CMA CGM La Traviata: Le Havre, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam And Bremerhaven

Cma-Cgm-La-Traviata-c.CorneliaReports have come back to us from two of our clients who travelled on board the CMA CGM La Traviata recently that may be of interest to intending Transatlantic passengers.

The first is from Heinz K, a German passenger, who told us he wanted “to let you know a little bit about my experience with my travel with CGM CMA from Savannah to Bremerhaven in Germany in June/July 2017.

“I wanted to thank you for all of your effort to go with me through all the booking and set up my freighter voyage. It was a great success. I enjoyed it tremendously and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better company to go with and a better agent to lead me through everything to be able to do this journey on the La Traviata cargo freighter!

“It couldn’t have gone smoother, the ship was great, the crew and all the officers have been just wonderful. The journey crossing the ocean was a fantastic adventure for me, but it couldn’t have been a better crew on board, a better chef like the two French guys cooking for us and a better captain with all his officers. Everybody did the best and made my journey a big success.

For sure I want to get in touch with you again in two years to find me a route and a boat again crossing the ocean and this time going from the US to an Italian port on the Riviera side in the Mediterranean Sea. It was really the best boat and experience I could get on freighter travel!”

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty's tablemates at lunch

Betty and luncheon companions enjoy the fare on board CMA CGM La Traviata

The second report (with photos) comes from Betty Steinhauer, a Canadian passenger who has just arrived in New York from Southampton this week. Betty reports:

“The ship was built in 2006, sails under French flag, and is named La Traviata. It is 334 meters in length, beam is 43 meters, gross tonnage is 91,410 tons , holds 8,440 containers, if it is dangerous cargo, they are told what is inside.

“My cabin is large. It has three windows, piles of cupboards, and a large desk. My room is on a corner with a balcony. ‎I have a steward by the name of Tony. He is of course from the Philippines and his contract is for eight months. This is how he supports his family by sending salary and tips back home. The French crew consists of thirty members led by the Captain as we call him. His crew call him Master.”

CMA CGM La Traviata - half of Betty's stateroom

“My room is really excellent. It’s a large corner room with three windows. two to view Ocean and one to see containers. There are two beds, a sofa, coffee table, chair, large desk, full bathroom, and wrap around balcony!” [The balcony is public but is directly outside the cabin.]

More photos and blog postings can be found on Betty Steinhauer’s own blog here.

The CMA CGM La Traviata accommodates up to ten passengers in three double-bedded cabins at 215 sq ft and two twin-bedded cabins of 258 sq ft (see photos above and below). The vessel sails every five weeks on CMA CGM’s Liberty Bridge service between New York, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah on the US side and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and Le Havre in Europe.

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty at work in her cabin

Betty Steinhauer hard at work on board CMA CGM La Traviata.

Fare for the full 35-day round voyage is €3,965 per person for a double-bedded cabin and €4,315 single, while a twin-bedded cabin runs to €4,315 per person or €4,665 for sole use. Fares include port charges, evacuation insurance and a booking fee.

The Transatlantic voyage from Le Havre to New York takes 9 nights and a double-bedded cabin runs to €1,285 per person or €1,465 single, while a twin-bedded cabin runs to €1,375 per person or €1,645 for sole use.

In the other direction, Charleston to Southampton takes 13 nights and the fare is €1,545 per person for a double-bedded cabin and €1,675 single. A twin-bedded cabin runs to €1,675 per person or €1,805 single.

For further details of booking with CMA CGM 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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Liverpool-Philadelphia Cargo-Passenger Service Back To Weekly

Independent Venture

The 6-berth Independent Venture joins three other passenger-carrying container ships on a 28-day round voyage

With her first passenger sailing in October , the Independent Venture will rejoin the Independent Container Line route between Antwerp and Liverpool in Europe and Chester PA and Wilmington NC in America. The Independent Venture can accommodate up to six passengers in an Owners and two Double cabins, and joins the passenger service on October 4 at Antwerp and October 7 at Liverpool. The other ships on this route are the Independent Pursuit, Independent Spirit and Independent Voyager.

This service has proven to be one of our most reliable over the years and is now back to a weekly fixed day of the week frequency. Westbound, sailings leave Antwetp on Wednesdays and Liverpool on Fridays, arriving at Chester on Tuesdays and Wilmington on Fridays. Eastbound, ships leave Chester on Wednesdays and Wimington on Fridays, arriving at Antwerp on Tuesdays. UK-bound passengers must leave the ship here but but can be back in the UK the same day on a through Eurostar ticket from Antwerp to London St Pancras Station.

Fares can be found here but due to a lower exchange rate, the dollar fares are now lower  (use $1.24 to the Euro instead of $1.35). Service outline with fares. Note that if you are not a US or Canadian citizen you will need a full US visa to enter any United States port on this service.

To book a Transatlantic cargo ship voyage on the ICL route or for further details please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Canadian Sailings: MSC Monterey Reinstates Montreal-Genoa Passenger Service Last Offered By Hanjin Palermo In November 2012

MSC Monterey

Note: Service NSB’s MSC Monterey now offers a 28-day round trip vyage between Montreal and Genoa, calling at Gioia Tauro and Livorno while on the eastbound voyage from Montreal, with a direct return to the St Lawrence port. Service was temporary and has now ended. We think that this is MSC’s spare ship as she never stays on on route for very long!

