Los Angeles And Oakland Gain CMA CGM Columbus Loop Cargo-Passenger Route While Seattle And Vancouver Get A Branch Line

A CMA CGM container ship approaches the Golden Gate Bridge at dawn, en route to sea.

 

Columbus Loop

The previous Columbus Loop service. Seattle and Vancouver will now be replaced by Los Angeles and Oakland

Until recently, the well-known Columbus Loop service ran from the North American East Coast to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope and on to Seattle and Vancouver, with return to New York via Asia and Suez. But all is about to change as the main Columbus Loop service, now called Columbus Jax, relocates its West Coast port turnarounds to Los Angeles and Oakland, California.

ColumbusJax

The new route between Halifax and New York and Los Angeles (using the newly-acquired APL terminal) and Oakland

Through the Columbus Loop it was possible to build a round-the-world  trip between Halifax, New York and other US East Coast ports and the West Coast ports of Seattle and Vancouver via Asia and return to the other coast by train. This will still be possible but Seattle and Vancouver will now be replaced by Los Angeles, where CMA CGM has recently acquired the dedicated APL container terminal at Terminal Island, and Oakland.

Columbus PNW

Seattle and Vancouver will now have a Transpacific branch line with 15-day sailings from Vancouver to Yokohama

In lieu of through service to East Coast ports via Suez, Seattle and Vancouver will now get a separate 42-day service called Columbus PNW, that will connect with Yokohama, Yantian, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai and Pusan before returning to Seattle. Three French-flag ships will serve this route, with the 9-passenger CMA CGM Medea and CMA CGM Rigoletto and the 4-passenger CMA CGM Fidelio carrying passengers with sailings on average every 14 days. One result of this new route is a 15-day service between Vancouver and Yokohama on the route of the old Canadian Pacific White Empresses. The Fidelio is quite suitable for this route as, unusually for a cargo ship, she features two VIP suites at 355 sq ft each.

CMA CGM Medea

The CMA CGM Medea on the Columbus PNW service features three twin cabins, one double cabin and one single cabin

The Columbus Jax route will feature ten passenger-carrying vesels, an increase from eight on Columbus Loop. These ships, which will sail about every 12 days, include the 10-passenger CMA CGM Nabucco* and CMA CGM Otello*, 8-berth CMA CGM Elbe, CMA CGM Rhone and CMA CGM Thames and 7-berth CMA CGM Cendrillon, CMA CGM Dalila*, CMA CGM Figaro*CMA CGM La Scala and CMA CGM Titus. *French-flag ships.

Hong Kong and Singapore feature prominently on this route, with Oakland to Hong Kong taking 16 days, Hong Kong to Halifax 30 days, Singapore to Halifax 25 days and Singapore to New York 28 days via Suez, as examples.

Among them these 13 ships have berths for 101 passengers. Fares vary between €100 and €110 per person per day double (€130 for VIP suites on the Fidelio) and €110 to €130 per day for singles (€150 for VIP suites on the Fidelio). Full US visa (not just an ESTA) is required for non-US and Canadian citizens calling at US ports.

Passengers dine with the officers and wine is provided with lunch and dinner. Each ship is equipped with a swimming pool (CMA CGM Elbe, Rhone and Thames have a sauna instead) and a gym.

For details on any CMA CGM passenger booking please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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Round the World: Crossing The Pacific On A Cargo Ship

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Another container ship, another fantastic sea voyage. There is really no greater way to travel! My first cargo ship trip was three months earlier, from Germany to US, and it made me fall in love with the sea and this slow way to travel. This latest voyage, from US to Australia was equally wonderful, and happily a week longer. Three full weeks of great company, gorgeous views and excellent food – what more could anyone want?

Boarding the ship was quite relaxed. It took me and the friendly taxi driver three tries to find the correct spot where I would get a shuttle to take me to the ship, but after that it was smooth sailing. I got to the ship and hallooed the deck hand in charge of boarding, who helpfully came down and carried my luggage up the gangway to the ship. The third officer came shortly and took me to the ship’s office where we went over paperwork and the like. Then he took me to my cabin, and I was free to settle in. My cabin was all in one room, so it was smaller than the luxurious owner’s cabin on the Jamaica. But I had my own bathroom and a window, and I was at the end of the corridor in a nice quiet corner.

