New Polsteam Cargo-Passenger Service – Now With Occasional Sailings From Teesport, England, To Ports In The Great Lakes

Wicko by Vedran MilacicThe Polish Steamship Company (Polsteam) is about to introduce a new occasional cargo-passenger service with sailings from the UK port of Teesport, to ports in the Great Lakes. The first sailing will take place in mid April with passenger bookings being taken on a standby basis.

Fares are US $1,640 per passenger in single or double cabins from Teesport to ports between Montreal and Detroit, and $1,880 to ports above Detroit. Port charges are $132 per person extra. The first sailing will be by the Wicko, pictured above by Vedran Mlacic in the Welland Canal bound for Cleveland. On the first sailing in this service, th Wicko will be sailing to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, a new port for Polsteam passengers.

Intending passengers who are not US or Canadian citizens require a full US B1/B2 Visa to enter the United States by cargo ship.  If there are direct sailings to Canadian ports, US visas may not be required. Space may also be available from the Great Lakes once destinations are known.

Regular sailings are also still being offered twice a month from the port of IJmuiden, on the North Sea Canal near Amsterdam, to both Cleveland and Burns Harbor. For details on the regular service from IJmuiden please click here.

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

MACS Introduces New Multi-Purpose Cargo-Passenger Service to the North Atlantic In April – Between the UK, Continent and Gulf of Mexico

Purple Beach © Javier Alonso

Photograph of Purple Beach © Javier Alonso

German-based shipping line MACS is to introduce a new multi-purpose cargo-passenger service between Immingham in the UK, Antwerp and Bremen/Brake in Europe, Altamira in Mexico and New Orleans, Houston and Port Arthur in the United States. The full round voyage is 60 days, Antwerp to Houston is 25 days via Gulf ports and Houston to Immingham is 26 days via other ports.

Two ships, the 31,916-ton Amber Lagoon (built 1997) and 33,722-ton Purple Beach (built 1998) will serve this trade. Equipped with one twin-bedded cabin each, both vessels also feature an outside swimming pool.

Bookings will be accepted for any month of the year and passengers need to be flexible as departure dates can vary. Non-US and Canadian citizens need full US B1/B2 visas as cargo ships are not included in the visa waiver program (an ESTA is therefore not sufficient).

For further details of voyages between Europe and North America and to make bookings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.

CMA CGM’s 8-passenger CMA CGM Puget Joins Hong Kong – China – Taiwan – New Zealand – Hong Kong Cargo-Passenger Service

pict0The Cruise People Ltd are pleased to announce that the 8-passenger CMA CGM Puget (above) is joining the cargo-passenger service between Asia and New Zealand, with sailings between Hong Kong, Chinese ports, Taiwan, South Korea, Fiji and five ports in New Zealand. The return voyage is made via New Caledonia. Chinese visa and Yellow Fever innoculations are required. Fares begin at €100 per person per day (€110 single). The CMA CGM Puget joins Hansa Shipping’s 3-passenger HS Beethoven on this route.

For a time, these ships will be joined by F Laeisz’s 4-passenger Praha on the Singapore-Australia route, with calls at Brisbane, Sydey, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Praha will call at Port Kelang before Singapore.

Meanwhile, the two-passenger Aglaia sails between Hong Kong, Brisbane in Australia and four ports in New Zealand – but book early because there is only one passenger cabin on this ship! Detailed port rotations follow for each route:

CMA CGM Puget (one Owners cabin, three double cabins, 8 passengers) and HS Beethoven (one double Owners cabin, one single cabin, 3 passengers): Hong Kong, Chiwan (day 1), Keelung (day 2), Ningbo (day 4), Shanghai (day 6), Pusan (day 8, disembarkation only), Suva, Auckland (day 25), Port Chalmers, Lyttelton (day 30), Napier (day 32), Tauranga (day 33), Noumea (day 36) and Hong Kong (day 49).

Praha (two double suites, 4 passengers): Singapore, Brisbane (day 10), Sydney (day 13), Melbourne (day 16), Adelaide (day 19), Jakarta, Port Kelang (day 30) and Singapore (day 33). Australian visa required for this voyage.

Aglaia (double suite, 2 passengers): Hong Kong, Brisbane (day 11), Auckland (day 16), Lyttelton (day 19), Napier (day 21), Tauranga (day 22), Tokyo (day 33), Kobe (day 35), Pusan, Shanghai (day 37), Yantian (day 40) and Hong Kong (day 42). Australian visa required for this voyage.

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

“Shipping Network” – Holidays in the hold – The Cruise People’s Kevin Griffin says take a trip on a cargo ship to get under the skin of shipping

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of “Shipping Network,” the official magazine of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

Holidays in the hold    by Kevin Griffin

CMA CGM Andromeda © Walter Rademacher

The UK-registered 2009-built CMA CGM Andromeda carries ten passengers in two twin cabins and three doubles

As many shipping people are aware, there are about 300 passenger-carrying cargo ships on world trade routes, ranging from shortsea vessels to the world’s largest container ships. These vessels, all built in recent years, are limited to a maximum of twelve passengers each, above which they must carry a doctor.

Still, it never fails to surprise us the number of people engaged in shipping who do not realise that cargo ships might carry passengers. Twice, we have had booked passengers to board in Long Beach who were told by the local agent that their ships did not carry passengers!

As container ships displaced cargo liners in the 1970s, much cargo-passenger activity faded away, but over the years the practice has been revived as the concept was introduced to container ships. The first container line to carry passengers was Hamburg-Süd in 1985.

The changed nature of the chartering of container ships today can, however, cause problems for would-be passengers. While once owners operated their own ships, today’s fleets are divided into owned, leased and chartered vessels, and since 2008 many of the latter have been operating on some very short charters.

