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.

New CMA CGM And NSB Services Make Singapore Into A Hub For Australia, Europe and Indian Ocean Cargo-Passenger Services

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The 10-passenger CMA CGM Marco Polo is one of a dozen ships sailing from Singapore to Southampton in 21 days flat on French Asia Line 1, cutting transit time from Australia by 11 days

With CMA CGM’s addition of four passenger-carrying container ships to the AAX Singapore-Port Kelang-Fremantle-Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Fremantle-Singapore service and the addition of the Buxhansa to Singapore-Reunion-Tanzania-Maurtius-Singapore service by NSB, more connections are available over the major Southeast Asian port.

This recent move back to Singapore began when Indian immigration prevented CMA CGM from carrying passengers on its northbound Australia-Europe ships that call at Chennai and Cochin, thus chasing five ships from the northbound Australia passenger trade. This is not entirely bad news however as the Nemo Line ships took 32 days from Singapore to London, the substitute French Asia Line 1 runs Singapore to Southampton in 21 days, knocking 11 days and €1,210 per person off the elapsed northbound voyage time. Singapore hotels and meals are extra of course but this can usually be kept to between three and five days.

Sydney to Singapore is 15 nights on the Nemo Line or 20 nights via Fremantle on the AAX Line, while the voyage time between Singapore and Fremantle is 9 days in either direction on the AAX Line. This means that one can sail from Fremantle to Southampton with a total of only 30 days at sea and a few days break at Singapore en route.

The addition of an Indian Ocean departure from Singapore by the Buxhansa every eight weeks means that Réunion, Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius have been added to the list of destinations that can be reached from either Europe or Australia with a change of ship at Singapore.

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

Salerno Exchange Port For Israel For Passengers From The US, Transatlantic By CMA CGM And Transmed by Grimaldi Lines

With an increase in the number of passenger-carrying container ships working CMA CGM’s Amerigo Express Transatlantic service to four, Salerno has become the new exchange port for Israeli-bound passengers from the US.

CMA CGM’s transit time from Miami to Salerno is 17 days and Grimaldi Lines then operates weekly sailings from Salerno to Ashdod that take 9 days. Grimaldi ships return from Ashdod to Salerno in 5 days and CMA CGM then takes 19 days from Salerno to New York, and another 7 to return to Miami via Norfolk and Savannah.

CMA CGM Amber

The UK-flag CMA CGM Amber is one of four ships connecting Miami to Med ports that include Salerno, and returning via New York

The Transatlantic service is operated by the CMA CGM Amber and CMA CGM Coral, carrying five passengers each in an Owners cabin and three Singles, while CMA CGM Florida and CMA CGM Georgia each carry six passengers in two Doubles and one Twin cabin. These ships also offer a connection to Morocco by disembarking at Algeciras and taking the ferry across to Tangiers.

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Grimaldi Line’s Italian-flag Grande Ellade and sister ships supply the link between Salerno (shown here) and Ashdod

The Transmed link is supplied by Grimaldi Lines’ Euro-Med service that also connects with Southampton and ports in Scandinavia and North Europe. Five ships, the Gran Bretagna, Grande Ellade, Grande Europa, Grande Mediterraneo and Grande Scandinavia, carry up to twelve passengers each in an Owners cabin, an Outside cabin and four Inside cabins.

For further details on how to book this service please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or by emailing PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

New Southeast Asia /Australia Cargo-Passenger Service Opened With Four Former Round The World Container Ships

CMA CGM White Shark

CMA CGM subsidiary Australian National Line has opened a new Southeast Asia / Australia passenger service using four 5,100 TEU container ships transferred in from the Pacific Express 3 round-the-world service to join the AAX service.

The CMA CGM White Shark (above) opened the new service, with a first sailing from Singapore on April 14, followed by the CMA CGM Alcazar on April 21 and CMA CGM Blue Whale on April 29. The CMA CGM Tarpon follow,ed with her first sailing from Singapore on May 12.

