French Line CMA CGM Revives Its North Atlantic Passenger Service With Two Ships Between the US East Coast and the Mediterranean

Photo of CMA CGM Coral courtesy of ChasB

French liner operator CMA CGM has recently revived its Trans-Atlantic passenger trade between Europe and the United States by placing the six-passenger CMA CGM Coral and seven-passenger CMA CGM Jamaica into its Amerigo Express service between the Mediterranean and US East Coast ports.

Depending which ships have been on the run, passengers have been carried on the Amerigo Express service on and off since 2003, thus marking the revival of a service that had come to an end almost two decades before. The French Line’s North Atlantic passenger service had closed in 1985 with the retirement of the Atlantic Champagne and Atlantic Cognac, container ships that carried four passengers each. These two had maintained a limited passenger service since the 1974 withdrawal of the French Line’s famous s.s. France. The 1,035-foot France, the world’s longest passenger ship, was eventually, in 2004, overtaken by Cunard Line’s 1,132-foot Queen Mary 2, a ship that not incidentally was built in the same French shipyard that had delivered the France in 1962.

Ports served by the CMA CGM Coral and CMA CGM Jamaica include Livorno, Genoa, Fos-sur-Mer, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga in Europe and New York, Norfolk and Savannah in the United States, with a return to Livorno and Genoa by way of Algeciras and Malta, for a full round voyage of 42 days.

The CMA CGM Coral carries six passengers in two double and two single cabins and CMA CGM Jamaica seven in three doubles and one single cabin. Fares for both ships are €110 per person per day for double occupancy or for the single cabins and €120 per day for sole use of a double cabin. The fare for the full round voyage is therefore €4,620 (about £3,975 or $6,290). The ship features an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and library and passengers take breakfast in their own lounge and lunch and dinner together with the officers. Complimentary French table wine (“Chateau Paquebot”) is served with lunch and dinner.

As CMA CGM is not signatory to the European/US visa waiver schemes, non-US and Canadian citizens need a full US visa to enter the USA on this service.

Passenger bookings on the CMA CGM Coral and CMA CGM Jamaica can be made through The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, at +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

CMA CGM’s French West Indies Line Still Operates Transatlantic Passenger Sailings All Year Round

Everyone knows the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 operates a long-standing Transatlantic passenger service. But few know that there is another Transatlantic service, also descended from one of the big names of the North Atlantic trade, that still continues to trade, week in week out all year long. That line, today known as the French West Indies Line, is operated by the French container line CMA CGM as successors to Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, otherwise known as the French Line, which began serving this 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, shown here, 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  all have continued to carry passengers. The Antilles lasted until 1971, when she grounded off Mustique.

A second generation of  four container ships was built for the French West Indies Line to maintain a weekly service connecting the French ports of Dunkirk, Rouen, Le Havre and Montoir with Fort-de-France in Martinique and Pointe-â-Pitre in Guadeloupe. The full round voyage takes 28 days, although 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 each accommodates twelve passengers, the maximum that can be carried by a cargo ship without a doctor. Passengers are accommodated in an owners cabin and four twin cabins, each of about 195 sq ft, and two single cabins of about 155 sq ft. Each ship is also equipped with a passenger lounge, a gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool.

CMA CGM Fort St Louis departing Montoir with cargo and up to twelve passengers for the French West Indies.


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