Grimaldi Lines Announces Rome To Baltimore Passenger Dates

Grimaldi Marocco © John Skelson

Grimaldi Lines’ Grande Marocco class ships carry 12 passengers each betwen Rome and Baltimore

Grimaldi Lines last year announced a new cargo-passenger service between Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Baltimore, which will eventually also serve Halifax and Antwerp.

To begin with, Grimaldi is offering service between Civitavecchia and Baltimore on ships carrying cargo including new automobiles for Fiat-Chrysler. It may be possible later to book accompanyied privately-owned vehicles as well. These ships carry up to twelve passengers each, the maximum allowed on a cargo ship.

One-way North Atlantic fares for 2016 are as follows:

Owners Category EM2: €1,700 (about US $1,905) per person for two
Outside Category DE2: €1,300 (about US $1,455) per person for two
Inside Categories DI2/BI2: €950 (about US $1,065) per person for two

Owners Category EM1: €2,300 (about US $2,575) for sole occupancy
Outside Category DE1: €1,700 (about US $1,905) for sole occupancy
Inside Categories DI1/BI1: €1,200 (about US $1,345) for sole occupancy

The duration of each voyage is about 11 days and there is a sailing about every 11 days. Whilst bookings have only been taken so fare about thirty days in advance, a new schedule has now been released, with departures from Civitavecchia as follows:

Grande Congo – February 21, 2016
Grande Senegal – March 6
Grande Benin – March 17
Grande Guinea – March 28
Grande Marocco – April 8
Grande Sierra Leone – April 19
Grande Congo – April 30
Grande Senegal – May 11
Grande Benin – May 22
Grande Guinea – June 2

The Grande Marocco class ships feature an Owners cabin and five Inside cabins.

For further details on booking a voyage on Grimaldi Lines or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.

Direct Europe-Australia Cargo-Passenger Trades Close – The End Of Direct Cargo-Passenger Service Between Europe and Hong Kong – Grimaldi Lines’ New Transatlantic Cargo-Passenger Service

The Cruise Examiner for 11th January 2016

Grande Napoli © Ingo Seidlitz

Grande Napoli is one of 7 ships in Grimaldi Lines’ North Atlantic service between Rome and Baltimore

Since our last cargo-passenger update on March 17, 2014, there have been many changes to these trades. A scheduling and slot sharing agreement called Ocean Three, which includes CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and the United Arab Shipping Company, has seen many ships and routes change. Most significantly affecting passengers, the trades between Europe and Australia have lost all direct cargo-passenger connections save one lone ship that is full. Partly because of this agreement and partly because of increasing ship sizes, Hong Kong is no longer served direct from Europe either, meaning passengers must now embark or go ashore in nearby Yantian or Chiwan. Meanwhile, on the positive side, Grimaldi Lines has returned to the North Atlantic passenger trade for the first time in half a century with a new seven-ship cargo-passenger service between Rome’s port of Civitavecchia and Baltimore.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                              (See previous columns)

As Direct Australian Cargo-Passenger Sailings Disappear The Cruise People Ltd Recommend CMV’s Direct Australia Liner Sailings

The direct Australian cargo-passenger services operated from Europe by CMA CGM through Panama and NSB through Suez were closed earlier this year and no direct European sailings are available through either route any longer, except for one single ship via Panama that is fully booked. Until direct cargo-passenger service returns we can recommend the sailings offered to and from Europe by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV).

Alternatively, Hamburg-Süd still maintains direct cargo-passenger service to Australia and New Zealand from Philadelphia, Charleston, Long Beach and Oakland, while CMA CGM offers a fast 22-day connection from Port Kelang back to Southampton.

CMV’s 590-berth 20,606-ton Astor (above) operates in the Australian summer (our winter) market. The ship will perform a southbound voyage from Tilbury to Sydney via Panama in October 2016 and a northbound voyage from Fremantle to Tilbury in March 2017.

