Around the world in a box ship

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buewhale.jpgCruise ships will be queuing for berths in Southampton next week as they load up with passengers and provisions ready to set out on marathon world voyages.
On Wednesday alone no fewer than six ships will be jostling for space – Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth making her maiden World Voyage and a tandem transatlantic crossing with sister ship Queen Victoria; Fred Olsen’s Balmoral and Black Watch, P&O’s Arcadia and the venerable Saga Ruby
It will be well into April before some of them return after spending more than 100 days at sea.
Sailing by cruise ship is not the only way to take a world cruise nowadays; it is possible to make the journey – in comfort if not in unadulterated luxury – on board a container ship.
French shipping line CMA CGM, the third largest cargo company in the world, can even provide a “Round the World in 76 Days” service to better by four days the adventures of Jules Verne’s travelling hero, Phileas Fogg.
And while it might not be up to the standards of comfort on the boutique ships of Compagnie du Ponant, which CMA CGM also owns, it need not cost a fortune – fares work out at about €100 (£85) per day, which includes free wine with dinner..
The journey is available on six of the company’s more modern ships such as the Blue Whale (above), says Kevin Griffin, managing director of The Cruise People, which markets the trips in the UK.
Each ship has three double cabins for passengers, who eat with the officers, and have use of a library, swimming pool and deck chairs for those long sunny days at sea. As well as the human cargo, the ships carry up to 5,100 containers.
Ports of call include Tanger Med, in Morocco, Jebel Ali in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Pusan in Soith Korea. The ships then head for north America via the Panama Canal and on to Houston, Mobile, Miami, Jacksonville, Charleston and New York. In between, the ships can spend as long as 17 uninterrupted days at sea.
Sightseeing in ports is dependent on the time it takes to load and offload cargo, and Griffin says the officers will help passengers book taxis to take them from the dock – which could well be some miles distant from major attractions.
Fare for a full round-the-world voyage is €7,600 (£6,500) for two sharing, or €9,120 (£7,800) for singles. Part passages can be booked from €100 or €120 per day.
For further information and availability, contact The Cruise People’s Dessy Sajewicz at 020 7723 2450, Freephone 0800 526 313, email, or visit

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 1 January 2011|Cruise Deals, Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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