The Cruise People Will Offer Australian Liner Voyages Until Container Ships Return

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CMA CGM’s cargo fleet will not be carrying passengers again until 2022

Unlike North Americans and Europeans who have still been able to fly Transatlantic, dozens of Australians have been calling and emailing The Cruise People since they found themselves stranded in Europe after their flights back to Australia were cancelled. And cargo ships had stopped carrying passengers becuse of Covid-19. So here is what we have been able to offer for the next few months.

Normally, one can sail to Australia, either by cruise ship or by passenger-carrying container ship via Mauritius and Reunion. But Princess Cruises’ usual July cruise from Dover to Sydney has been cancelled this year and Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV’s) traditional pre-Christmas cruise from Tilbury to Sydney was cancelled after CMV could not afford to repatriate its crews after Covid-19 brought all cruising to a halt.

After ceasing the carriage of passengers in March 2020, CMA CGM, which operates the container ships, decided not to carry any passengers at all in 2021. The result of this will be no cargo-passenger service on the Europe-Australia route for 21 months!
Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth makes a special voyage from Barcelona to Melbourne in October

However, this year The Cruise People is offering a special 36-day voyage by Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth from Barcelona to Melbourne, leaving Barcelona on October 18.

QUEEN ELIZABETH: Barcelona, Spain (18 Oct); La Valletta, Malta (20 Oct); Chania, Crete (22 Oct); Suez Canal (24 Oct); Aqaba, Jordan (25 Oct); Salalah, Oman (30 Oct); Colombo, Sri Lanka (04 Nov); Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia (08 Nov); Singapore (09 Nov (+1); Bali, Indonesia (13 Nov); Fremantle, Australia (17 Nov); Adelaide, Australia (21 Nov); Melbourne, Australia (23 Nov)

Double occupancy fares for 36 days, £3,049 per person for an inside cabin, £3,099 for an oceanview and £3,449 per person for a balcony. Britannia Club is £5,299 pp, Princess Grill £7,199 and Queen’s Grill £10,499 per person. Sole occupancy fares are £5,336 for an inside cabin, £5,423 for an oceanview cabin and £6,036 for sole use of a balcony.

0therwise, space available to Australia this year is limited to the four world voyages performed by the following ships.


1) MON 3 JAN 2022 – 21 FEB 2022, 49 nights, ship AURORA

2) THU 6 JAN 2022 – 24 FEB 2022, 49 nights, ship BOREALIS

3) MON 10 JAN 2022- 6 MAR 2022, 55 nights,ship QUEEN MARY 2

4) MON 10 JAN 2022 – 1 MAR 2022, 49 nights, ship QUEEN VICTORIA


1) MON 21 FEB 2022 -13 APR 2022, 51 nights,ship AURORA

2) THU 24 FEB 2022-17 APR 2022, 52 nights,ship: BOREALIS

3) TUE 1 MAR 2022- 29 APR 2022, 59 nights,ship QUEEN VICTORIA

4)- SUN 6 MAR 2022 -24 APR 2022, 49 nights,ship QUEEN MARY 2

However, if one can route over Singapore there is a lot more choice:

1) 15 OCT 2021 – 04 NOV 2021, 20 nights , ship: ROYAL PRINCESS 
2) 13 NOV 2021 – 03 DEC 2021, 20 nights ,ship: REGATTA
3) 28 NOV 2021 – 21 DEC 2021, 23 nights ,ship: SEABOURN OVATION
4) 29 NOV 2021 – 17 DEC 2021, 18 nights ,ship: SILVER MUSE
5) 02 DEC 2021 – 20 DEC 2021, 18 nights ,ship: SEVEN SEAS EXPLORER
6) 06 DEC 2021 – 23 DEC 2021, 17 nights ,ship: NORWEGIAN SPIRIT
7) 11 FEB 2022 – 06 MAR 2022, 23 nights ,ship: QUEEN MARY 2
8) 30 OCT 2022 – 15 NOV 2022,16 nights ,ship: QUEEN ELIZABETH
9) 21 NOV 2022 -12 DEC 2022, 21 nights, ship: REGATTA
10) 02 DEC 2022 – 20 DEC 2022, 18 nights, ship: SILVER MUSE
11) 12 DEC 2022 – 29 DEC 2022, 17 nights, ship: SEVEN SEAS EXPLORER
12) 16 FEB 2023 – 12 MAR 2023, 24 nights, ship: QUEEN MARY 2

