Crystal Cruises Extends Getaway Cruises Offer – Cuba Back on the Map – World’s Largest Container Ship – South Africa Liner Voyages

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 25th February 2013

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Get away for 5, 6, 7 or 8 days on Crystal Cruises, from £1,248 per person all-inclusive for 5 nights

Crystal Cruises has announced an extension until the end of April of its special offer fares for shorter 5, 6, 7 and 8-night cruises for summer 2013. These “Getaway” cruises allow busy executives and first-timers to sample the now all-inclusive Crystal ships at lower fares. While Silversea has also announced some 4 to 7-night cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 is due to enter service in May. Unlike the existing Europa, which offers longer cruises, she offers exclusively 7-night Mediterranean cruises this summer. Elsewhere, Cuba is back in the news with the announcement that Cuba Cruise will begin offering 7-night Round Cuba cruises from Havana this winter in the Louis Cristal. And CMA CGM, having opened up its largest container ship, CMA CGM Marco Polo, to passenger bookings, now offers almost 600 passenger berths on 70 ships on its various routes worldwide. Finally, Cruise & Maritime Voyages has just announced two South Africa liner voyages for the Astor in  2014.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                (See previous columns)

CMA CGM Opens Passenger Bookings On The World’s Largest Container Ship – m.v. CMA CGM Marco Polo

cma-cgm-marco-poloFrance’s CMA CGM has this week announced that passenger cabins can now be booked on board its massive container ship CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEUs). These unique cruises offer travellers the opportunity to live a unique experience, discovering oceans, seas and continents in the pursuance of foreign trade, and getting involved in life on board, sharing in the crew’s everyday life at sea. The CMA CGM Marco Polo has five modern double cabins of 200 sq ft each, a lounge with televison equipment,  library, fitness room and even a swimming pool. Sister ships CMA CGM Jacques Cartier and CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt are under construction.

Here is a quick comparison with Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas:

CMA CGM Marco Polo – 1,278 x 177 feet (10 lower berths)
Oasis of the Seas – 1,181 x 154 feet (5,400 lower berths)

CMA CGM Marco Polo is deployed on the world’s busiest trade route, linking Europe and Asia, and allows travellers to discover the world’s largest ports on the following rotation: Southampton, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Malta, Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Port Kelang, Tanger and Southampton.

Sample fares are €8,470 per person for the full 77-day round voyage (€10,010 for sole use of a cabin); Southampton to Hong Kong, 49 days at €5,39 per person (€6,370 sole use); Le Havre to Hong Kong, 41 days at €4,570 per person (€5,330 sole use); Hong Kong to Southampton, 28 days at €3,080 per person (€3,640 sole use); or Port Kelang to Southampton, 22 days at €2,420 per person (€2,860 sole use), or for a sampler Southampton to Malta, 14 days at €1,540 per person (€1,820 sole use). Slightly lower fares are available on other ships.

Freighter cruises have been offered by the CMA CGM Group since 2000 and it now provides almost 600 passenger berths on seventy of its company-owned ships on Worldwide Routes (click to see detailed breakdown).

For bookings and further information please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

World’s Largest Passenger-Carrying Ship (and the World’s Largest Container Ship) CMA CGM Marco Polo Christened In Zeebrugge

The world’s largest passenger-carrying ship, the UK-registered CMA CGM Marco Polo, was christened in Zeebrugge, Belgium, today. Larger than the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas, she is also the world’s largest container ship (16,020 TEU) and will carry up to ten passengers in the French Asia Line service between Southampton and the Far East, a round voyage of about 77 days.

Here is a quick comparison:

CMA CGM Marco Polo – 1,278 x 177 feet (10 lower berths)
Oasis of the Seas – 1,181 x 154 feet (5,400 lower berths)

Her 175,343 gross tons give the CMA CGM Marco Polo a passenger space ratio of a whopping 17,500 tons per passenger – except of course that that space is devoted to the carriage of cargo. CMA CGM has commissioned two more sister ships of the same tonnage to be delivered next spring.

Calls will be made at Southampton, which she visited for the first time last week to unload Christmas presents for the British public, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Malta before continuing through the Suez Canal to Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Port Kelang and back then through Suez to Tanger Med and Southampton.

Sample fare: €4,900, or about £4,150 per person double (€5,390, or about £4,565 single) Southampton to Hong Kong. Sailings leave Rotterdam six days after Southampton and Le Havre eight days after, with fares adjusted by €100 per day (€110 per day single). The full round voyage of 77 days is €7,700, or about £6,520 per person double (€8,470, or about £7,170 single). Passengers dine with the officers and complimentary wine is served with lunch and dinner.

Passenger bookings for the CMA CGM Marco Polo have now opened so for further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.