FRENCH liner operator CMA CGM The French Line is reviving its Trans-Atlantic passenger trade to and from the United States this weekend when it opens its new Amerigo Express service between the Mediterranean and the US East Coast. The French Line has always carried passengers between Europe and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, but the last time it offered passenger service between Europe and the USA was 1985, when its ATLANTIC CHAMPAGNE and ATLANTIC COGNAC, cargo ships carrying four passengers each, were retired (*).
Tomorrow, Saturday, October 11, the new Amerigo Express service launches a fixed-day, weekly run when the CMA CGM HUDSON sails from Malta in a new partnership with China Shipping Container Lines. The rotation will be Malta, Leghorn, Genoa, Fors-sur-Mer (Marseilles), Valencia and Lisbon in Europe and New York, Norfolk, Savannah and Port Everglades in the United States. Lisbon will be called at in each direction so the quickest transits will be Lisbon/New York in 8 days or Port Everglades/Lisbon in 10 days. The full round voyage will be 35 days.
Five 1,600-TEU vessels will be deployed, four contributed by CMA CGM and one by CSCL. The CMA CGM vessels are the 31,000-ton reefer container ships CMA CGM HUDSON, POTOMAC, ARNO and TAGE, formerly the FORT DESAIX, FORT FLEUR D'EPEE, FORT ROYAL and FORT ST CHARLES, from the French Antilles-North Europe banana trade. Four new ships, each also capable of carrying 12 passengers, have been introduced to the French Antilles run this summer, thus freeing the previous quartet for CMA CGM's new Mediterranean-US service.
The four new US-service ships were built in France in the late 1970s-1980s and can carry twelve (12) passengers each in both double and single cabins, with passenger lounge and outdoor swimming pool. Passengers will dine in the officers dining room where they will enjoy French cuisine and complimentary table wine with lunch and dinner. The fifth ship, the CSCL XIAMEN, does not carry passengers.
Fares in the new service, when booked as a freighter cruise of 35-days, are Euros 3,500 per person in high season (May 1-September 30) or Euros 3,150 per person in off season (October 1-April 30). Typical one-way fares are Fos-sur-Mer (Marseilles) to New York (12 days) at Euros 1,200 per person in high season or Euros 1,080 off season, or Port Everglades to Leghorn (16 days) at Euros1,600 high season in hugh season or Euros 1,440 per person off season. Part voyages can be booked at Euros 100 per day in high season and Euros 90 per day off season. To calculate US dollar fares, the present rate of exchange is about $1.17 per Euro. As CMA CGM is not signatory to the European/US visa waiver schemes, non-US passengers will generally require a US visa to enter the USA on this service.
Typical sailing days will be from Malta on Saturdays, Fos-sur-Mer on Wednesdays and Lisbon on Sundays westbound and from New York on Mondays and Port Everglades on Saturdays eastbound.
Passenger bookings on the new service can be made through The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, at +44 (0)20 7723 2450, fax +44 (0)20 7723 2486 or e-mail email@example.com.
(*) The ATLANTIC CHAMPAGNE and ATLANTIC COGNAC were all that was left of the French Line's US passenger service after the withdrawal of the famous s.s. FRANCE in 1974. The 1,035-foot s.s. FRANCE was the world's longest passenger ship until just this month, when she was overtaken by Cunard Line's new 1,132-foot QUEEN MARY 2, which is being completed in the same French shipyard that built the FRANCE in 1962. The s.s. FRANCE later became the cruise ship NORWAY.
For further details please contact Kevin Griffin at The Cruise People Ltd.
10th October 2003
Isn't it High Time you were on the High Seas?
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