Why We Can No Longer Offer A Passage To India: Cargo Ship Passengers Are Banned By The Indian Authorities

Gateway of India by Ashwin Kumar of Bangalore

Terrorists seized a small fishing boat in 2008 to be able to land at Mumbai’s Gateway of India

ing GIntending passengers often ask if they can book passage to India. And we have plenty of container ships with passenger accomodation sailing there, from American, European and Australian ports. But unfortunately we can no longer accept passengers in any of them.  The traditional “Passage to India” is no longer possible.

The closest we can offer is sailings to and from Sri Lanka on CMA CGM’s Columbus Jax route that runs: Halifax – New York – Norfolk – Savannah – (Suez Canal) – Port Kelang – Singapore – Jakarta – Laem Chebang – Vung Tau – Los Angeles – Oakland – Hong Kong – Yantian – Vung Tau – Singapore – Port Kelang to Colombo. The return voyage is then directly via Suez to Halifax and US ports. The quickest transits from and to North America are 26 days Oakland – Hong Kong – Yantian – Vung Tau – Singapore – Port Kelang – Colombo and 20 days Colombo to Halifax. But one must fly the section between Sri Lanka and India as there has been no ferry service between Colombo and Tuticorin since the Scotia Prince was withdrawn in 2011..
m.v. Kuber.
As to why sea passages are no longer possible, in an overabundance of caution, Indian authorities reacted to the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai by banning all commercial cargo ship passengers. This was because some of the Mumbai attackers seized a small fishing boat, the m.v. Kuber (right), to make a landing at the Gateway of India. But compare the Kuber to the typical Indian trade container ship below and the difference will be obvious.
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CMA CGM Bellini at sea
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Ask yourself how a 5,700 TEU container ship could possibly get anywhere near the Gateway of India, which was built to commemorate the 1911 arrival of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, as it was then known, on board the P&O passenger liner Medina. Opened in 1924, the structure later provided ceremonial welcomes to Viceroys of India and Governors of Mumbai.
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Since this spring, Australian trade ships returning to Europe can only carry passengers as far as Singapore, where passengers must change ships because the ships then call at two ports in  India, Chennai and Cochin, on the way back to Europe. Passengers can no longer sail straight back. In this case, it actually works out as the Asia trade ships are much faster getting to Europe than the Australia trade ships. Passengers just have to be content with a few days in Singapore or Port Kelang between ships.
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Passages to and from India are still possible when booked on seasonal cruise ships, however, although frequency of service is a problem and one must sail when they sail. Ask for details.
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For details of booking a cargo ship voyage with CMA CGM 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
PassageEnquiry@aol.com.
 

CMA CGM Tosca Offers Short Western Med Cargo Ship Cruises From Malta (17 nights) And Genoa (11 nights)

CMA CGM Tosca

Spend 11 or 17 nights afloat in the Western Med on board the 8,500 TEU 7-passenger CMA CGM Tosca

New Western Med cruising possibilites are offered by CMA CGM’s Medex service, which serves the Middle East and Sub-Continent. As passengers are not allowed beyond Suez on this route, the CMA CGM Tosca is able to offer a choice of two shorter round voyage itineraries from Malta and Genoa.

Boarding at Malta, a 17-night itinerary is offered to seven ports, La Spezia, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Tangiers, Fos sur Mer, and Genoa, then back to Malta. From Genoa the 11-night itinerary runs to four ports: Barcelona, Valencia, Tangiers amd Fos sur Mer before retirning to Genoa.

The CMA CGM Tosca is equpped with two Twin cabins and three Single cabins and can carry a total of seven passengers. Passenger amenities include a gym, swimming pool and recreation room.

Fares for the 17-night voyage from Malta are €1,700 per person double and €1,870 single and for the 11-night voyage from Genoa €1,100 per person double and €1,210 single. Additional charges are €45 per person for helicopter evacuation insurance and a €70 booking fee.

