7- and 8-Night Summer Getaways From Antwerp To Finland By Modern Netherlands-Flag Cargo Ship, From £750 (£850 Single)

Kraftca courtesy Lübecker HafenforumThis summer, why not spend seven or eight days away (voyage times can vary slightly) on a modern (2006/08-built) 8-passenger cargo ship from Antwerp. Transfennica, a division of Dutch-based shipowner Spliethoff, operates these ships (and others) to and from Finland as its “Highway of the Sea.”

Fares including port charges and fees are €983 (about £750) per person in a double cabin or €1,119 (about £850) for a single traveller. In the seagoing tradition, (and something not found any longer on ocean-going ships), cabins on these vessels have bunk beds with privacy curtains, and each is equipped with table, sofa, chair and refrigerator. And unlike long-distance ocean-going ships, there are no age limits on these short-sea traders.

Three modern roll on-roll off ships, the 17,600 deadweight ton Amsterdam-registered Kraftca, Pulpca and Trica, offer departures from Antwerp every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Antwerp can be easily reached by Eurostar from London St Pancras and from many other stations in Europe. The ships cross the Baltic at speeds of up to 22 knots, and in addition to a passenger lounge are equipped with a gym and sauna, as well as fin stablizers.

The ships make calls at three ports in Finland – Hamina, Hanko and Rauma, where they load and unload cargoes of paper, containers and other merchandise – and often transit the Kiel Canal at either end of the voyage.

For further details please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.

Paula Travels UK To New Zealand Via Panama While Sister Caroline Joins Her From New York To Colombia In The CMA CGM Utrillo

A letter received from client Paula P after her voyage from Tilbury to Tauranga in the CMA CGM Utrillo:
CC Utrillo in Panama Canal
You recently arranged the last-minute journey for me on CMA CGM Utrillo from Tilbury to Tauranga (departing 14th May 2014). Caroline, my sister, joined me from New York to Cartagena. I wanted to give you some feedback now that I have arrived safely in New Zealand and am starting to recover from my epic voyage.
Firstly, I had no idea what to expect and had little time to research what life would be like on a freighter. I was filled with trepidation as I said goodbye to family and set off for a 7 week odyssey.
Every aspect of my journey was outstanding. The captain ensured that any requests for special meals etc. were met and the food was excellent. We had BBQ and spit-roast nights too which meant we could chat with the crew and enjoy the karaoke and dancing. The cabin and communal areas were nice and clean and well air-conditioned and the pool was filled and re-filled daily while we were in the Pacific.
I was given access to all the usual areas: bridge, engine room, deck and mess rooms. The crew were always delighted to show me around and answer questions. They were polite and respectful and put safety first with any requests to visit their areas. In fact, the only time that they were not smiling was during fire and evacuation drills which were taken very seriously.
I enjoyed watching the pilots in port and Panama and the experience of loading and unloading never became boring. Together, with the other two passengers, we watched many sunsets and early departures and arrivals. The weather was great and the oceans calm and there was only one really rough day when most of the crew felt seasick too.
cc Utrillo wake
I have the most wonderful memories and spectacular photos. I have had forced relaxation with little communication with the outside world and I feel like a new person. Thank you for all your help in arranging this experience. I really look forward to my next trip and hope to be in contact again soon.
Australia and New Zealand constitute our most popular route but for further details on passenger voyages on any of 300 cargo ships please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.
Photos courtesy Paul P.

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 cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

CMA CGM Opens Passenger Bookings On The World’s Largest Container Ship – m.v. CMA CGM Marco Polo

cma-cgm-marco-poloFrance’s CMA CGM has this week announced that passenger cabins can now be booked on board its massive container ship CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEUs). These unique cruises offer travellers the opportunity to live a unique experience, discovering oceans, seas and continents in the pursuance of foreign trade, and getting involved in life on board, sharing in the crew’s everyday life at sea. The CMA CGM Marco Polo has five modern double cabins of 200 sq ft each, a lounge with televison equipment,  library, fitness room and even a swimming pool. Sister ships CMA CGM Jacques Cartier and CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt are under construction.

Here is a quick comparison with Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas:

CMA CGM Marco Polo – 1,278 x 177 feet (10 lower berths)
Oasis of the Seas – 1,181 x 154 feet (5,400 lower berths)

CMA CGM Marco Polo is deployed on the world’s busiest trade route, linking Europe and Asia, and allows travellers to discover the world’s largest ports on the following rotation: Southampton, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Malta, Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Port Kelang, Tanger and Southampton.

Sample fares are €8,470 per person for the full 77-day round voyage (€10,010 for sole use of a cabin); Southampton to Hong Kong, 49 days at €5,39 per person (€6,370 sole use); Le Havre to Hong Kong, 41 days at €4,570 per person (€5,330 sole use); Hong Kong to Southampton, 28 days at €3,080 per person (€3,640 sole use); or Port Kelang to Southampton, 22 days at €2,420 per person (€2,860 sole use), or for a sampler Southampton to Malta, 14 days at €1,540 per person (€1,820 sole use). Slightly lower fares are available on other ships.

Freighter cruises have been offered by the CMA CGM Group since 2000 and it now provides almost 600 passenger berths on seventy of its company-owned ships on Worldwide Routes (click to see detailed breakdown).

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