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.

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Travel From North America To Asia 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

Note: The Yokohama call has been dropped and ships now proceed direct to Yantian (19.07.17).

With the annoucement by CMA CGM of its new Columbus PNW service, North America is gaining a regular sea travel connection to Asia. Effective this spring, three French-flag ships will be sailing from Seattle and Vancouver to Yantian, in the Shenzen district near Hong Kong, on a regular basis.

The first passenger sailing was 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 20-day voyage from Vancouver to Yantian is €2,200 per person double and €2,400 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 sailed from Seattle on May 20 and Vancouver on May 22, arriving Yokohama on June 7. The VIP suite fare from Vancouver to Yokohama is €130 per person per day double and €150 per day for sole use of a suite and she will return every 42 days thereafter.

Map of the Columbus PNW

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 sea.

 

Columbus Loop

The previous Columbus Loop service. Seattle and Vancouver have now been 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.

ColumbusJax

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 sailings to China

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 Yantian, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai and Pusan before returning to Seattle. Two French-flag ships now serve this route, with the 7-passenger CMA CGM Norma and CMA CGM Rigoletto carrying passengers with sailings once or twice a month.

APL Phoenix © Jan Svendsen

The APL Phoenix and APL Columbus now carry four passengers each in two Owners Cabins on the Columbus Jax route.

The Columbus Jax route will feature eleven passenger-carrying vesels, an increase from eight on Columbus Loop. These ships, which will sail about every 11 days, include the 10-passenger CMA CGM Nabucco* and APL Danube, CMA CGM Elbe, CMA CGM Loire, CMA CGM Rhone, CMA CGM Tage and CMA CGM Thames and 8-berth CMA CMA CGM Figaro* and CMA CGM La Scala and 4-berth APL Columbus and APL Phoenix. *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 11 ships have berths for 94 passengers. Fares vary between €100 and €110 per person per day double and €110 to €130 per day for singles. 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. Three ships are equipped with a swimming pool (CMA CGM Figaro, Nabucco and La Scala) while others have a sauna instead andf all are equipped with a gym

Oakland Hotel: For passengers boarding the Columbus Jax ships bound to Asia and the East Coast or indeed other ships bound for Europe or Australasia, we have a local hotel recommendation from Christopher Kyte, chairman of the Oakland-based  tour operator Uncommon Journeys:

Waterfront Hotel a Joie De Vivre HotelThere is a wonderful hotel in Oakland, right on San Francisco Bay, called the Waterfront Hotel. not only is it nice, but there is a regular 25-minute ferry service to and from downtown San Francisco and the hotel has a free shuttle that will take folks to the nearby port of Oakland and their ship. And it is only three blocks from the Oakland Amtrak station. For any cargo ship passengers coming to Oakland, this would be the perfect choice.

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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Round the World: Crossing The Atlantic On A Cargo Ship

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I have just discovered my favorite way to travel. The 12 day voyage was wonderful and I didn’t want it to end, no matter how much I was looking forward to further adventures in the US.

Much of the success of the ship is due to the lovely fellow passengers and crew on board the CMA CGM JAMAICA. We were five passengers: a French couple, and three other women, an American, a German and myself. Everyone was friendly, sociable and willing to party. And party we did. We were invited to a party in the crew recreation room the first day at sea, and the party lasted until 2 am when I had to beg off. The party didn’t really stop until we arrived in Charleston. Sure, the crew had work from 8 am to 5 pm, plus the on call shifts on the bridge and engine room, but that just gave us passengers time to rest until the next party.

The crew onboard was part Ukranian, mostly the officers, and part Filipino, hence most of the crew. The messrooms and recreation rooms were split according to nationality, not officer/crew distinction. I guess it works for them, but as I have been used to very mixed international groups, both at work and with my friends, I find such divisions odd. The Filipino crew especially were absolute darlings and we spent most of our time with them. Imagine our very great surprise when they told us that in their collective many years at sea, we were the first passengers ever to party with them. It may have had something to do with us being mostly women and thus a welcome change from the all-male crew. Whatever the cause, it was magical.

We did take a few nights off, watching movies or BBC’s Jane Austen TV series in my room, and I had a few solitary evenings when I felt the need to re-charge. We also gathered for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the officers’ messroom, took turns around the open deck, and spent time at the forward deck, watching the sea go by. Of course we also got stellar tours of the ship, first inside the super structure including the bridge, then twice around the ship including the outside, and finally the engine room, which was very exciting.

Meal times for passengers were 8 am for breakfast, 12:30 for lunch and 18:30 for dinner. The food was good, plentiful, and mostly potatoes/pasta, meat/fish and vegetables. There was usually also a soup (mostly with meat), and always a few different salads, bread and cheese. Dessert was usually fresh fruit, which was lovely, with an occasional cake or ice cream. I had brought some hummus with me, and I had that usually at breakfast with toast, cucumber and tomatoes. I explained that I was vegetarian at first dinner, so for all other meals I was brought the food without the dead animals automatically. Great service!

The sea was mostly calm, with a few rocky nights, but I held up well. The weather prohibited us from going outside on some days, whether it was due to waves, wind or rain, but on most days we spent at least a few hours outside. I was walking laps around the long forward deck of the ship whenever I could. The last few days were hot and sunny, and despite a high SPF sun screen, I managed to get a sunburn.