The Cap Capricorn was structured very much like the Jamaica, with several decks for social spaces, crew and passenger cabins and the bridge in one super structure toward the rear of the ship. My cabin was on deck F, which was two decks below the bridge and one above the deck with the laundry. Perfect. My cabin faced aft, which I wasn’t too happy about, but I saw some fabulous sunsets and sunrises (yes, both) from my window, so came to appreciate the view.

We were only three passengers on this trip, and the other two were a couple in their 70s. Like the passengers on the Jamaica, my fellow travelers were also very fond of travel and had in fact spent most of their lives living in fascinating places and traveling all over the world. Great company! The crew was quite mixed this time, mostly Indian, with Polish, Filipino, Romanian and Chinese mixed in. The crew overall didn’t socialize with each other much, so there was no partying like on the Jamaica. But I had great time with the other passengers, we spent much time walking around the deck, having a pre-dinner drink or watching movies after dinner. Oh and the food was fantastic! Due to the many Indians onboard, there was usually a vegetarian Indian option available at meal times, which kept me very happy. Our Romanian cook was also kind enough to cook something special for me when there otherwise wouldn’t have been anything suitable. So I ate really well, which gave me extra zest for burning up the calories up on the deck!

Crossing both the equator and the international date line brought some excitement to our journey. Of course the sea looks much the same on both sides of these imaginary lines, but few people ever cross either at sea. We also successfully outraced a typhoon less than a week into our journey, and actually enjoyed mostly calm seas and sunny skies during the three weeks. Unlike on the Atlantic crossing, I actually saw about a hundred dolphins overall! And lots of flying fish, scattering away from our path. On one of the last days I also had an unconfirmed whale sighting. It was all so quick that I didn’t get a photo, but it was definitely larger than a dolphin, traveling alone rather than in a pod and moved far too slow for a dolphin.

And best of all, in Auckland we loaded a half long container with five horses onboard. The crossing from New Zealand to Australia and back usually includes horses onboard, and the horse wrangler was thus a regular visitor. For us passengers this was new and exciting and much time was spent checking out the horses and asking the handler questions. No, the horses don’t mind the ocean swells. Yes, they sleep standing up. The pee and the poo goes overboard when away from ports. No, the horses do not need to get out of their stalls in the five day trip. Nor do they need constant supervision or company. The horses were really chill about the whole thing and absolutely no trouble at all.

This was the first time I had a port of call, and was happily able to meet some old dear friends for lunch in Auckland. After lunch we had a nice little walk around town, as between docking, formalities and the lunch, there was really only two hours until boarding time. I had spent four weeks touring New Zealand some years earlier, so on this trip I settled for only a short visit in favor of maximizing my time in Australia. I will miss all my new friends from the Cap Capricorn, but I look forward to all new adventures in Down Under!

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For further details of booking a 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.

New Connection To Australia: By CMA CGM Container Ship Europe To Singapore & P&O Cruise Ship Between Singapore And Australia

Image result for cma cgm fidelio

CMA CGM Fidelio is one of eight 10-passenger container ships now running to Singapore.

Notice: Hanjin is no longer in business, but CMA CGM now offers regular passenger service from Barcelona, Valencia and Malta to Singapore.

When direct cargo-passenger space between Europe and Australia becomes scarce, since Singapore has become a base port for P&O Cruises Australia, we can now offer can P&O Australia for connecting services between Singapore and Australian ports. Several sailings scheduled over the next couple of years will be available for connecting cargo ship travellers, as well as overlanders seeking to reach Australia.

Pacific Eden (1)

P&O Australia’s Pacific Eden will perform most of the Singapore-Australia connecting voyages

Express cargo ship voyages are available from Barcelona to Singapore in about 34 days to connect with P&O Australia sailings. 

P&O Cruises Australia Voyages from Singapore to Australia

m.v. PACIFIC EDEN – Singapore (August 15, 2017) to Cairns (September 1, 2017)

Singapore – Fremantle – Bali – Makassar – Komodo – Makassar – Dili – Darwin – Cooktown – Cairns (14 nights).

m.v. PACIFIC PEARL – Singapore (August 16, 2017) to Sydney (September 2, 2017)

Singapore – Fremantle – Bali – Komodo – Dili – Darwin – Cooktown – Cairns – Whitsunday – Brisbane – Sydney (16 nights).

