Hamburg-Süd Withdraws From The US/Australian Passenger Trades; CMA CGM Offers Substitute Service Via Singapore

Another shoe dropped this Friday following the December 1 acquisition of Hamburg-Süd by AP Moller (Maersk Line), with Hamburg-Süd announcing the end of its passenger services between North America and Australasia. These services have been offered since 1971, when Hamburg-Süd division Columbus Line became one of the first container lines to carry passengers.

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The Spirit of Sydney and sister ships will no longer carry passengers

Four ships, the 3,630 TEU Spirit of Auckland, Spirit of Hamburg, Spirit of Singapore and Spirit of Sydney (above), will no longer carry passengers from Philadelphia and Charleston, while the 3,675 TEU Cap Capricorn will cease carrying passengers from Los Angeles and Oakland. Existing bookings on all ships will be honoured but no new bookings will be accepted.

CMA CGM Thames © C Dicker

The 10-passenger CMA CGM Thames and fleetmates will connect with Australia via Singapore

In their stead, CMA CGM’s Columbus JAX service will now offer an indirect service from Los Angeles and Oakland via Singapore, where passengers can transfer to the AAX service to Fremantle, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The voyage from Oakland to Singapore takes 25 days via Hong Kong and Vung Tau, while transit times from Singapore are 9 days to Fremantle, 15 to Sydney, 18 to Melbourne and 21 to Adelaide. A stopover is needed in Singapore between ships.

AAXA map

In the reverse direction, transit times are 20 days from Sydney, 17 from Melbourne, 14 from Adelaide and 9 from Fremantle to Singapore. From Singapore it is then 27 days to Los Angeles via Jakarta, Laem Chebang and Vung Tau.

Columbus Jax route

East Coast connections are also available to Singapore, with services from Halifax, New York, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston, sailing via Port Kelang. Charleston to Singapore takes 32 days. In the opposite direction it is Singapore to Halifax, New York and the same ports via Port Kelang and Colombo. Singapore to Halifax is 25 days and Singapore to New York 28 days.

Fares for all these voyages are in the range of €100-110 per person per person per day in double occupancy and €110-120 per day for single travellers, plus a €45 management fee and €70 booking fee.

For further details on Australian voyages via CMA CGM please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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CMA CGM Now Offers “Sirius” Cargo-Passenger Link Between the Mediterranean And South America

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The 10-passenger CMA CGM Litani now operates between the Mediterranean, Brazilian ports and Argentina

Effective January 2018, CMA CGM will be offering a  new cargo-passenger service on the “Sirius” route between Mediterranean ports and Brazil and Argentina with its 10,600 TEU 10-passenger CMA CGM Litani, built in 2014.

The port rotation for this service is Malta, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Algeciras, Salvador, Itaguai, Santos, Itapoa and Buenos Aires, with return via Rio Grande, Itajai, Itapoa, Santos, Itaguai, Tangier and Algeciras to Malta.

Sirius map

Sample fares for the full 56-day round voyage are €5,715 per person double or €6,275 for sole use of a double cabin. The Owners Cabin bears a supplement of €560 per person.  Genoa to Santos is 19 days at €2,015 per person double or €2,215 for sole use of a double, while Genoa to Buenos Aires is 23 days at €2,415 per person double or €2,645 for sole use of a double. On the opposite direction, Santos to Genoa is 22 days at €2,315 per person double or €2,535 for sole use of a double. The Owners Cabin is €10 per person per day extra.

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The 6-passenger CMA CGM Cayenne is one of three ships carrying passengers to and from north Brazil

CMA CGM also offers service to north Brazil, with regular sailings by the 2,140 TEU CMA CGM Cayenne, CMA CGM Marseille and CMA CGM Saint Laurent, each carrying 6 passengers from London, Rotterdam and Le Havre to St Martin, Port of Spain, Degrad de Cannes and the Brazilian ports of Vila do Conde, Fortaleza and Natal before returning via Algeciras to London.