Magellan © M WitteIn addition, in early 2017, CMV’s latest ship, the 1,250-berth 46,058-ton Magellan (above), will offer her first round-the-world cruise from Tilbury via Australia that will offer one-way legs to and from Sydney. Here are the dates that one can now choose from:

m.v. ASTOR – Fremantle (March 16, 2016) to Tilbury (April 23, 2016) via Cape Town (38 days, waitlist only)

Fremantle – Mauritius – Réunion – Durban – Mossel Bay – Cape Town – Walvis Bay –  St Helena – Ascension – Casablanca – Lisbon – Tilbury.  From £2,969 per person outside and £2,449 per person inside. Note that this sailing is now on waitlist only.

m.v. ASTOR – Tilbury (October 16, 2016) to Sydney (December 9, 2016) and Fremantle (December 16, 2016) via Panama (46 and 54 days)

Tilbury –  Madeira – Antigua – St Lucia – Barbados – Transit Panama Canal – Balboa – Acapulco – Nuku Hiva –  Papeeté – Moorea – Auckland – Sydney – Adelaide – Kangaroo Island – Fremantle. From £3,285 per person outside and £2,690 per person inside to Sydney. From £3,855 per person outside and £3,155 per person inside to Fremantle.

m.v. MAGELLAN – Tilbury (January 5, 2017) to Sydney (December 2, 2015) via Panama (49 days)

Tilbury –  Amsterdam – Ponta Delgada – Barbados – Curacao – Aruba –  Cristobal – Transit Panama Canal – Balboa – Acapulco – Nuku Hiva –  Papeeté – Bora Bora – Rarotonga – Auckland – Wellington – Sydney . From £4,699 per person outside and £3,399 per person inside.

m.v. MAGELLAN – Sydney (February 23, 2017) to Tilbury (May 5, 2017) via Suez (71 days)

Sydney – Hamilton Island – Townsville – Cairns – Darwin – Ko,odo – Bali – Semarang – Jakarta – Brunei – Kota Kinabaalu –  – Manila – Hong Kong – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore – Port Kelang – Phuket – Chennai – Colombo – Male – Salalah – Safaga – Aqaba – Ashdodo – Piraeus – Malta – Gibraltar –  Lisbon – Tilbury.  From £6,829 per person outside and £4,899 per person inside.

m.v. ASTOR – Fremantle (March 15, 2017) to Tilbury (April 5, 2017) via Cape Town (39 days)

Fremantle – Mauritius – Réunion – Durban – Mossel Bay – Cape Town – Walvis Bay –  St Helena – Ascension – Las Palmas – Casablanca – Lisbon – Tilbury.  From £2,785 per person outside and £2,280 per person inside.

For further details on these direct Australia sailings please contact  Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@outlook.com.

Once-Only Voyage From Europe To South America By The MSC Flaminia As She Repositions To The US East Coast-South America Run

MSC FlaminiaThe passenger-carrying container ship MSC Flaminia will change service, leaving Northern Europe for the East Coast of South America in late January for a single voyage before phasing into the US East Coast – South America East Coast route with sister ship MSC Geneva.  The MSC Flamnia features an Owners, a Double and a Single cabin while MSC Geneva is equipped with an Owners cabin and two Double cabins, all outside and all en suite.

We can therefore now offer the following one-time-only voyage on MSC Flaminia:

Hamburg January 22/23  – Bremerhaven January 24/25 – Le Havre January 26/27 – Lisbon January 30 – Sines January 31, for

Rio de Janeiro February 10/11 – Santos February 12/13 – Paranagua February 14 – Navegantes February 15/16 – Buenos Aires February 19 – Montevideo February 21

Thence in the Brazil-US East Coast service she will sail from Rio Grande February 22/23 – Navegantes February 24/25 – Santos February 27/28 – Salvador March 2 – Suape March 3/4 for Caucedo March 11 – Freeport (Bahamas) March 13 – Norfolk March 17/18 etc in the US East Coast – South America East Coast service.

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

 

Seasons Greetings From Passengers On The 84-day Maiden Voyage Of The 18,000 TEU French-Flag Container Ship CMA CGM Bougainville

CMA CGM BougauinvilleChristmas and New Year greetings from British passengers Pat and John Pridmore, who joined CMA CGM Bougainville (above) in Southampton, the day after her christening in Le Havre as the largest container ship under French flag, for her first round voyage from Europe to the Far East.

anchor

The view from our window is restricted. It is of a steel container,almost near enough for us to reach out and touch. It tells us that it is “super-heavy” and capable of holding “32,500 kilos gross.” You would not want this thing falling on your foot. There are some eighteen thousand such containers on our vessel, stacked in tiers twenty high, eleven below decks and nine above, ranged in ranks from bow to stern.