This particularly affects Germany with its shipowning tax saving plans. When ships change charterers or are withdrawn from one route and moved to another this causes problems for passengers This is something passengers are made aware of when they book of course, but it’s still a disruption.

To take a German example, Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft Buxtehude (NSB) turned to passenger carrying after an unusual start. Managing newly-built container ships owned by many individuals investing in the 1980s and 1990s ‘KG’ tax saving schemes, it set aside accommodation for the owners’ holidays.

But when investors did not make use of the cabins NSB offered them to the public. It now operates about 40 passenger-carrying container ships on routes that are determined by charterers such as CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hanjin, MSC and Zim.

Chairman’s call

CMA CGM owns 75 passenger-carrying cargo ships, 30 of which are registered in London. After adding the privatised CGM to CMA to form CMA CGM in 1996, chairman Jacques Saadé decided that new container ships should have passenger accommodation, usually for eight or 10 passengers. This was his way of commemorating famous French liners such as the Normandie and the France.

CMA CGM’s Panama Direct Service between Europe and Australia and New Zealand is fully booked eighteen months in advance. A round voyage takes 84 days and one-way bookings are also accepted. But while cabins for voyages to Australia are full, trade with China means that there is still plenty of space for those wishing to travel to and from the Far East. CMA CGM carried 874 passengers during 2013.

Grande Costa d'AvorioFor its part, Grimaldi Lines provides passenger accommodation in about 35 cargo ships. As they are of a unique design, they are the only cargo ships offering inside cabins. Other lines have a maximum age limit of 79, but Grimaldi will accept passengers up to 85. Its most popular services run from Tilbury to South America and from Southampton to the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.

Hamburg’s Rickmers Line, meanwhile, operates nine multi-purpose heavy lift ships in round-the-world service. Spending more time in port, they are popular with passengers. Passengers join in Singapore, sail to ports in Southeast Asia and the Far East, transit the Panama Canal and call on the US eastern seaboard before crossing the Atlantic to Antwerp, Hamburg and Genoa. Those wishing to sail all the way round the world can connect to Singapore from Europe or North America by container ship.

Polsteam operates to the Great Lakes and has a fleet of 11 ships that accept passengers. Carrying steel from IJmuiden to the lakes and loading grain out, they offer the last opportunity to travel on a “tramp” bulk carrier.

In light of the popularity of passenger transits on cargo ships, why have some owners such as Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd taken themselves entirely out of the passenger game, while others such as CMA CGM, Grimaldi and Hamburg-Süd have upped their ante with more ships? When Hapag-Lloyd bought out CP Ships in 2005, for example, it took 21 container ships out of the passenger game.

One reason owners like passengers is that in a poor market a few passengers can add a few hundred dollars a day to the time charter return. Another, more altruistic reason, is that their officers and crew feel less isolated and disconnected from the real world, a worthwhile reason indeed. Fares average about €100 per person per day.

Kevin Griffin MICS is managing director of Griffin Maritime Co Ltd and its affiliate The Cruise People Ltd. Further details at www.cruisepeople.co.uk.

NSB’s Hanjin Boston Reinstates Cargo-Passenger Service Between California And The Mediterranean Via The Far East And Suez

Hanjin BostonNSB Freighter Cruises have once again introduced cargo-passenger service on the Hanjin Lines service between Italy, the Far East and California, with a full round voyage of 112 days. La Spezia to Long Beach is 54 days and Piraeus to Long Beach is 42 days, while Oakland to Piraeus is 50 days and Oakland to La Spezia is 53 days. Other routes are also available, e.g. Trans-Pacific or Europe-Far East. This reinstates direct connections between Europe and the US West Coast.

The 92,984-ton Hanjin Boston carries a maximum of ten passengers in two Owners, two Double and two Single cabins, and each ship is equipped with an indoor swimming pool.

Rotation is La Spezia – Genoa (day 2) – Barcelona (day 5) – Valencia (day 7) – Piraeus (day 12) – Suez Canal (day 15) – Singapore (day 30) – Baria Vung Tau (day 32) – Hong Kong (day 36) – Shanghai (day 39) – Pusan (day 42) – Long Beach (day 54) – Oakland (day 59) – Pusan (day 79) – Qingdao (day 82) – Shanghai-Yangshan (day 84) – Ningbo (day 85) – Hong Kong (day 88) – Yantian (day 89) – Nansha (day 90) – Singapore  (day 94) – Suez – Piraeus (day 109) – La Spezia (day 112).
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Fares are €95 per person per day in the Owners (€110 per day for sole use) or €85 to 90 per person per day in the Double cabin (€100-105 per day for sole use) and €85 per day for the Single cabin. Port taxes and deviation insurance are extra at €85 and €160, respectively).
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For details on other routes please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Some Ideas For Those Wanting to Spend Christmas – or the Entire Winter for That Matter – as a Passenger on a Cargo Ship

Hanjin Brussels at SeaSeveral people have recently been asking us for a cargo ship voyage that will get them away for Christmas, or even for the whole of the winter for that matter, but they are not quite sure just where they might like to go. For those in this predicament we are pleased to attach the following link for some of the longer voyages we offer – about 50 to 110 days in duration (click on the link below).

Freighter Cruises Worldwide

With more than 300 passenger-carrying cargo ships in our inventory, the selection is wide, and there is a choice among ships operated by French, German and Italian owners. Some areas are sold out but there is usually an alternative available. And remember, this style of travel is a bargain for singles, with some single fares actually being lower than double fares and single supplements usually being only about 10-15%.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk. Ask about our round-the-world cruises as well.

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