For further details on any CMA CGM departure please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

MSC Seaside Heads For Miami – Cruise Passenger Growth At Montreal – Hamburg-Süd Ships To Drop Passenger Trade

The Cruise Examiner for 11th December 2017

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Viking Cruises’ Viking Sky at Montreal’s Terminal T3, temporarily adapted for cruise ship use in 2016 and now used for overflow

As MSC Cruises’ new MSC Seaside, first of a new class of cruise ship, heads for her christening by Sophia Loren in Miami next week, we have a look at her on board offering. Montreal meanwhile reports a record cruise season, with 114,517 visitors in 2017. And Maersk Line’s December 1 acquisition of Hamburg-Süd will see the latter’s container ships leave the passenger trades.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                        (See previous columns)

Last Minute Great Lakes Opportunity: Catch Polsteam’s m.v. Drawsko, Amsterdam To Cleveland Or Burns Harbor, Fares From $1,772 pp

DrawskoThe 30,000-ton Polsteam bulk carrier Drawsko will shortly be on her way across the North Sea from Immingham to IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, where she is due to arrive on the first week of November. Her next cargo will be Tata Steel for the Great Lakes ports of Cleveland and Burns Harbor and she has one more cabin left for passengers. Sailing date is expected to be early November.

PZM Polish Steamship Company’s Isa first opened this St Lawrence Seaway passenger service in March 2000. The Seaway season lasts from late March to late December each year. Thirteen ships take part in the Great Lakes service, with one or two sailings a month at the moment. All ships feature double and single cabins, all outside and en suite.

Fares, including port charges, are $1,772 per person to Cleveland or $2,012 to Burns Harbor.  Sole occupancy rates are higher. A full US visa (not an ESTA) is required to undertake this voyage.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at passenger agents The Cruise People Ltd in London om +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

How To Get Away From South Korea By Cargo Ship: For Passengers Wanting To Sail From The Republic of Korea To The USA And Europe

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The APL New York sails from Qingdao to Los Angeles in 18 days

Since 2014, it has no longer been possible for passengers to depart South Korea by cargo ship as the government has banned all cargo passenger embarkations. Disembarkation is still allowed, however.

For those in Korea wanting to travel by cargo ship, this now means having to travel from a port outside Korea. Japan might come first to mind but most passenger-carrying ships at Japanese ports call inbound first but not outbound, making the longer voyage durations impractical. And travelling via Taiwan can sometimes mean visa complications with China.

With passengers being allowed on the APL New York, however, on the Hangzhou Bay Bridge service, the Port of Qingdao now offers an opportunity for travellers from South Korea, who can catch Weidong Ferry’s overnight boat from Incheon, near Seoul, to Qingdao. Ferry bookings can be made directly with Weidong.

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The overnight ferry crossing from Incheon to Qingdao takes seventeen hours

A good summary of this service is provided by The Man in Seat 61:

“Trains link Seoul & Incheon frequently, 39 km, journey time 58 minutes. The ship sails from Incheon’s 2nd International Ferry Terminal at 17:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays arriving Qingdao at 09:00 next day. The one-way fare for a bed in a 4-berth business class cabin is about 88,000 won or 750 RMB.”

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Passengers can travel overnight on the Weidong Ferry from Incheon to join their cargo ship in Qingdao

Qingdao to Los Angeles then takes 18 days and the fare is €1,915 per person in one of the two Owners Cabins or €2,095 for sole use of same. But one must plan in advance as there is only one sailing every six weeks. Service is also available to Oakland, which is four days more and an extra €400 per person double or €440 more single.

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The 10-berth CMA CGM Andromeda is one of eight ships running from Qingdao to ports in the Mediterranean

More frequent connections are available to Europe on CMA CGM’s Mediterranean Club Express, Qingdao to Malta in 30 days (from €3,115 per person double, €3,415 single), Qingdao to Barcelona in 36 days (from €3,715 per person double, €4,075 single) and Qongdao to Genoa in 40 days (from €4,115 per person double, €4,515 single).

APL is part of CMA CGM Group. For details of booking cargo ship voyages on APL and CMA CGM please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Last-Minute Single Cabin To Australia, November 21, Cancellation Rotterdam To Melbourne, Fare £5,295 for 50 days.

