Has anyone done a transatlantic voyage from UK to USA using CGA CGM?

Freighter and Other Non-Traditional Cruise Travel


Share your interest & experiences in Freighter Cruises and other unusual forms of leisure passenger ship travel
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#1
28 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
I've been pondering the options of transatlantic travel by sea, the only real option seemed to be the QM2
But I've also been trying to find out more information on going by cargo ship.
I see CGA CGM do a route called the Liberty bridge - https://www.cma-cgm.com/products-ser...ces/flyer/LIB1
Two ships seem to do the crossing, the Amber and the Coral, but information on the CGA website is sparse at best.
Has anyone had any experience of going on these boats?
#2
Maine or at sea
13,731 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Deimos
I've been pondering the options of transatlantic travel by sea, the only real option seemed to be the QM2
But I've also been trying to find out more information on going by cargo ship.
I see CGA CGM do a route called the Liberty bridge - https://www.cma-cgm.com/products-ser...ces/flyer/LIB1
Two ships seem to do the crossing, the Amber and the Coral, but information on the CGA website is sparse at best.
Has anyone had any experience of going on these boats?
Particularly if you are going to go by container ship, don't call them "boats" or you will face some scorn from the crew.

If you search down a few threads, "cruising cockroach" has done ships from the same line, and they are all basically the same. He has some good insight into freighter cruising. Realize that unless you are pretty self-sufficient in entertaining yourself for several days, this isn't for you. Entertainment will be limited to TV and videos, numbers of passengers is limited, and generally you don't have the freedom to roam the entire ship.

I would go to freightercruises.com, which is the Maris travel agency, and specializes in freighter travel, and their pages show a little more about the CGM ships, and if you navigate far enough around their pages, they have a Q&A about freighter travel.
#3
cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,689 Posts
Joined May 2012
The Coral and Amber appear to be relatively tiny ships (what I sailed on was almost 3x as large in terms of container capacity). Be prepared to experience a lot of roll if seas are rough as the ships don't use stabilisers. Looks like cost is €1450 for a single cabin (3 such on the ships, and 1 double cabin) for the 10 nts from Le Havre, not sure if they'll give you a break from Southampton. Good news for you, perhaps, is that both are British officered.

To sail to (or via) the U.S.A., you'll need a real U.S. visa. ESTA/I-94W not applicable.

As said, no entertainment. Someone had taken the DVD player on the ship we were on (CMA CGM Libra) and there was only 1 movie available.

If you can read French, go to mer-et-voyages.info voyage ref. is 5822 which is where I got the information. There are also a couple of reviews (in French of course).
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Using cruise lines as a cheap means of comfortable if not speedy intercontinental travel....

Sep 2017 Celebrity Millennium Vancouver-Yokohama
Too many BC Ferries crossings

May 2017 MS Chi-Cheemaun Tobermory-South Baymouth
Mar 2016 Star Princess San Pedro-Vancouver
Mar 2016 CMA CGM Libra HongKong - Long Beach
Jan 2016 RV Yandabo Bagan-Mandalay

Nov 2015 Tirrenia Bithia Janas Arbatax - Civitavecchia
Oct 2015 Saremar Ichnusa Bonifacio-Santa Teresa de Gallura
Oct 2015 Corsica Ferries Corsica Victoria Savona - Bastia
Oct 2014 HAL Zaandam Vancouver-Valparaiso
Mar 2014 Corsica Ferries Mega Express 3 Toulon-Ajaccio & Bastia-Nice
Oct. 2012 HAL Prinsendam Civitavecchia-Fort Lauderdale
April 2012 Island Princess San Pedro-Vancouver
Kasr Ibrim Abu Simbel-Aswan Feb. 2007

Way, way back....
P&O Cathay between Singapore and Hong Kong and back, March 1968 + August 1969
Koeln-Dusseldorfer Line Rotterdam - Bern
Thomson Ithaca Tanger to Brindisi April 1974
Chandris Bruge-Norway-Tilbury August 1974
Chandris Southampton - Canary Islands + Madeira - Southampton August 1976

#4
cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,689 Posts
Joined May 2012
Visa requirements are assuming you're not a U.S. or Canadian citizen and can otherwise visit the U.S. with ESTA or VWP. A lot of European and other I-94W/ESTA eligible pax sail from the U.S. as a result.

The ships can only take 5 pax. The solo cabins are small, only 13-16 m^2 while the double is 23 m^2. The trip reports indicate the officers are Romanian for one of the ships (Amber) though wine was served. The Romanians on my ship only served wine begrudgingly (4 bottles over 2+ weeks). If you drink, I'd highly recommend avoiding Eastern European and German-officered ships.
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Using cruise lines as a cheap means of comfortable if not speedy intercontinental travel....

