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 is the only one of five sister ships not to transfer to ANL’s AAX service.

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 four of the five CMA CGM ships switching to Australian National Line’s Asia Australia Express (AAX) between Singapore, Port Kelang and Australian ports. The CMA CGM Chopin will remain in the Nemo service while two 5-passenger NSB ships replace the four that are moving to AAX. The NSB ships to join the Nemo service at London Gateway are the Conti Lyon, due this Wednesday, July 19, and the Buxcliff on or about August 16. Each offers an Owners cabin, a double cabin and a single cabin.

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NSB’s 5-passenger Buxcliff joins the Nemo service at London Gateway on August 16.

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; CMA CGM Chopin September 6 & December 6, 2017, and March 7, 2018.

London to Sydney on the Nemo service is 44 days. This copares 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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Container Ship m.v. Widukind’s Charter Extended On The Europe To Australia & New Zealand Cargo-Passenger Route via Panama

Widukind

The 4-passenger container ship Widukind, from a view by Lotse1967 at Fleetmon

The Cruise People is pleased to announce a six-month charter extension on the m.v. Widukind, running from Tilbury 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. Two single cabins remain available for the full round voyage on the August 12 sailing from Tilbury. The next Tilbury departure will then be November 19.

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 (£4,710) per person including full board, port charges, deviation insurance and booking fee. The full round voyage of 98 days comes to  €10,219 (£9,405). 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).

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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 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

CMA CGM Reinstates French West Indies Line Cargo-Passenger Service, Now Between Belgium, France, Martinique and Guadeloupe

This spring we announced that CMA CGM had moved its four 12-passenger “Fort” class cargo ships from the French West Indies Line to the Eastern Caribbean Service. Now, however, the same ships are being moved back to the original service for which they were built.

The first to return is the CMA CGM Fort Ste Marie, leaving Antwerp today, June 6, followed by Dunkirk, Le Havre and Montoir, from where the CMA CGM Fort St Louis (seen above in Montoir) will sail on June 24. The other two ships will move over from the Eastern Caribbean Service in September and October.

CMA CGM operate the French West Indies Line as successors to Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, otherwise known as the French Line, which began serving the route 150 years ago – in 1862.

Until about forty years ago, a full passenger service was maintained by ocean liners such as the 19,828-ton Antilles (right), the last to be built for the route, in 1952. Note the electric cranes forward, for handling cargo. Ships built for the service in subsequent years were at first cargo liners and then container ships, but have continued to carry passengers.

The  second generation of  four container ships (right) was built for the French West Indies Line to maintain a weekly service connecting the French ports of Dunkirk, Le Havre and Montoir with Fort-de-France in Martinique and Pointe-â-Pitre in Guadeloupe. To this has now been added the Belgian port of Antwerp. The full round voyage takes 28 days, but one-way and stopover fares are also available.

The four ships in question, the CMA CGM Fort St Georges, Fort St Louis, Fort St Pierre and Fort Ste Marie, are 28,000 tons deadweight carrying capacity, built in 2003, and accommodate twelve passengers each, the maximum that can be carried by a cargo ship without a doctor. Accommodations include an Owners cabin and four twin cabins, each of about 195 sq ft, plus two single cabins of about 155 sq ft. Each ship also has a passenger lounge, a gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool.

The one-way Transatlantic fare is €1,200 per person double or €1,300 single (€1,300 pp or €1,800 in the Owners cabin) and the full round voyage is €2,300 per person double or €2,400 single (€2,400 pp or €2,700 in the Owners cabin)

French West Indies Line

For more details of passenger voyages in CMA CGM container ships please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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

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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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

NSB’s Buxhansa Opens 56-Day Indian Ocean & East Africa Service, Calling Singapore, Reunion, Madagascar, Mozambique & Mauritius

Buxhansa

NSB’s 34,020-ton Buxhansa accommodates up to five passengers in an Owners, a Double and a Single cabin.

NSB Freighter Cruises advised today that the m.v. Buxhansa has joined a new Southeast Asia – Indian Ocean – East Africa – Southeast Asia service, with the following port rotation:

Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Pointe des Galets, Reunion – Tamatave, Madagascar – Maputo, Mozambique – Beira, Mozambique – Nacala, Mozambique – Port Louis, Mauritius – Singapore. Passengers travelling from Europe may also use this service to change ship at Singapore for Maputo (19 days from Singapore) and Beira (22 days). Port Louis to Singapore on the reverse direction is 14 days.

The full round voyage duration is set at 56 days. The ship is fitted with a swimming pool and fares run from €85-90 per person double occupancy and €90-110 single plus port charges, deviation insurance and booking fee.

The next scheduled departure dates from Singapore are on/about July 17, on/about September 11 and on/about November 06, 2017.

For further details please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0020 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Salerno Exchange Port For Israel For Passengers From The US, Transatlantic By CMA CGM And Transmed by Grimaldi Lines

With an increase in the number of passenger-carrying container ships working CMA CGM’s Amerigo Express Transatlantic service to four, Salerno has become the new exchange port for Israeli-bound passengers from the US.

CMA CGM’s transit time from Miami to Salerno is 17 days and Grimaldi Lines then operates weekly sailings from Salerno to Ashdod that take 9 days. Grimaldi ships return from Ashdod to Salerno in 5 days and CMA CGM then takes 19 days from Salerno to New York, and another 7 to return to Miami via Norfolk and Savannah.

CMA CGM Amber

The UK-flag CMA CGM Amber is one of four ships connecting Miami to Med ports that include Salerno, and returning via New York

The Transatlantic service is operated by the CMA CGM Amber and CMA CGM Coral, carrying five passengers each in an Owners cabin and three Singles, while CMA CGM Florida and CMA CGM Georgia each carry six passengers in two Doubles and one Twin cabin. These ships also offer a connection to Morocco by disembarking at Algeciras and taking the ferry across to Tangiers.

https://photos.smugmug.com/ROROSHIPS/GRANDE-ELLADE/i-7wtkKs6/0/97d8e070/L/Grande%20Ellade%202009.07.05%20Salerno_08x-L.jpg

Grimaldi Line’s Italian-flag Grande Ellade and sister ships supply the link between Salerno (shown here) and Ashdod

The Transmed link is supplied by Grimaldi Lines’ Euro-Med service that also connects with Southampton and ports in Scandinavia and North Europe. Five ships, the Gran Bretagna, Grande Ellade, Grande Europa, Grande Mediterraneo and Grande Scandinavia, carry up to twelve passengers each in an Owners cabin, an Outside cabin and four Inside cabins.

For further details on how to book this service please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or by emailing PassageEnquiry@aol.com.