1) 19 FEB 2022 -09 MAR 2022, 18 nights, ship SILVER MUSE
2) 20 FEB 2022 – 02 MAY 2022, 72 nights, ship SEABOURN SOJOURN
3) 21 FEB 2022 – 16 MAR 2022, 23 nights, ship: AURORA
4) 22 FEB 2022 – 11 MAR 2022, 17 nights, ship: AZAMARA JOURNEY
5) 22 FEB 2022 – 15 MAR 2022, 21 nights, ship; SEVEN SEAS MARINER
6) 23 FEB 2022 – 21 MAR 2022, 26 nights, ship: SEABOURN OVATION
7) 27FEB 2022 – 12 MAR 2022, 13 nights, ship: SERENADE OF THE SEAS
8) 01 MAR 2022 – 26 MAR 2022, 25 nights, ship: QUEEN VICTORIA
9) 06 MAR 2022 -22 MAR 2022, 16 nights, ship: QUEEN MARY 2
10) 09 MAR 2022 -24 MAR 2022,15 nights ,ship: QUEEN ELIZABETH
11) 18 MAR 2022 – 08 APR 2022, 21 nights, ship: MSC POESIA
12) 24 FEB 2023 – 14 MAR 2023,18 nights, ship: SILVER WHISPER
13) 01 MAR 2023 – 23 MAR  2023, 22 nights ,ship: QUEEN VICTORIA

For further details on sailings between Europe and Australia please call The Cruise People Ltd on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or Freephone 0800 526313, or email

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

Disney Orders Seventh Ship – Thomson Spirit To Return In 2018 – All Change In The Europe-Australia Cargo-Passenger Trades

The Cruise Examiner for 17th July 2017

Thomson Spirit

Thomson Spirit, built in 1984 as Nieuw Amsterdam, has proven very popular in her sixteen seasons with Thomson Cruises

This weekend saw the announcement of a seventh ship for Disney Cruise Line, which will serve to expand their potential areas of operation in the world market quite significantly. One of a trio of new 2,500-berth ships to be built by Meyer Werft at Papenburg, all three will be LNG-powered. Elsewhere, Thomson Cruises has announced that it will retain an old favourite, the Thomson Spirit, for one more season in 2018, despite that fact that it is introducing the 1,870-berth TUI Explorer in the same year. And in the Australian cargo-passenger trades, four of the five existing CMA CGM Europe-Australia ships are being transferred to ANL’s Singapore-Australia service. Two German-owned ships will replace the four leaving the Europe-Australia service, meaning a 60% drop in passenger capacity.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                        (See previous columns)

All Change On CMA CGM Europe-Australia Cargo-Passenger Routes

CMA CGM Chopin trades to Australia

The 10-passenger CMA CGM Chopin has now moved with her four sister ships to trade between Singapore and Australia.

In April 2016, we announced six new ships, five from CMA CGM, the 10-passenger CMA CGM Bellini and her sister ships CMA CGM Chopin, Mozart, Puccini and Rossini and one from NSB, the 7-passenger MSC Monterey, for the Europe-Australia route from London Gateway via Suez to Australian ports. The CMA CGM ships were assigned to the North Europe Mediterranean Oceania Express (Nemo) service and the NSB ship to MSC’s Australia Express.

Nemo rotation

Now, fifteen months later, everything is changing again, with the five CMA CGM ships switching to Australian National Line’s weekly Asia Australia Express (AAX) between Singapore, Port Kelang and Australian ports. Three 5-passenger NSB ships have replaced the five that are moving to AAX. The NSB ships to join the Nemo service at London Gateway are the Conti Lyon, which sailed on July 19, the Buxcliff on August 16, and the Conti Paris on September 6. Each offers an Owners cabin, a double cabin and a single cabin.

