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CMA CGM cargo cruise on their largest container ship Marco Polo

CMA CGM cargo cruise on their largest container ship Marco Polo

Jan 7th, 2014, 09:05 AM
  #1  
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CMA CGM cargo cruise on their largest container ship Marco Polo

This is a most unusual option for cargo ship cruise deals from the world's 3rd largest container shipping company CMA CGM (French) and their Marco Polo ship. Until the launch of newest Maersk mega ships in 2013, Marco Polo was the world's largest container ship. Marco Polo "cruises" every 11 weeks from Europe to China, then goes back to Europe - all in 77 days. According to the source for all this
http://www.marcopolocruises.net/cma-cgm-marco-polo/
for a cabin on the container ship Marco Polo (a full length voyage), the CMA CGM "cargo cruise" price will be ~10k in Euros (if traveling solo, single occupancy rate is EU130 pp), while a couple would pay ~17k in Euros (double occupancy is EU110 pp).
There's also cabin photos, and I would say cabins look pretty modest.

Prices are really affordable, but compared to the round the world cruises on typical cruise lines, this is not from the "best deals ever" - no parties, buffets, bars, theaters, restaurants, less ports of call, etc. A Cunard world cruise could be as cheap as $20k PP inside cabin for 100+ days voyage.
Lionara is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 10:23 AM
  #2  
 
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A year ago I'd just returned from a RTW trip, part of which was on the CMA CGM Rigoletto (Singapore to Malta through the Suez Canal). I enjoyed it very much once I got over the shock of being entirely responsible for entertaining myself. I loved the tranquility of the freighter voyage but it would certainly not be for everyone. If you like cruising in the usual fashion it may not be for you. I'd crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a year before and am unlikely to do it again, just to give you an idea.

I must also point out that, while you book with the expectation of being on a particular ship, you may not end up on it. We booked on the CMA CGM Cendrillon which was delayed in China and the line changed us to Rigoletto. Also, schedules are such that it would be a mistake to plan your days either side of the voyage as dates aren't guaranteed by any means. You travel as secondary to the needs of the freight. We gave a week's leeway either side of the dates and needed them.

I booked through a New Zealand agent, http://www.freightertravel.co.nz/ and received wonderful personal service from Hamish Jamieson, co-owner. I recommend them highly.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jan 8th, 2014, 02:00 AM
  #3  
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MmePerdu, this is a so valuable info since it comes from a "real deal" cargo ship cruising fella!
I didn't know that thay could change even the very ship in the last minute. So I guess it's a totally "mysterious" vacation type - this cargo cruise business. When the ship is not for sure, along with port stays, arrivals-departures - all surprises! It sounds SO COOL!
Lionara is offline  
Jan 8th, 2014, 07:49 AM
  #4  
 
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Lionara, I loved it and hope to do it again sometime. It's possible, I suppose, that bookings on the Marco Polo stay on the Marco Polo but I cannot imagine that it would make much difference. They all seem to have the same itinerary (which can also change) and one need not book the entire trip, if my experience is an indication, sections of the voyage are available. I should add, because of the ports where we stopped on this part of Rigoletto's schedule we weren't allowed off the ship (Jeddah & Port Said). My aim was to transit the Suez Canal which I did. It was fascinating (to me, maybe not everyone).

Photos here: http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/potd-rigoletto-captain

Regarding the cabins, I found mine every bit as comfortable and well-appointed as the QM2 although without a balcony, of course. But I did have a lounge area and a small fridge (as on the QM2) and the bathrooms were almost identical. I'd give up my balcony anytime for the time I spent on the bridge with charming young officers making me coffee. There was a comfortable passenger lounge as well and a great choice of DVDs. Also a small library in case one ran out. And a laundry near my cabin. Again, if a huge choice of food and entertainment is something you find a necessity then give it a pass. One must love it for what it is, a unique and relaxing experience.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jan 13th, 2014, 05:28 AM
  #5  
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The best part of your comments, my dear MmePerdu, is that they totally show an ability to enjoy life - so rare these days! I'm so happy when I see someone having his/her great time in our wonderful world - and not complaining about the world of madness we create to complain about.
Lionara is offline  
Jan 13th, 2014, 06:35 AM
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What a lovely comment, Lionara. I think you're right that the world is mad, but I try to ignore it as much as possible. I suspect you have fun too.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jan 14th, 2014, 01:50 PM
  #7  
 
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I booked through a New Zealand agent, http://www.freightertravel.co.nz/ and received wonderful personal service from Hamish Jamieson, co-owner. I recommend them highly.

We booked a freighter cruise (Hamburg Süd, Auckland - Fiji - San Francisco) with Hamish and Graham (OMG) 15 (OMG) years ago, and it still stands as one of our most memorable and enjoyable travel experiences. We visited with them in Napier (what a lovely place, deserving of UNESCO listing IMO) before the cruise; they were gracious and fascinating hosts.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 14th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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Oops, misspelled Graeme's name.
Gardyloo is online now  

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