AAXThe AAX service offers weekly sailings from Singapore and Port Kelang, and in the opposite direction from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle, with most being able to accept passengers for the full 35-day round voyage. One-way passages can also be booked and fast connections made at Singapore for the UK and Europe.

The Panamanian-flag CMA CGM Alcazar carries three passengers in an Owners and a Single cabin, while the British-flag trio each carry six passengers in three Double cabins. The British-flag trio have swimming pools, while the CMA CGM Alcazar offers a sauna instead.

Typical fares are Singapore-Fremantle or vice versa in 9 days for €990 (about £870) per person double or €1,080 (£950) single, Singapore to Sydney in 15 days for €1,650 pp (£1,450) double or €1,800 (£1,580) single and Sydney to Singapore in 20 days for €2,200 pp (£1,930) double or €2,400 (£2,105) single. Please call or email for fares between other piorts.

For further details on this new Australian connection by CMA CGM please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Travel From North America To Japan By Sea – New Cargo-Passenger Route From CMA CGM Features 355 sq ft VIP Suites On One Ship

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The CMA CGM Fidelio is equipped with two large VIP passenger suites of 355 sq ft each

With the annoucement by CMA CGM of its new Columbus PNW service, North America is regaining a regular sea travel connection to Japan. Effective this spring, three French-flag ships will be sailing from Seattle and Vancouver to Yokohama on a regular basis. As other carriers have been turning down Japan-bound travellers this will be a first of a kind for Japan for several years.

The first passenger sailing will by the the CMA CGM Rigoletto from Seattle on April 30 and Vancouver on May 2, arriving at Yokohama on May 16. The fare for the 14-day voyage from Vancouver to Yokohama is €1,540 per person double and €1,680 to €1,820 for sole use of a double cabin. Sister ship CMA CGM Medea will charge the same fares. Each is fitted with three twin cabins, one double and one single, measuring between 200 and 250 sq ft each.

The third ship, however, the CMA CGM Fidelio, is fitted with two very large VIP suites, measuring 355 sq ft each. The Fidelio sails from Seattle on May 20 and Vancouver on May 22, arriving Yokohama on June 7. The VIP suite fare from Vancouver to Yokohama is €1,820 per person double and €2,100 for sole use of a suite and she will return every 42 days thereafter.

Columbus PNW

In the reverse direction it is also possible to book from Yokohama back to Seattle but the voyage takes 31 days as the ship calls at four ports in China and Pusan in South Korea on its way back to North America,

For further details on any CMA CGM voyage please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Los Angeles And Oakland Gain CMA CGM Columbus Loop Cargo-Passenger Route While Seattle And Vancouver Get A Branch Line

A CMA CGM container ship approaches the Golden Gate Bridge at dawn, en route to Oakland           

 

Columbus Loop

The previous Columbus Loop service. Seattle and Vancouver will now be replaced by Los Angeles and Oakland

Until recently, the well-known Columbus Loop service ran from the North American East Coast to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope and on to Seattle and Vancouver, with return to New York via Asia and Suez. But all is about to change as the main Columbus Loop service, now called Columbus Jax, relocates its West Coast port turnarounds to Los Angeles and Oakland, California.

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The new route between Halifax and New York and Los Angeles (using the newly-acquired APL terminal) and Oakland

Through the Columbus Loop it was possible to build a round-the-world  trip between Halifax, New York and other US East Coast ports and the West Coast ports of Seattle and Vancouver via Asia and return to the other coast by train. This will still be possible but Seattle and Vancouver will now be replaced by Los Angeles, where CMA CGM has recently acquired the dedicated APL container terminal at Terminal Island, and Oakland.

