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Seaworthy News - March, 2013

The World's Largest Containership

The CMA CGM Marco Polo has just completed her maiden voyage - on the photo above departing from Hamburg, Germany in November 2012 with much of the cargo of consumer goods destined for businesses and shops in time for Christmas.

Built in South Korea for the Marseille-based CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping group, and registered in London, she is the first in a series of three 16,000 teu vessels - all to be named after the great explorers. This giant of the seas is 51m (167ft) longer than Queen Mary 2.

In each port, city and regional dignitaries welcomed the vessel and Capt. Velibor Krpan (from Croatia). The Captain explains how the vessel, due to its size, requires closer attention when sailing and maneuvering in narrow channels and ports, as well as quick adaptation to new technologies on board. While ports find it necessary to redevelop to be able to handle this new generation of containerships.

Europe Asia Line (FAL 1)

Sailing every week:

Southampton, England; Le Havre, France (Day 2); transit the Suez Canal (10); Jebel Ali, UAE (18); Port Kelang, Malaysia (28); Xiamen (34) and Tianjinxingang, China (39); Pusan, South Korea (41); Ningbo (44), Shanghai (46), and Yantian (49), all in China; Singapore (53); transit the Suez Canal (66); Algeciras, Spain (71); Southampton, 2nd call (75); Dunkirk, France (76); Hamburg, Germany (79); Rotterdam, Holland (82) and Southampton (84).

The CMA CGM Marco Polo

Passengers: 10
Containers: 16,020 teu
Deadweight: 187,626 tons
Length: 396 m
Speed: 24 knots (45 km)
Built: November, 2012
Officers/Crew: Int’l
Owners: CMA CGM, French
Operator: CMA CGM

Passenger accommodations are located on upper decks:

Larger suites consisting of a bedroom with twin beds and private facilities with shower, and a large sitting area. And single-room cabins consisting of a bedroom with a double bed and private facilities with shower, and a large sitting area.

Since we published this article a new series of larger ships have joined this service, the Saint Exupery being one of the largest in the world currently.

The fare varies from €130 to €150 per day, and higher on new ships, over 20,000 TEU container capacity.

FAL-1 - More info

General Information

Passenger cabins and shared facilities, such as the dining room, lounges, exercise room and swimming pool are located on various decks. There is also an elevator on board the, nevertheless passengers must be fully mobile and able to negotiate the stairs. Front and aft views may be obstructed by the containers stowed on deck.

Self service laundry facilities are available. The electrical current is 220/50 AC. A two-prong round adapter and converter are needed for North American appliances. A steward will clean the cabin once a week, or more often if required.

A small onboard shop provides a limited selection of beverages, cigarettes and toiletries at duty free prices. Onboard expenses may be paid for with cash in US$. Tipping is at the passenger’s discretion; $3-$5 per day is recommended. Telephone, fax and e-mail (but not the Internet) connections are available through the Captain’s office. Port time can vary from half a day to two days.

Reservations can be made by completing a Registration Form and providing a 25% deposit. The balance of the fare is payable 75 days before departure. There are additional fees when embarking and disembarking in some ports, which have to be paid with cash on the spot. Please review the steamship lines' fact sheets linked above. The fare may be paid for by check or bank transfer in either the basic tariff currency, as quoted by the steamship line, or USD/CAD at the prevailing exchange rate, subject to a final adjustment at the time the ticket is issued, a few weeks before departure.

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the anticipated return date, and a visa for China and the USA must be obtained, dpending on citizenship. A Medical Statement of Good Health and International Health and Accident Insurance are required, as is the vaccination certificate against yellow fever, except for the transatlantic voyage. The age limits are 15/77.

Cancellation fees are as follows: over 60 days, loss of deposit; 45-59 days, 50% of the fare. No refund will be made within 45 days of departure. Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is highly recommended. It protects your investment from the moment you buy the policy at no additional cost. And if you buy it within three weeks of your initial deposit, pre-existing conditions are waived. Travel Insurance is required.


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