For details of booking a voyage with CMA CGM 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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Two Asia – South America Cargo-Passenger Routes Reinstated After Recent Ship Changes At CMA CGM

CMA CGM Carl Antoine in Santos courtesy Santos Shiplovers

The newly-delivered 6-passenger CMA CGM Carl Antoine trades between Asia and East Coast South America

With all the ship and route changes occurring at CMA CGM this year two South America-Asia routes that had not recently been available have now been revived.

One route (ACSA2) connects Chinese ports, Hong Kong and Taiwan with Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile while the other route (SEAS) connects Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese ports with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

The ACSA2 service is now being offered by two ships, the CMA CGM Hydra and CMA CGM Thalassa, while the recently-delivered (2017) CMA CGM Carl Antoine has been placed onto the SEAS service. Each ship can carry up to six passengers in three double cabins.

Each route offers a full round voyage of 84 days, but by crossing the Andes between Argentina and Chile, one can also construct a full round-the-world itinerary via Asia and South America. The actual port rotations follow:

Map of the Asia Central South America 2

ACSA2: Hong Kong – Kaohsiung – Pusan – Manzanillo – Lazaro Cardenas – Balboa – Buenaventura – Callao – San Antonio – Coronel – Lirquen – Puerto Angamos – Callao – Lazaro Cardenas – Manzanillo – Pusan – Shanghai – Xiamen – Shekou – Hong Kong.

Map of the Asia South America East Coast 1

SEAS: Hong Kong – Singapore – Itaguai – Santos – Paranagua – Navegantes – Montevideo – Buenos Aires – Rio Grande – Navegantes – Paranagua – Santos – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Ningbo – Yantian – Hong Kong.

Typical transit times on ACSA2 are Hong Kong – Manzanillo in 21 days, Hong Kong – Callao 35 days, Callao – Shanghai 26 days, and Manzanillo – Shanghai 18 days, and on SEAS Singapore – Itaguai in 23 days and Santos – Singapore in 25 days.

For details of booking a voyage with CMA CGM 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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

“Great Time Aboard CMA CGM Andromeda” – A Cruise People Client Enjoys A 24-day Voyage Between Malta and Malaysia

CMA-CGM-Andromeda

The 10-passenger CMA CGM Andromeda sails between Med ports and Asia in the Mediterranean Club Express service

Passenger Duane Bailey-Castro has just written to Miri in our office about his 24-day voyage from Malta to Port Kelang, Malaysia. Under the heading “Great time on board CMA CGM Andromeda,” he wrote us as follows:

I want to thank you and your agency for all that you did to arrange my travels aboard the CMA CGM Andromeda.  It was an amazing and unforgettable 24 day experience.  The captain, officers, crew, and other passengers were warm and welcoming.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group. 

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Duane’s passage took him from Malta to Beirut and then through Suez to Jebel Ali, Dubai, and Port Kelang.

The CMA CGM Andromeda and sisters are fitted with two Twin and three Double cabins rated at €110 to €130 per person per day double or €120 to €150 per day for sole occupancy. While Malta to Port Kelang is 24 days, the weekly ANL Asia Australia Express sailings take just 8 days from Port Kelang to Fremantle, allowing a good connection and a frequent service from Europe.

For further details on booking a voyage with CMA CGM 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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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 has now moved with her four sister ships to trade between Singapore and Australia.

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 the five CMA CGM ships switching to Australian National Line’s weekly Asia Australia Express (AAX) between Singapore, Port Kelang and Australian ports. Three 5-passenger NSB ships have replaced the five that are moving to AAX. The NSB ships to join the Nemo service at London Gateway are the Conti Lyon, which sailed on July 19, the Buxcliff on August 16, and the Conti Paris on September 6. Each offers an Owners cabin, a double cabin and a single cabin.

Conti Paris

NSB’s 5-passenger Conti Paris is replacing CMA CGM Chopin on the Nemo service between Europe and Australia

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; Conti Paris on September 6 & December 6, 2017, and March 7, 2018. With Conti Paris taking CMA CGM Chopin‘s position in the string, NSB ships have replaced all the CMA CGM ships in the Europe-Australia passenger trade.

London to Sydney on the Nemo service is 44 days. This compares 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.

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.