Conti Paris

NSB’s 5-passenger Conti Paris is replacing CMA CGM Chopin on the Nemo service between Europe and Australia

Sailing dates from London Gateway are as follows:  Conti Lyon July 19 & October 18, 2017, and January 17, 2018; Buxcliff August 16 & November 15, 2017, and February 16, 2018; Conti Paris on September 6 & December 6, 2017, and March 7, 2018. With Conti Paris taking CMA CGM Chopin‘s position in the string, NSB ships have replaced all the CMA CGM ships in the Europe-Australia passenger trade.

London to Sydney on the Nemo service is 44 days. This compares with Le Havre to Port Kelang in 26 days on French Asia Line 1 and Port Kelang to Sydney in 15 days on the AAX service, or 41 days on board plus shore stay at Port Kelang. Port Kelang to Fremantle is six days less than Sydney, so about 35 days on board plus shore stay.

For further details on how to book passange to or from Australia (or New Zealand) please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450, UK Freephone 0800 526 313 or email

New CMA CGM And NSB Services Make Singapore Into A Hub For Australia, Europe and Indian Ocean Cargo-Passenger Services


The 10-passenger CMA CGM Marco Polo is one of a dozen ships sailing from Singapore to Southampton in 21 days flat on French Asia Line 1, cutting transit time from Australia by 11 days

With CMA CGM’s addition of four passenger-carrying container ships to the AAX Singapore-Port Kelang-Fremantle-Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Fremantle-Singapore service and the addition of the Buxhansa to Singapore-Reunion-Tanzania-Maurtius-Singapore service by NSB, more connections are available over the major Southeast Asian port.

This recent move back to Singapore began when Indian immigration prevented CMA CGM from carrying passengers on its northbound Australia-Europe ships that call at Chennai and Cochin, thus chasing five ships from the northbound Australia passenger trade. This is not entirely bad news however as the Nemo Line ships took 32 days from Singapore to London, the substitute French Asia Line 1 runs Singapore to Southampton in 21 days, knocking 11 days and €1,210 per person off the elapsed northbound voyage time. Singapore hotels and meals are extra of course but this can usually be kept to between three and five days.

Sydney to Singapore is 15 nights on the Nemo Line or 20 nights via Fremantle on the AAX Line, while the voyage time between Singapore and Fremantle is 9 days in either direction on the AAX Line. This means that one can sail from Fremantle to Southampton with a total of only 30 days at sea and a few days break at Singapore en route.

The addition of an Indian Ocean departure from Singapore by the Buxhansa every eight weeks means that Réunion, Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius have been added to the list of destinations that can be reached from either Europe or Australia with a change of ship at Singapore.

For further details on any of these sailings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email

Special Cargo-Passenger Sailing By m.v. Widukind From Europe To Australia And New Zealand Via US East Coast And Panama Canal

widukindThe Cruise People is pleased to announce a last-minute sailing by the m.v. Widukind, from Tilbury on May 7, 2017, via Rotterdam, Dunkirk and Le Havre to the US East Coast, the Pacific islands of Tahiti and New Caledonia and on to Australia and New Zealand.

The Widukind offers four single cabins for the 98-day round voyage and also offers one-way voyages between Europe and Australasia.

Tilbury to Sydney is 47 days and the fare is €5,119 (£4,550) per person including full board, port charges, deviation insurance and booking fee. The full round voyage of 98 days comes to  €10,219 (£9,085). And of course there is no single supplement!

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).


Port rotation for this voyage is Tilbury – Rotterdam – Dunkirk – Le Havre – New York – Savannah – Kingston (Jamaica) – Cartagena (Colombia) – Punta Manzanillo (Panama) – Panama Canal – Papeete (Tahiti) – Noumea (New Caledonia) – Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne – Wellington – Tauranga – Napiet – Lyttelton – Punta Manzanillo – Savannah – Philadelphia – Tilbury.