We are passengers – the only passengers – on the three-month maiden voyage of the CMA CGM Bougainville, one of the world’s largest container vessels. We live in “the castle”, a tall thin tower amidships, surmounted by the bridge, where everyone from captain to galley-hand is housed. (We must hide somewhere else if we are attacked by pirates, but we mustn’t tell you where that is). Our Leviathan is a colossus. One perambulation of the deck is a half-a-mile walk. Most days we complete several circuits. Most days too we  spend time on the bridge. It is a huge privilege to be allowed to visit the bridge whenever we like and to see for ourselves how this enormous ship is guided on its way – even if there is much we do not understand about what we’re seeing.

CMA CGM Bougainville Hollande et Saadé

CMA CGM chairman Jacques Saadé, 3rd from left, with French president Francois Hollande, who christened the CMA CGM Bougainville at Le Havre on October 6, 2015

Our voyage from Southampton has taken us to European ports, through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, to ports in China, South Korea, and Malaya. Now we are on the long haul home. This is no cruise. We are spared round-the-clock forced-feeding, tacky stage-shows, and – we hope this doesn’t sound too unsociable – two or three thousand other passengers. To be sure, we are travelling in comfort. We are well-fed – after all, our vessel is French. Our simple cabin is sufficiently furnished. We have the use of facilities provided for the officers and crew. There is a slightly larger version of the tank you find at your fishmonger for the accommodation of live lobsters. In this we can splash around when the surrounding sea which feeds it is warm enough. There is a running machine and a ping-pong table. We are both pretty useless at ping-pong but that at least means we are evenly matched.

We have no Christmas lights to enjoy in our cabin. But we have the highlights of our voyage to savour. Among them have been the warm golden stones of Malta, the unfolding theatre along the banks of the Suez Canal, a day in the Arab Emirate of Khor al Fakkan (for us a window into an unknown world) – and, more disturbing, the menacing shape of submarines off the South Korean coast.

We have taken every opportunity to go ashore in China. Here memories compete to be mentioned. We will return in our mind to the four-storey pharmacy that gave us a glimpse of the range and riches of Chinese medicine. We will remember local restaurants, rich local food and local – and invariably friendly – people. We will remember what we learned from simply watching. For example, we sat by a children’s playground in a public park and noticed how the children, mostly pre-schoolers, played together – or rather how they didn’t play together, for of course each of these children was an only child, an offspring of the state’s “one child” policy.

Our slow boat to China (and back) has given us plenty of time – so hard to find in everyday life – for reflection. We are learning things we hope we’ll remember when we’re home. We’re learning the folly of being in such a hurry. We’re beginning to see that flying across the globe in half a day doesn’t help you understand the people you meet when you land.

And all those containers we carry raise another question – where to draw the line between what we need and what we want. No one knows what is inside these containers, but it is safe to assume that everything “made in China” – that’s to say about everything that furnishes our lives these days – is sealed within them. The question is what proportion of this vast cargo actually contributes to our well-being.

Above all there is the immense presence of the sea itself – the sea which we experienced in some at least of its many moods. Even as passengers with no responsibility for bringing us all safely to harbour, we are learning a fresh respect for the sea. What is the little parcel of dry land to which we cling other than a tiny and precarious bridgehead thrust into the waters  that always threaten to return and engulf us? Tsunamis and rising sea levels should at least suggest that thoughts are not altogether far-fetched.

We trust that when we step ashore at Southampton we will not forget what this voyage has taught us. Above all, we hope that we will not forget the Filipinos. The Bougainville is commanded by a French captain and most of his officers are French, but the rest of his crew are all from the Philippines. So it is on most of the world’s container vessels. The round-the-clock maintenance work is done by Filipinos. On back-to-back tours of duty, they  are away from home for nine months at a stretch. But they always seem to be smiling. In this troubled world, they would certainly want to join us in wishing you and yours a joyful Christmas and health and happiness in the New Year.

anchorThe CMA CGM Bouganville sails in the weekly French Asia Line 1 service, 84 days round trip from Southampton via Dunkirk, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre, through Malta and Suez to Khor Fakkan, Yantian, Tianjin, Dalian, Pusan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Port Kelang and back via Suez and Algeciras to Southampton. Each ship in this line carries up to ten passengers in five cabins.

