Three ships, CMA CGM Dolphin, CMA CGM Figaro and CMA CGM Tosca (shown below), now offer on an interesting itinerary between New York and Seattle, as well as Vancouver BC, via the Suez Canal. Known as CMA CGM’s Columbus Loop, the full 105-day round voyage is made via ports in the Far East. Eastbound, ships leave New York via Norfolk and Savannah and sail directly to Tanjung Pelepas, a port in Malaysia located just across the water from Singapore. Calls are then made at Hong Kong, Yantian and Shanghai before proceeding to Pusan, in South Korea, and on to Seattle and Vancouver.
CMA CGM Tosca and fleetmates now connect New York and Seattle (as well as Vancouver BC) via the Suez Canal and Far East ports. © Kevin Quick
The return voyage is made from Vancouver to Yokohama and then calls at the Chinese ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong and Yantian before returning to New York via Tanjung Pelepas.
Voyage time from New York to Seattle is 55 days and from Seattle to New York 50 days (Vancouver to New York is 46 days). This voyage is for those who love the sea, with the longest transit being 29 days from Savannah to Tanjung Pelepas (on the return, Tanjung Pelepas to New York is 23 days).
The new routing retraces the route of the first World Cruise, which was offered by Hamburg America Line’s Cleveland before the Panama Canal had even been opened, but takes half the time. Chartered by Frank C Clark of New York, an early cruise organizer, Cleveland left New York on October 16, 1909, and took 108 days to proceed across the Atlantic to ports in the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, India and the Far East before finishing the world’s first Round-the-World Cruise in San Francisco on January 31, 1910. Passengers then returned to their homes from the West Coast by train while Cleveland retraced her steps on a second world cruise. Equally, passengers taking the new Columbus Loop cruise can travel around the world in either direction and complete their circumnavigation by taking a rail journey across North America.
CMA CGM Figaro and CMA CGM Tosca carry seven passengers each in different mixes of single and double cabins, with fares set at €100 per person per day or €110 per day for sole occupancy of a double cabin. CMA CGM Dolphin carries up to six passengers in three double cabins. Fares include full board, port charges, deviation insurance and complimentary French table wine with lunch and dinner. Part voyages are also possible but the full 105-day round voyage starts at €10,500 (about $15.545 or £9,525). New York to Seattle is €5,500 (about $8,140 or £4,990) for 55 days and Seattle to New York is €5,000 (about $7,400 or £4,535) for 50 days.
For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or Fred Cherney at The Cruise People in Toronto 800-961-5536.