To book a cabin (or two) please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 as soon as possible or email

A Revival In The Australian Cargo-Passenger Trade With Four Newly-Assigned Ships From CMA CGM And Another From NSB

CMA CGM Bellini at sea

The CMA CGM Bellini is one of five CMA CGM container ships now offering 180 berths per year between Europe and Australia

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 five 10-passenger container ships are joining the route for CMA CGM, with a one-way passenger capacity of about 180 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 Chopin, Mozart, Puccini and Rossini are now joining the North Europe Med Oceania (NEMO) Line via Suez, resulting in sailings about every three weeks.

Port rotation is London Gateway, 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 Gateway.

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 Singapore to the French Asia Line 1, which offers a 21-day transit to Southampton, compared with the 32 days it takes to get to Tilbury on the NEMO Line.

MSC FlaminiaService is also once more available on the MSC route on the MSC Flaminia. But this 5-passenger ship, which is managed by Bremen-based NSB on behalf of German owners, is 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 91day 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

One-Time Only Singapore-to-Sydney Sailing, 22nd November 2015 By SuperStar Virgo, Starting at £1,325 Inside, £1,853 Outside Cruise Only

SUPER STAR VIRGOOverland travellers to Australia now have a hard tme finding a link by sea from Singapore. But this year Star Cruises is scheduling a once-only voyage from Singapore to Sydney in November by the SuperStar Virgo, with arrival at Sydney on Wednesday, December 9, well in time for Christmas. The full itinerary for this cruise follows:

Date           Port           Time
22-Nov-15 Singapore Sail at 2000
24-Nov-15 Jakarta 0800-2000
25-Nov-15 Cruising Krakatoa 0400-0600
28-Nov-15 Geraldton, WA 1100-1900
29-Nov-15 Fremantle, WA 0800-1800
30-Nov-15 Albany, WA 1300-2100
03-Dec-15 Adelaide 0800-2200
05-Dec-15 Melbourne arrives 0800
06-Dec-15 Melbourne sails 0500
07-Dec-15 Tasmania 0900-2300
09-Dec-15 Arrives Sydney 0700

Fares (including port charges)

17 Nights Singapore to Sydney
Inside £1,325 per person double, £1,853 single
Outside £1,640 per person double, £2,325 single
Balcony £1,890 per person double, £2,700 single

Option 1: It is also possible to join in Hong Kong on 15th November 2015, sailing by way of Sanya (Hainan) in China and Da Nang and Ho Ch Minh City in Vietnam, with through fares as follows:

24 Nights Hong Kong to Sydney
Inside £1,836 per person double, £2,581 single
Outside £2,276 per person double, £3,241 single
Balcony £2,631 per person double, £3,774 single

CMA CGM Magellan 2Option 2: An unusal sea travel connection is available from Europe, on board the 150,269-ton British-flag container ship CMA CGM Magellan departing Le Havre Thursday 15th October and arriving Port Kelang, Malaysia, 16th November 2015. Dine with the officers, wine included with lunch and dinner, swimming pool and gym, you may also visit the bridge. One stop at Jeddah en route but no shore leave. Time spent ashore betwen Port Kelang and Singapore is at traveller’s expense. The fares for this voyage, including port charges are:

31 Nights Le Havre to Port Kelang
Outside £2,345 per person double, £2,580 single

Note: The Singapore to Sydney voyage will be offered exclusively by Cruiseco in 2016 using Royal Caribbean’s brand-new 168,666-ton Ovation of the Seas, departing Singapore 30th November and arriving Sydney 15th December 2016. This will be part of the vessel’s maiden voyage to Australia. Please ask for further details.


The Cruise People Ltd in London

+44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

One-Time Only Singapore-to-Sydney Sailing November 22, 2015, On Board SuperStar Virgo, Starting at £1,325 per person Cruise Only

SuperStar Virgo sternSeveral container ships that used to carry passengers between Singapore and Australia, as well as New Zealand ports, including the Hebe and the Praha, have recently been transferred elsewhere. The result is that overland travellers must now head for Hong Kong, China or Tawain to catch the CMA CGM Hugo in order to sail to Australia.