Sep 2017 Celebrity Millennium Vancouver-Yokohama
Too many BC Ferries crossings

May 2017 MS Chi-Cheemaun Tobermory-South Baymouth
Mar 2016 Star Princess San Pedro-Vancouver
Mar 2016 CMA CGM Libra HongKong - Long Beach
Jan 2016 RV Yandabo Bagan-Mandalay

Nov 2015 Tirrenia Bithia Janas Arbatax - Civitavecchia
Oct 2015 Saremar Ichnusa Bonifacio-Santa Teresa de Gallura
Oct 2015 Corsica Ferries Corsica Victoria Savona - Bastia
Oct 2014 HAL Zaandam Vancouver-Valparaiso
Mar 2014 Corsica Ferries Mega Express 3 Toulon-Ajaccio & Bastia-Nice
Oct. 2012 HAL Prinsendam Civitavecchia-Fort Lauderdale
April 2012 Island Princess San Pedro-Vancouver
Kasr Ibrim Abu Simbel-Aswan Feb. 2007

Way, way back....
P&O Cathay between Singapore and Hong Kong and back, March 1968 + August 1969
Koeln-Dusseldorfer Line Rotterdam - Bern
Thomson Ithaca Tanger to Brindisi April 1974
Chandris Bruge-Norway-Tilbury August 1974
Chandris Southampton - Canary Islands + Madeira - Southampton August 1976

#5
28 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Thanks Cockroach, I didn't realize I'd need a visa.But I don't need a visa for cruise ship travel? Seems strange.
#6
cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,689 Posts
Joined May 2012
That's the way it is. I guess the cruisecos got some sort of exemption for cruise pax, perhaps as a tourist vessel or some sort. An annoying and expensive process. If you want to try it, head back from the U.S. though it its 12 days Savannah to Antwerp.

Feel free to ask any questions or read my trip report (link in previous threads)
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Using cruise lines as a cheap means of comfortable if not speedy intercontinental travel....

Sep 2017 Celebrity Millennium Vancouver-Yokohama
Too many BC Ferries crossings

May 2017 MS Chi-Cheemaun Tobermory-South Baymouth
Mar 2016 Star Princess San Pedro-Vancouver
Mar 2016 CMA CGM Libra HongKong - Long Beach
Jan 2016 RV Yandabo Bagan-Mandalay

Nov 2015 Tirrenia Bithia Janas Arbatax - Civitavecchia
Oct 2015 Saremar Ichnusa Bonifacio-Santa Teresa de Gallura
Oct 2015 Corsica Ferries Corsica Victoria Savona - Bastia
Oct 2014 HAL Zaandam Vancouver-Valparaiso
Mar 2014 Corsica Ferries Mega Express 3 Toulon-Ajaccio & Bastia-Nice
Oct. 2012 HAL Prinsendam Civitavecchia-Fort Lauderdale
April 2012 Island Princess San Pedro-Vancouver
Kasr Ibrim Abu Simbel-Aswan Feb. 2007

Way, way back....
P&O Cathay between Singapore and Hong Kong and back, March 1968 + August 1969
Koeln-Dusseldorfer Line Rotterdam - Bern
Thomson Ithaca Tanger to Brindisi April 1974
Chandris Bruge-Norway-Tilbury August 1974
Chandris Southampton - Canary Islands + Madeira - Southampton August 1976

#7
256 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by Deimos
I've been pondering the options of transatlantic travel by sea, the only real option seemed to be the QM2
But I've also been trying to find out more information on going by cargo ship.
I see CGA CGM do a route called the Liberty bridge - https://www.cma-cgm.com/products-ser...ces/flyer/LIB1
Two ships seem to do the crossing, the Amber and the Coral, but information on the CGA website is sparse at best.
Has anyone had any experience of going on these boats?
Hi, I've never been on a cargo ship, but have crossed the Atlantic many times by cruise ship. Just Google "transAtlantic cruises" for other options. Good luck. Nicole
#8
44 Posts
Joined May 2010
I did a transpacific this year on CMA CGM (the Rhone). It was very nice. I'd offer my most critical observations as:

1. Take your own snacks. Seriously, bring a grocery bag full of stuff if you want it. I had a small refrigerator in my cabin. I don't know if they all do or not.
2. I was the only passenger on my ship, so you have to be very able to entertain yourself. The captain had come from another line that ran transatlantic and he said that there are more passengers on those routes.
3. My cabin was very nice. Since I was the only passenger I got the largest cabin, and it was probably 500 square feet or so with a bed, desk, and sitting area with couch. I took a cruise ship back home and the freighter cabin was more comfortable.
4. My ship actually had a small internet connection (which I discovered a week into the trip). It was very expensive, so I just used it to send a text once per day to my wife. But it was there.
5. There's little or no outside space. You'll spend most of your time in your cabin, most likely.
6. I thought the food was very good. My crew was Romanian and Sri Lankan for the most part, so the food tended to favor those types of recipes.

I'd recommend it. You don't have the amenities of a cruise ship, but you have other advantages. It was cool to be the only passenger on a 1,000 foot ship.

Also, I made my reservations through this company: http://www.cruisepeople.co.uk/details.htm. They were on the ball while the Maris company was non-responsive to my initial inquiry.
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Ships I've Slept On: Spirit of Tasmania, Queen Mary 2, Tustumena, Kennicott, Statendam, Splendor, Legend of the Seas, CMA CGM Rhone, Millennium