The way the ship was organized is that the super structure, i.e. the tall part with all the crew and passenger quarters (in photo) shared spaces and engine control room, stands between the two decks. The back part is shorter, about 50 meters, and the long front part extends about 200 meters. The walkway along the edge in the front is mostly underneath the containers, which dominate both decks. There were nine decks accessible to us: the upper deck where the ship’s office was, decks A-G with cabins and shared spaces, and the bridge. We were allowed on the bridge most of the time, with permission from the officer on charge. Only when they were busy with either departure or arrival, and usually at night time, the bridge was off limits.

Boarding and disembarking went with little fuss and ceremony. I took a taxi to the harbor in Bremerhaven and was dropped off at the reception. They waved me through to a little shed next to the fence, and a shuttle bus picked me up from there. I walked up the gangway to what turned out to be the upperdeck level, submitted my passport, and signed a few papers, and that was it. I was in my cabin at around noon. The ship departed at 11 pm, and I spent it mostly in my cabin, reading. It had been a hectic few days and I was glad of the chance to take it easy. The outside areas were off limits during cargo loading and offloading anyway.

Leaving the ship was also quite straightforward. A US immigration officer came onboard to do a “face check”, i.e. comparing faces to passports, and asking a few questions about me, where I was coming from and what my plans in the US were. I got my stamps, and it all took about 5 minutes. We organized a taxi pickup from the ship with an agent who came to the ship at the same time as immigration. When we were ready, we just walked down the ramp and got on the taxi. There was no customs or further passport checks. Simple!

Two of my worries from an earlier post were thus dispelled. I was not sea sick at all, and there was no trouble with immigration. What I hadn’t expected was the emotional whiplash of leaving the ship after 12 days at sea. We were such a close group of people, amplified with the lack of contact with outside world, that leaving the ship was hard. I would have gladly continued on. After being fully pampered by the lovely crew, in my own suite of rooms, with everything prepared for us, the prospect of other people, traffic, noise, and dealing with my own accommodation, travel and food was daunting.

But, I had to get off, they wouldn’t let me stay. Besides, I had the whole of US waiting for me. And two more cargo ship passages to come.

This voyage set a really high bar for any other cargo ship trip, however, and I will never forget it, or the people I shared it with.

For further details of booking a cargo ship voyage please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

How To Book A Round The World Cargo Ship Voyage Using Two Ships

The Rickmers Pearl String Round the World service opened for passengers ten years ago now, with the delivery in May 2002 of the Rickmers Hamburg, the first of nine new multi-purpose cargo ships, the last of which, the Rickmers Genoa, was delivered in January 2004. Seen right is the 2003-built Rickmers Antwerp. All nine ships carry a combination of project and general cargo and heavy lifts as well as containers, and for that reason tend to spend more time in port than pure container ships. One of Rickmers’ more recent contracts is to carry Airbus A350 fuselage sections from the USA to Montoir in France

These 30,000 deadweight ton ships were  built in China, and as well as their cargo they are fitted out to carry up to seven passengers each in Rickmers’ eastabout round-the-world service connecting Europe to  Southeast Asia, the Far East, Japan and the USA with return once again to Europe. Passengers are carried in one 300 sq ft Owners suite, a 180 sq ft Double and three 150 sq ft Single cabins and could originally join ship at either North American or European ports for the full world circumnavigation.

The main ports of call for passengers now include Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai (Luojing terminal), Dalian, Xingang, Qingdao, Masan in South Korea, Kobe and Yokohama in Japan, a transit of the Panama Canal and then Houston, New Orleans and Philadelphia before returning to Antwerp, Hamburg and Genoa. Other calls are made according to cargo requirements and can include ports in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, China or Japan as well as the USA.

Since Rickmers announced last year that it would no longer carry passengers between Genoa and Singapore, an 18-21 day stretch out of the 124-day voyage, The Cruise People have come up with a solution that will still allow people to sail all the way around the world.

That solution is a fast container ship voyage from either Europe or North America to Singapore, so that world travellers can join the Rickmers  round-the-world service there. Europeans can board a container ship at Southampton, Hamburg or Rotterdam, and North Americans at US East Coast ports to connect with Rickmers in Singapore for the rest of the circumnavigation via the Far East, the US Gulf, East Coast and back to Europe.

Hanjin BrusselsFor European passengers, NSB’s Hanjin Brussels (right) and her four sister ships running from La Spezia sail directly via the Suez Canal to Singapore and offer the quickest transit time for connecting with Rickmers at Singapore. There are also possible connections from Trieste with both NSB and CMA CGM.

North Americans for their part can catch the CMA CGM Columbus Loop service from New York, Norfolk or Savannah direct to the Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas, just twenty-two miles from Singapore. This routing can be either via Suez or the Cape of Good Hope. NSB also offers connections from New York, Norfolk, Jacksonville and Savannah. Of course, both North American and European passengers need to build in sufficient layover time in Singapore and environs to allow for a good connection. The overall elapsed time for the two voyages will depend on your particular routing but will most likely run between 130 and 150 days.

To start putting together your own round-the-world freighter package please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.