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The m.v. Widukind departs Rotterdam November 21 for a 50-day voyage to Melbourne

Due to a cancellation, we have a single cabin available on the m.v. Widukid bound from Europe to Melbourne. The planned itinerary is Rotterdam – Dunkirk – Le Havre – New York – Savannah – Kingston (Jamaica) – Cartagena (Colombia) – Punta Manzanillo (Panama) – Panama Canal – Papeete (Tahiti) – Noumea (New Caledonia) – Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne.

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Rotterdam to Melbourne is 50 days and the fare is €5,674 (£5,295) for a single cabin including full board, port charges, deviation insurance and booking fee. The fare to Sydney is €300 (£280 less).

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

CMA CGM La Traviata: Le Havre, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam And Bremerhaven

Cma-Cgm-La-Traviata-c.CorneliaReports have come back to us from two of our clients who travelled on board the CMA CGM La Traviata recently that may be of interest to intending Transatlantic passengers.

The first is from Heinz K, a German passenger, who told us he wanted “to let you know a little bit about my experience with my travel with CGM CMA from Savannah to Bremerhaven in Germany in June/July 2017.

“I wanted to thank you for all of your effort to go with me through all the booking and set up my freighter voyage. It was a great success. I enjoyed it tremendously and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better company to go with and a better agent to lead me through everything to be able to do this journey on the La Traviata cargo freighter!

“It couldn’t have gone smoother, the ship was great, the crew and all the officers have been just wonderful. The journey crossing the ocean was a fantastic adventure for me, but it couldn’t have been a better crew on board, a better chef like the two French guys cooking for us and a better captain with all his officers. Everybody did the best and made my journey a big success.

For sure I want to get in touch with you again in two years to find me a route and a boat again crossing the ocean and this time going from the US to an Italian port on the Riviera side in the Mediterranean Sea. It was really the best boat and experience I could get on freighter travel!”

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty's tablemates at lunch

Betty and luncheon companions enjoy the fare on board CMA CGM La Traviata

The second report (with photos) comes from Betty Steinhauer, a Canadian passenger who has just arrived in New York from Southampton this week. Betty reports:

“The ship was built in 2006, sails under French flag, and is named La Traviata. It is 334 meters in length, beam is 43 meters, gross tonnage is 91,410 tons , holds 8,440 containers, if it is dangerous cargo, they are told what is inside.

“My cabin is large. It has three windows, piles of cupboards, and a large desk. My room is on a corner with a balcony. ‎I have a steward by the name of Tony. He is of course from the Philippines and his contract is for eight months. This is how he supports his family by sending salary and tips back home. The French crew consists of thirty members led by the Captain as we call him. His crew call him Master.”

CMA CGM La Traviata - half of Betty's stateroom

“My room is really excellent. It’s a large corner room with three windows. two to view Ocean and one to see containers. There are two beds, a sofa, coffee table, chair, large desk, full bathroom, and wrap around balcony!” [The balcony is public but is directly outside the cabin.]

More photos and blog postings can be found on Betty Steinhauer’s own blog here.

The CMA CGM La Traviata accommodates up to ten passengers in three double-bedded cabins at 215 sq ft and two twin-bedded cabins of 258 sq ft (see photos above and below). The vessel sails every five weeks on CMA CGM’s Liberty Bridge service between New York, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah on the US side and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and Le Havre in Europe.

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty at work in her cabin

Betty Steinhauer hard at work on board CMA CGM La Traviata.

Fare for the full 35-day round voyage is €3,965 per person for a double-bedded cabin and €4,315 single, while a twin-bedded cabin runs to €4,315 per person or €4,665 for sole use. Fares include port charges, evacuation insurance and a booking fee.

The Transatlantic voyage from Le Havre to New York takes 9 nights and a double-bedded cabin runs to €1,285 per person or €1,465 single, while a twin-bedded cabin runs to €1,375 per person or €1,645 for sole use.

In the other direction, Charleston to Southampton takes 13 nights and the fare is €1,545 per person for a double-bedded cabin and €1,675 single. A twin-bedded cabin runs to €1,675 per person or €1,805 single.

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