MSC MONTEREY, round trip duration about 28 days, 1 Owners & 2 Double cabins

Route: Montreal – Gioia Tauro – Leghorn – Genoa – Montreal

For the time being bookings are only possible for the following departures:

From Montreal about November 16 / December 14 / January 11

From Genoa about December 02 / December 30 / January 27

A waitlist has been opened for later departures.

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

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.

Grimaldi Lines Announces Latest Rome To Baltimore and Jacksonville Passenger Dates (15.05.17)

Grimaldi Marocco © John Skelson

Grimaldi Lines’ Grande Marocco class ships carry 12 passengers each betwen Rome and Jacksonville via Baltimore

Grimaldi Lines last year announced a new cargo-passenger service between Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Baltimore, which has now been extended to Jacksonville, Florida..

Grimaldi is offering service between Civitavecchia and Jacksonville on ships carrying cargo including new automobiles for Fiat-Chrysler, including the Jeep Renegade. It may be possible later to book accompanied privately-owned vehicles as well. These ships carry up to twelve passengers each, the maximum allowed on a cargo ship.

One-way North Atlantic fares for 2016-17 are as follows:

Owners Category EM2: €1,700 (about US $1,905) per person for two
Outside Category DE2: €1,300 (about US $1,455) per person for two
Inside Categories DI2/BI2: €950 (about US $1,065) per person for two

Owners Category EM1: €2,300 (about US $2,575) for sole occupancy
Outside Category DE1: €1,700 (about US $1,905) for sole occupancy
Inside Categories DI1/BI1: €1,200 (about US $1,345) for sole occupancy

The duration of each voyage is about 11 days to Baltimore (14 days to Jacksonville) and there is a sailing about every 11 days. A new schedule has now been released, with departures from Civitavecchia as follows): May 25, June 8 & 30, July 5 & 19, August 2, 16 & 30, Sept 13, Oct 1, 15 & 28

These ships feature an Owners cabin and five Inside cabins.

For further details on booking a voyage on Grimaldi Lines 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 cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.

Last Minute Transatlantic Cargo Ship Cabins From Europe to the USA

MSC IlonaNSB Freighter Cruises have just advised us that they still have the following cabins available from Europe to US East Coast for June:

  • MSC ILONA
  • from Bremerhaven June 24
  • from Felixstowe June 26
  • from Rotterdam June 27
  • from Antwerp June 28
  • from Le Havre June 30
  • to New York (Newark), Baltimore and Norfolk

Double cabin still available – this cabin is also available for the full round voyage

  • MSC FLAMINIA

from Genoa June 23 for Valencia and Algeciras to New York (Newark), Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston and back to Algeciras, Valencia, Gioia Tauro, Napels, Livorno, La Spezia and Genoa

Double cabin still available – this cabin is also available for the full round voyage

anchorA 10 % last-minute reduction is available on the passage price for the above mentioned departures. Intending passengers who are not US or Canadian citizens require a full US B1/B2 Visa to enter the United States by cargo ship. Act now in order to book space.

anchorFor further information on these voyages, please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com.
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Five Transatlantic Sail Opportunities With Star Clippers In 2015 – Schooner Or Square Rigged – Caribbean to Europe And Vice Versa

Star Clippers TransatStar Clippers’ range of extended ocean cruises allows you really to get a feel for life on the open water as you sail across the Atlantic Ocean from one delightful destination to another. Usually these crossings embark from in Europe and travel to a port in the Caribbean, or vice versa, giving you the opportunity to discover two vastly different continents and enjoy a relaxing break at sea in between.

Flights, non UK transfers & port charges included in the following fares

St. Maarten to Lisbon

Departing April 2, 2015 – 18 nights aboard Star Flyer – Visiting: St. Maarten, 12 nights at sea, Punta Delgada, 4 nights at sea and Lisbon – From £1,979 per person, Single from £2,359

Barbados to Rome

Departing April 25, 2015 – 21 nights aboard Royal Clipper – Visiting: Barbados, 10 nights at sea, Punta Delgada, 4 nights at sea, Malaga, Palma, Mahon and Rome – From £2,049 pp, Single from £2,679

Las Palmas to Barbados

Departing October 24, 2015 – 15 nights aboard Star Flyer – Visiting: Las Palmas, Santa Cruz, 13 nights at sea and Barbados – From £1,789* pp, Single from £2,229

Malaga to St. Maarten

October 31, 2015 – 21 nights including Star Clipper – Visiting: Malaga, Safi, Arrecife, Las Palmas,
13 nights at sea and St. Maarten – From £2,539 pp, Single from £3,279

Lisbon to Barbados

November 5, 2015 – 16 nights including Royal Clipper – Visiting: Lisbon, Casablanca, Safi, Tenerife,
10 nights at sea and Barbados – From £2,149 pp, Single from £2,729

For further details of crossing the Atlantic with Star Clippers please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk. In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.