Columbus PNW

Seattle and Vancouver will now have a Transpacific branch line with 15-day sailings from Vancouver to Yokohama

In lieu of through service to East Coast ports via Suez, Seattle and Vancouver will now get a separate 42-day service called Columbus PNW, that will connect with Yokohama, Yantian, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai and Pusan before returning to Seattle. Three French-flag ships will serve this route, with the 9-passenger CMA CGM Medea and CMA CGM Rigoletto and the 4-passenger CMA CGM Fidelio carrying passengers with sailings on average every 14 days. One result of this new route is a 15-day service between Vancouver and Yokohama on the route of the old Canadian Pacific White Empresses. The Fidelio is quite suitable for this route as, unusually for a cargo ship, she features two VIP suites at 355 sq ft each.

CMA CGM Medea

The CMA CGM Medea on the Columbus PNW service features three twin cabins, one double cabin and one single cabin

The Columbus Jax route will feature ten passenger-carrying vesels, an increase from eight on Columbus Loop. These ships, which will sail about every 12 days, include the 10-passenger CMA CGM Nabucco* and CMA CGM Otello*, 8-berth CMA CGM Elbe, CMA CGM Rhone and CMA CGM Thames and 7-berth CMA CGM Cendrillon, CMA CGM Dalila*, CMA CGM Figaro*CMA CGM La Scala and CMA CGM Titus. *French-flag ships.

Hong Kong and Singapore feature prominently on this route, with Oakland to Hong Kong taking 16 days, Hong Kong to Halifax 30 days, Singapore to Halifax 25 days and Singapore to New York 28 days via Suez, as examples.

Among them these 13 ships have berths for 101 passengers. Fares vary between €100 and €110 per person per day double (€130 for VIP suites on the Fidelio) and €110 to €130 per day for singles (€150 for VIP suites on the Fidelio). Full US visa (not just an ESTA) is required for non-US and Canadian citizens calling at US ports.

Passengers dine with the officers and wine is provided with lunch and dinner. Each ship is equipped with a swimming pool (CMA CGM Elbe, Rhone and Thames have a sauna instead) and a gym.

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

CMA CGM’s Amerigo Express Now Offers Four Container Ships And Liberty Bridge One For 29 Passenger Berths On The North Atlantic

CMA CGM Georgia © Kenneth R Myers

Four passenger-carrying container ships now operate in CMA CGM’s Amerigo Express service

With two ships being transferred in from its Liberty Bridge service and two more from Pacific Express 3, CMA CGM’s Amerigo Express service is now up to four passenger-carrying ships running between Mediterranean ports and US ports between New York and Miami.

With a 42-day round voyage, four ships means a departure on average every ten days. Two ships don’t carry passengers, meaning passenger service four weeks out of six, or good year-round coverage, with more than 30 sailings a year in each direction.

Ports served in the US include New York, Norfolk, Savannah and Miami, while Mediterranean calls are made at Algeciras, Malta, Salerno, Livorno, Genoa, For-sur-Mer, Barcelona and Valencia before returning to New York.

The CMA CGM Amber and CMA CGM Coral, transferred in from the Liberty Bridge service, each carry five passengers in one Owners Double cabin and three Singles, while the CMA CGM Florida and CMA CGM Georgia (above), which came from Pacific Express 3, carry six passengers in two Double cabins and one Twin cabin.

Typical Amerigo Express fares are Genoa to New York (15 days, €1,915), Barcelona to New York (12 days, €1,795), New York to Genoa (27 days, €3,355), New York to Algeciras (18 days, €2,275), Miami to Genoa (20 days, €2,515) and Miami to Algeciras (11 days, €1,655).  Fares include booking fee and helicopter evacuation insurance. Please apply for other ports.

Meanwhile, the CMA CGM La Traviata has replaced the CMA CGM Amber and CMA CGM Opal on the Liberty Bridge service, with seven passenger berths offered in two Twin cabins and three Singles. The route is Le Havre to New York, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston, with return to Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and Le Havre, with a sailing every 35 days.

Typical Liberty Bridge fares are New York to Southampton (20 days, €2,515) Southampton to New York (15 days, €1,915), Le Havre to New York (9 days, €1,375) and Le Havre to Savannah (14 days, €1,795). Fares include booking fee and helicopter evacuation insurance. Please apply for other ports

For further details on any of these North Atlantic routes please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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