P&O Cruises Australia Voyages from Australia to Singapore

m.v. PACIFIC EDEN – Fremantle (July 18, 2016) to Singapore (July 30, 2016)

Fremantle – Komodo – Makassar – Lombok – Bali – Probilinggo – Jakarta – Singapore (12 nights).

m.v. PACIFIC DAWN – Brisbane (February 4, 2017) to Singapore (February 18, 2017)

Brisbane – Port Douglas – Darwin – Dili – Komodo – Bali – Singapore (12 nights).

m.v. PACIFIC EDEN – Fremantle (June12, 2017) to Singapore (June 24, 2017)

Fremantle – Komodo – Makassar – Lombok – Bali – Probilinggo – Jakarta – Singapore (12 nights).

For further details of of how to book any of the above voyages please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on+44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email us at PassageEnquiry@outlook.com.

Lloyd Triestino Adriatic – Far East Cargo-Passenger Route Is Revived

LT CortesiaIn 1993, Taiwan-based Evergreen Line acquired the company Italia Marittima, which up until fairly recently had been know as Lloyd Triestino, and had been famous for running an attractive fleet of ocean liners from the Adriatic to Australia and New Zealand and the Far East. Later, in 2007, the five different Evergreen ship operating companies began operating as one brand, Evergreen Line. But many of the routes still survive and one event marked this month is the revival of passenger service from Trieste to the Far East, on a 70-day round voyage.

Two 100,000-ton container ships, the LT Cortesia (above) and Ever Chivalry, each carry up to five passengers in an Owners cabin, a Double cabin and a Single cabin. Passengers dine with the officers and are allowed to visit the bridge, and can avail themselves of an indoor swimming pool and sauna as well as a lounge and deck chairs. Both ships are owned by NSB and chartered to Evergreen Line.

Lloyd TriestinoPorts of call in this service include Trieste, Piraeus, the Suez Canal, Jeddah, Colombo, Tanjung Pelepas, Shekou, Kaoshiung, Qingdao, Shanghai (Yangshan), Ningbo, Taipei, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, the Suez Canal, Ashdod, Alexandria, Piraeus, Koper and Trieste.  One-way voyages are possible and passengers bound for India can disembark in Colombo while those bound for Singapore can disembark at Tanjung Pelepas, which is called at in both directions. As well as five Chinese ports, these vessels serve the Taiwanese ports of Kaohsiung outbound and Taipei on the return.

Projected sailing dates from Trieste are as follows:

On/about July 12, 2015
On/about August 2, 2015
On/about September 20, 2015
On/about October 11, 2015

Fares begin at €95 per person per day (€90 per day single) while port charges and deviation insurance are extra.

For further information on cargo ship voyages please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.

Cargo Ship Travel Piece Coming Up On BBC World’s The Travel Show

Ind Accord Promenade DeckBBC2 and BBC World’s The Travel Show will be carrying an item on cargo ship travel either this week (ending July 12) or next. It will most likely be next week (ending July 19) as they have just interviewed us today and are doing interviews with one or two of our clients today and tomorrow (photo by client Scott Muc).

BBC   Transmission times for BBC’s The Travel Show

The following times are local to the United Kingdom (BST). Broadcasts are sometimes replaced by other programming at short notice due to the nature of these channels’ reactions to news and current events. Some weeks the 30 minute programme may not be shown due to coverage of live events. In this case, website viewing on the BBC iPlayer is the only way to see it.

UK

Friday: 10:35 BBC Two
Saturday: 05:30 BBC News; Sunday: 01:30, 14:30, 20:30 BBC News

BBC World News

All GMT Saturday: 03:30, 13:30, 18:30 Sunday: 06:30
Monday (N America) 23:30; Wednesday (N America) 01:30; Thursday (N America) 02:30

For further information on cargo ship travel please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk

First CMA CGM Passenger Service From London Gateway Is To Colombia, Chile and Peru – More South America To Follow

CMA CGM Sambhar © Björn-Marco HalmschlagCMA CGM has just announced its first passenger service from the new London Gateway container terminal in the Thames will be the Eurosal 1 service to Cartagena (Colombia), Punta Manzanillo (Panama), Callao (Peru) and Valparaiso (Chile), returning via Callao, Punta Manzanillo and Cartagena. European boarding ports include Rotterdam, Hamburg, London Gateway and Antwerp.