Relief is in sight in the fourth quarter of this year, however, as Star Cruises is scheduling a once-only voyage from Singapore to Sydney this November by the SuperStar Virgo (shown above), with arrival at Sydney set for Wednesday, December 9, well in time for Christnas. The full itinerary for this cruise follows (no part voyages are available):

Date             Port              Times
22-Nov-15 Sail from Singapore 2000
24-Nov-15 Jakarta (Tanjung Priok) 0800-2000
25-Nov-15 Cruising Krakatoa 0400-0600
28-Nov-15 Geraldton, WA 1100-1900
29-Nov-30 Fremantle, WA 0800-1800
30-Nov-15 Albany, WA 1300-2100
03-Dec-15 Adelaide 0800-2200
05-Dec-15 Melbourne arrives 0800
06-Dec-15 Melbourne sails 0500
07-Dec-15 Tasmania 0900-2300
09-Dec-15 Arrives Sydney 0700

SuperStar Virgo PromenadeFares (including port charges) 

17 Nights Singapore to Sydney 
Inside         £1,325 per person double, £1,853 single
Outside      £1,640 per person double, £2,325 single
Balcony      £1,890 per person double, £2,700 single


If you’re travelling overland and want to cross the seas to Australia, please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

Summer Down Under By SuperStar Virgo – This November, Hong Kong to Sydney From £2,965 or Singapore to Sydney From £2,785

SuperStar VirgoStar Cruises has announced that its flagship, the SuperStar Virgo (pictured above), will depart from Hong Kong on November 15 and Singapore on November 22 on an epic 48-day voyage through ports in Southeast Asia and Australia to Sydney.

At 75,338 tons and with 1,870 berths, the SuperStar Virgo is similar in size to the former Queen Elizabeth 2, and with sister ship SuperStar Leo (now Norwegian Spirit) was one of the world’s first Freestyle ships with mutliple bars and restaurants.


As part of this voyage and in conjunction with cruise supplier Cruiseco, we are offering two line voyages,one from Hong Kong to Sydney on November 15, and one from Singapore to Sydney on November 22, on the UK market.

Hong Kong to Sydney
November 15, 2015, with flights ex-UK the 13th
Including return flights to the UK and post-cruise accommodation in Sydney
Fares from £2,965 per person twin share

Singapore to Sydney
November 22, 2015, with flights ex-UK the 20th
Including return flights to the UK and pre- & post-cruise accommodation
Fares from £2,785 per person twin share


Bonus Dining packages, beverage packages and on-board credits are available dependant on cruise length. For these two packages guests can choose either dining OR beverage package for all cabin categories. 

SuperStar packages


Please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail If you’re travelling overland and need to span the sea please also call for our passage-only fares.

Sail From London To Australia – But Book Now As Space Is Short (Only Six Single Cabins Left) – Or Take The Sea/Air Route Via Singapore

Astor South PacificOur many customers who travel to Australia by sea have filled every cargo ship voyage up until July 2015, so we must seek alternate routes if people want to travel in 2014. We can still get space on the “Spirit” container ships from Philadelphia and Charleston to Australia and from various ports in Europe to Singapore, where one can get a flight for the last leg to Australia (see suite arrangement below). But if you want to sail all the way, the only chance remaining this year is the 600-passenger ms Astor, departing London’s Tilbury Cruise Terminal on November 5 for Fremantle, a voyage of 38 nights that arrives in time for Christmas.

Hanjin Amsterdam © Helge at Fleetmon

Hanjin Amsterdam, F DeckThe alternative sea/air route: Two suites on NSB’s Hanjin Amsterdam and sister ships (there is also a single cabin), with regular year-round sailings from La Spezia to Singapore at 20 days for €1,990 (about £1,730) per passenger. From Singapore travellers can easily fly on to destinations in Australia or New Zealand.

If you can go in November, there is limited availability in the ms Astor at reduced fares, but single travellers should particularly take note. Only half a dozen single cabins remain, two single inside cabins at £4,379 (reduced from £5,829) and four single outside cabins at £7,439 (reduced from £9,909). Double cabins are still available, ranging from £2,889 (reduced from £3,849) for an inside guaranteed cabin to £8,129 (reduiced from £10,839) for a deluxe suite (the Astor and Senator suites are sold out).

For further details call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise people Ltd in London on 020 7723 23450 or e-mail