For further details on booking passage on this route or any other cargo 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 Monthly California-Europe Cargo-Passenger Service Begins Between Long Beach and Oakland And European Ports

MSC Monterey © Lotse 1967 @ Fleetmon
The NSB container ships MSC Cordoba and MSC Monterey are phasing in to MSC’s “USA West Coast Express” service with immediate effect. The full round voyage is 56 days, and while other ports can also be booked, as examples the voyage from Felixstowe to Long Beach is 26 days while that from Oakland to Felixstowe is 28 days.

The port rotation for this new service is Felixstowe – Bremerhaven – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Le Havre – Sines (Portugal) – Panama Canal – Long Beach – Oakland – Manzanillo (Mexico) – Balboa – Panama Canal – Cristobal – Sines – Felixstowe.

The first departures from Felixstowe have been scheduled as follows:

1)      MSC Cordoba on or about November 28, 2015

2)      MSC Monterey on or about December 12/13, 2015

Each ship can carry six passengers in one Owners Cabin and two Doubles. They are 4,870 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container) capacity vessels and single passengers are carried at a very modest single supplement of €15 per day on top of the normal fare.

A full US visa is required for all non-US and Canadian citizens and embarkation and disembarkation is not allowed in Sines, Portugal, nor in Panamanian ports except for touring.

NSB is offering a 10 % reduction on the initial departures listed above,

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

Grimaldi Lines’ New Cargo-Passenger Service Between Civitavecchia (Rome), Baltimore and Antwerp To Include Halifax

Grande Napoli © Ingo Seidlitz

Grande Napoli entered Grimaldi Lines’ new North Atlantic service in February 2015.

After years of very little happening as far as cargo-passenger service goes in the Port of Halifax, it turns out that the port is turning into a bit of a mecca for container and cargo ship travel. Soon after CMA CGM revealed that its Columbus Loop service would start calling at Halifax, Grimaldi Lines announced a new cargo-passenger service between Civitavecchia (for Rome), Baltimore, Halifax and Antwerp.

To start with, Grimaldi will offer Civitavecchia – Baltimore (sometimes other ports as well: Jacksonville, New York, Newport News and Halifax). An eastbound Baltimore and Halifax to Antwerp service is also available for passengers and it may be possible later to book accompanying vehicles as well. These ships carry up to twelve passengers each, the maximum allowed on a cargo ship.

Grimaldi Outside stateroom

One-way North Alantic fares for 2015-16:

Owners Category EM2: €1,700 (about US $1,905) per person for two
Outside Category DE2: €1,300 (about US $1,455) per person for two
Inside Categories DI2/BI2: €950 (about US $1,065) per person for two

Owners Category EM1: €2,300 (about US $2,575) for sole occupancy
Outside Category DE1: €1,700 (about US $1,905) for sole occupancy
Inside Categories DI1/BI1: €1,200 (about US $1,345) for sole occupancy

The duration of each voyage will be about 11-13 days and there is a sailing about every 13 days. When there are more voyages for Halifax it will be possible for passengers to travel with accompanied vehicles. Bookings are only accommodated about thirty days in advance.

The addition of Grimaldi Lines to the roster means that Halifax now has four different cargo-passenger routes served by fourteen ships:

o  The CMA CGM Columbus Loop (six ships carrying seven passengers each) about every 21 days via Suez to Malaysia, China, Vietnam and South Korea and then on to Vancouver and Seattle.

o  Grimaldi Lines’ Grande Marocco, Grande Guinea, Grande Sierra Leone and Grande Benin (Owners cabin and 5 Inside cabins), and Grande Napoli and Grande Roma (3 Outside cabins, max 4 per cabin) between Italy, Baltmire, Halifax and Belgium.

o  Melfi Line’s Vera D (one double and one single cabin) every 55 days to Cuba, Mexico and Italy.

o  The NSB-managed Zim San Francisco (three double cabins) every 77 days from Halifax to China and South Korea via the Panama Canal.

These recent announcements will be a boon for Halifax in particular as it means there will now be sveral hundred passenger berths available in each direction on board cargo ships calling there each year where previously there had been fewer than 40.

For further details on booking a voyage on Grimaldi Lines or any of the services listed above please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.

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