacht this summer. The full encyclopaedic itinerary is below.

Image result for "crystal esprit"

The 62-berth Crystal Esprit has all-butler served staterooms

For bookings and further information please call Kevin Griffin at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 24502 or email CruisePeopleLtd@outlook.com. Coming soon, Culture Cruises, news to follow shortly.

Last Minute Passenger Space From Europe To Australia And New Zealand And Back On Reederei Nord’s Nordpacific And Nordserena

Two new ships joining CMA CGM’s Pacific Australia Direct route mean we have two upcoming double cabins available from London Gateway terminal to Australia and New Zealand. The Nordpacific (built 2018) is set to sail on or about March 20 and the Nordserena (2016) on April 28.

Departures from Sydney are scheduled for the Nordserena on or about March 6 and the Nordpacific on May 5. Both ships are owned by Reederei Nord and have a forward-facing Owners cabin and table tennis, a fitness room and outside swimming pool.

The itinerary for this 91-day full round voyage is London – Dunkirk – Le Havre – New York – Savannah –  Cartagena (Colombia) – Panama Canal – Papeete (Tahiti) – Noumea (New Caledonia) – Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne, with return by way of Nelson – Tauranga – Panama Canal – Punta Manzanillo (Panama) – Savannah – Philadelphia – Xebrugge – Rotterdam – London. Point-to-point bookings can also be accepted.

pad-service

The full round voyage fare is €10,010 (£9,099) per person plus port charges, deviation insurance and booking fee of €429 (£390) each. .

Non-US and Canadian citizens will need full US visas for any US calls as cargo ships are not included in the various visa waiver programs (also known as ESTA).

To book a cabin please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Zim Ontario And Zim San Francisco Renamed Ontario II And San Francisco II And Now Trading Australia-Asia

Zim San Francisco.jpg

The 6-passenger NSB sister ships San Francisco II and Ontario II have changed from the Seattle and Vancouver route to Israel via Asia to more local routes connecting Asia with Australia and New Zealand ports.

The two ships new routes each offer a six-week round voyage as follows:

   Singapore / New Zealand Ports & Brisbane

m/v ONTARIO II (1 Owners and 2 Double cabins, swimming pool, maximum 6 passengers), 63,600 tons.  Route: Singapore – Auckland – Lyttelton – Wellington – Napier – Brisbane – Port Kelang – Singapore.

   Australia / Japan / Korea / South China Ports

m/v SAN FRANCISCO II (1 Owners and 2 Double cabins, swimming pool, maximum 6 passengers), 63,600 tons.  Route: Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Yokohama – Osaka – Pusan – Qingdao – Shanghai – Kaohsiung – Melbourne

Fares for a full round voyage of 41/42 days range between €4,605 and €5,455 per peron double and €5,195 and €6,275 single. Port to port fares are also available.

To book these ships, or any other cargo ship voyage, please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email us at PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

French Container Ship CMA CGM La Traviata Offers Last-Minute Passenger Space From Le Havre To New York On January 13, 2019

CMA CGM advises that it has five cabins available on the Liberty Line for its January 13 departure from Le Havre to New York. This was once the route of the Paris, Ile de France, Normandie, Liberté and France, among other well-known ocean liners of the past. The space is available on the 10-passenger CMA CGM La Traviata. The voyage from Le Havre to New York takes eight days and fares are €1,795 per passenger double and €2,115 single, inclusive of all port charges and fees.

CMA CGM La Traviata

The CMA CGM La Traviata carries up to ten passengers in five cabins

Bookings can also be made for the full 35-day round voyage (from any port) and one-way voyages can be booked from and to Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven and to and from Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston in the US. Fares are adjusted for extra days on board.

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty's tablemates at lunch

Non-US and Canadian citizens need a full US B1/B2 visa to enter US ports as cargo ships are not included in the visa waiver program (also known as ESTA).

To book this North Atlantic sailng, or any other cargo ship voyage, please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email us at PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

 

Anzex Is Back For Passengers Travelling To And From New Zealand, With Connections To And From The USA And Europe Via China

Last year, on December 1, Maersk Line purchased Hamburg-Sued and closed down the German line’s passenger services. One of the areas worst affected by this was New Zealand, which lost its passenger service from both coasts of North America. Service to and from Europe had closed earlier when the ships serving that route had changed.

Image result for "cma cgm amber"

Now, with the introduction of the 5-passenger British-registered CMA CGM Amber to the Anzex line, passenger service has been reinstated between New Zealand and China, as well as with Noumea on the outbound voyage and Brisbane on the return. Ports served in New Zealand include Auckland, Port Chalmers, Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga, while in Chinese waters, the CMA CGM Amber calls at Hong Kong, Yantian, Keelung, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou and Kaohsiung. This marks a return of passenger service to the Anzex sline that has been absent for several years.

The voyage from Tauranga to Hong Kong is 14 days and from Shanghai to Auckland 21 days, while Hong Kong to Brisbane is 22 days. Fares are €110 per person per day in a double cabin and €130 per day in a single. There are also fares of  €130 per day double or €150 single for voyages of ten days or fewer. To this must be added a booking fee of €70 per passenger and management fee of €45.

Map of the ANZEX ANL

Connections to and from US and European ports can be made over Hong Kong or Shanghai.

In addition to service to Hong Kong, four 10-berth ships operate between Australia ports and Singapore but do not serve New Zealand.

For further details on booking passage on this route or any other cargo ship voyage please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com

Three New Ships For Silversea – Other Cruise News: Rocky Mountaineer Welcomes Brits – Cruise Connections Via Reykjavik

THE CRUISE EXAMINER AT CYBERCRUISES.COM BY KEVIN GRIFFIN

The Cruise Examiner for 15th October 2018

 Rocky Mountaineer’s Gold Leaf service is the premium option. The food, wine, service and upper level glass domes give the best view one can get of the Canadian Rockies

Last week, with the backing of new majority owners Royal Caribbean Cruises, Silversea Cruises announced orders for three new ships, two of a new “Evolution” class for its worldwide fleet and one ship for local use in the Galapagos Islands. This week we also have two cruise-related stories coming to you from the realms of rail, with Vancouver’s Rocky Mountaineer and airlines, with Icelandair from Reykjavik.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                           (See previous columns)

The Seattle Cruise Boom – Other Cruise News: 170 Years Of Fred. Olsen Ships – Celebrity Apex Christening For Southampton

THE CRUISE EXAMINER AT CYBERCRUISES.COM BY KEVIN GRIFFIN

The Cruise Examiner for 17th September 2018

The Alaska Steamship Company’s s.s. Alaska at Seattle in 1952. The line closed its passenger services in 1954

This year, the Port of Seattle will handle 1,092,345 passengers, compared to 6,615 in 1999, a remarkable turnaround in two decades from no cruise business at all. This week we look at what Seattle does. Elsewhere, Fred. Olsen’s full fleet of four ships assembled in Cadiz last week to celebrate 170 years of passenger service. And it has been announced that the 2,900-berth Celebrity Apex will be christened in April 2020 in her new home port of Southampton.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                           (See previous columns)