So far, one passenger-carrying ship, the CMA CGM Sambhar (above) has been assigned to this service, although another chartered vessel, the Balthasar Schulte, also carries passengers. CMA CGM Sambhar counts five double cabins in her accommodations so she can take a maximum of ten (10) passengers.

Eurosal 1Sample fares on the new service are €1,650 from London to Cartagena, €2,420 from London to Callao and €2,860 from London to Valparaiso, all per person in double occupacncy. The full round voyages is 56 days and costs €6,160 per person double and €6,720 single. The Single Supplement is about 9.1%.

The six new deep-water berths at London Gateway will add 3.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) to the UK’s port capacity to handle the largest new ships, so expect more sailings from here in future. Routes to Brazil and Argentina will be next.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

 

 

Cruise Examiner Special – Slow Boat To China: Travel By Cargo Ship – Cruise Shipping Miami News To Follow Next Week

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 17th March 2014..

Freighter Map

The subject of travel by cargo ship has received a good deal of coverage in the world press this quarter. In late December, The Financial Times dedicated most of a page to a feature called “A Freight Adventure.” In late January, the Wall Street Journal (above) did the same with a story entitled “Travel the World on Cargo Cruises.” And last month’s issue of The New Yorker carried a six-page essay on a voyage in a Rickmers Line multi-purpose cargo ship. So this week we bring you an update on that market, as published in “Pennant” magazine for May 2014.

Most of us know Slow Boat to China as part of the title of a popular 1948 song, but recent world events have made a revival of this expression quite appropriate. A decade ago, for example, a round trip from Le Havre to half a dozen ports in China and back on CMA CGM’s French Asia Line took 56 days (with 8 ships in a weekly service). Today, due to “slow steaming” in an effort to cut high fuel expenses, the same voyage takes 77 days (11 ships in the same weekly loop). On the same route, a one-way voyage from Southampton to Shanghai that used to take 25 days now takes 45. The situation is similar for Hong Kong.

CMACGMChopinatseaThese longer voyage times are mainly the result of higher fuel costs, as the amount of fuel consumed (and the cost) rises exponentially as speed is increased. It has been estimated, for example, that by reducing speed from 25 knots to 20 knots a container ship carrying 8,000 twenty-foot-equivalent containers from Europe to the Far East can save 2,550 tonnes of fuel, or about $1,785,000 on a single voyage. The other benefit of slow steaming is substantially reduced emissions.

There are now about 300 passenger-carrying cargo ships trading on world routes, ranging from small short-sea vessels to the world’s largest container ships. These vessels are limited to a maximum of twelve passengers each (above which a doctor must be carried) and many have been built in recent years. Passengers dine with the officers, are allowed to visit the bridge and on French and Italian ships table wine is complimentary with lunch and dinner, while other lines sell wine and beer at genuinely duty free prices.

cma-cgm-marco-polo2Although some think that there are fewer cargo ships carrying passengers today than in the past this is not true. There has actually been a renaissance in cargo ship travel. Admittedly, many lines have dropped out of this trade over the past fifteen years, in particular companies such as Bank Line, Blue Star Line, CP Ships, Fyffes, Geest, Hanseatic Shipping, Egon Oldendorff and P&O Nedlloyd. But many of these more traditional lines only operated between one and four ships each, while today the chief players operate fleets of dozens of large new container ships.

CMA CGM, for example, operates 75 passenger-carrying cargo ships. After adding the privatised CGM (the French Line) to his own privately-owned CMA to form CMA CGM in 1996, chairman Jacques Saadé decided that new container ships should be built with passenger accommodation, most often five to seven cabins for 10 to 12 passengers. This was his way of commemorating the heritage of legendary French liners such as the Ile de France, Normandie and France. In fact, CMA CGM’s passenger section got its start in the Public Relations department. The line carried 662 passengers on its container ships in 2012.

While the Transatlantic services of the Cunard Line and the Queen Mary 2 are well known, very few know that CMA CGM still operates its own historic trans-Atlantic service, one that dates back to 1862, year-round every week of the year. This is the French West Indies Line, whose four ships each carry 12 passengers on a 28-day round voyage that begins in Le Havre and takes in Martinique and Guadeloupe.  One-way voyages are also available.

cma-cgm-manetWhile cabins are usually available on the French West Indies Line, CMA CGM’s popular Panama Direct Service from Tilbury to Australia and New Zealand is fully booked eighteen months in advance. A full round voyage take 84 days but one-way bookings can also be made. An interesting route for North Americans is CMA CGM’s Columbus Loop service, which connects New York with Seattle and Vancouver via the Suez Canal and the Far East. New York to Seattle is 60 days while Seattle to New York is 52 days and crossing North America by rail will complete a world circuit.

Hanjin Amsterdam © VesseltrackerGermany’s Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft Buxtehude (NSB) started carrying passengers in a different way. As its newly-built container ships were financed by individual investors, accommodation was set aside for the use of these shareholders. After some time, however, NSB found that the shareholders were not making use of the cabins so it put them on sale to the general public, and now operates about 40 passenger-carrying container ships. One of its more interesting routes is the Hanjin Lines service between Italy, the Far East and California, a full round voyage of 91 days. La Spezia to Long Beach is 42 days and includes calls in Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and two ports in China, while Oakland to Naples is 44 days with calls in Pusan, three ports in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Grande Costa d'AvorioGrimaldi Lines of Naples once operated passenger liners in the trans-Atlantic trades and retired its last cruise ship, the 11,879-ton Ausonia, in 1996. Today it provides passenger accommodation in about 35 cargo ships. All of these carry the maximum of twelve passengers allowed on a cargo ship, but as they are combination container, vehicle and roll on-roll off carriers of a different design, Grimaldi is the only cargo ship operator offering inside cabins. While other lines have maximum age limits of either 75 or 79, Grimaldi will accept passengers up to 85. Its most popular services are from Tilbury to South America (a 51-day round voyage) and from Southampton around the Mediterranean and Scandinavia (a 35-day round voyage).

LubieThe Polish Steamship Company, which operates into the Great Lakes, has a fleet of 11 ships that carry passengers. Carrying steel from Europe and loading grain out of the Great Lakes, these offer the last opportunity to travel on a bulk carrier. As the destinations for the outbound grain cargoes are not known until the last minute, it is almost like an old-fashioned tramp voyage. The cargo could be bound for anywhere in Europe or possibly even North Africa and the destination is not known until just a few days before sailing.

RickmersAntwerpThe Rickmers Line, meanwhile, operates nine multi-purpose heavy lift project ships in a round-the-world service. These ships carry project and general cargo and heavy lifts as well as containers, and tend to spend more time in port than pure container ships. Each is fitted to carry up to seven passengers. Passengers join ship in Singapore and sail to Vietnam, Shanghai, Dalian, Xingang, Qingdao, Masan in South Korea, Kobe and Yokohama, cross the Pacific and transit the Panama Canal. They then call at Houston, New Orleans and Philadelphia before crossing the Atlantic to Antwerp, Hamburg and Genoa. Depending on the cargo, calls can also be made in Indonesia, Thailand or Taiwan. Passengers wishing to sail all the way round the world need to connect by container ship from either Europe or North America and then change ship in Singapore.

As well as long-haul cargo ships, two island supply routes, one each in the Atlantic and Pacific, carry passengers.  Unlike pure cargo ships, these ships carry doctors, which makes them convenient for passengers above the age limits who are still fit. One ship will soon be retiring while the other is due to be replaced by a larger vessel.

St HelenaThe British-flag RMS St Helena trades from Cape Town to the islands of St Helena and Ascension about every three weeks, carrying a maximum of 156 passengers. As well as supplying the islands, she carries workers between St Helena and Ascension. An airport is due to open in St Helena in February 2016, however, after which sea travel will no longer be a necessity. As the St Helena is approaching twenty-five years of age and will be retired when the airport opens, now is the time to make this voyage before it is too late.

Aranui 5The French-flag Aranui 3, on the other hand, carries about 200 passengers and is due to be replaced. Sailing every three weeks from Papeete,Tahiti, to the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands, the Aranui 3 operated at 90% of capacity in 2011, carrying 2,200 passengers. Her replacement, Aranui 5, now being built in China, is due to enter service in June 2015. Aranui 5 will carry 296 passengers, of whom 228 will be cruise passengers. Many of the cabins will have balconies and there will be 62 deluxe cabins on Aranui 5 as compared to just 24 on the Aranui 3.

As only thousands cruise in cargo ships compared to the millions that travel on cruise ships, just a few specialist agencies book them. Typical fares are in the region of €100 (about £87 or $145) per person per day and a further good source of information is The Internet Guide To Freighter Travel at www.seaplus.com

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS                                                                               (See previous columns)