leisurely cruise between the home shores of Southampton and the skyscrapers of New York is often seen as the most glamourous way to cross the Atlantic – although such voyages, with their echoes of the “golden age of travel”, tend to come with an equally upmarket price tag.

But a best of both worlds – of sorts – may have appeared on the horizon in the form of French shipping company CMA CGM (Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement – Compagnie Générale Maritime), which is now offering journeys between the east coast of the USA and continental Europe, via the UK.

The catch? Passengers will be slumbering on a vessel which is lugging heavy cargo across the planet’s second largest ocean. The upside? One-way fares start from as little as €1,515 (£1,330) a head – considerably less than your average transatlantic crossing.

CMA CGN now offers cabins for passengers
CMA CGN now offers cabins for passengers

The Marseille-based company has five ships engaged in the service, two of which – the Chateau D’If and the Alcazar – have enough space for three non-crew members

Guests can choose either a single cabin (available for €1,615/£1,419), or the “Owner’s Cabin”, which sleeps two at the lead-in rate of €1,515 a head – or is available for €1,715 (£1,506) for one-person use.

The route is increasingly popular with young travellers and students who want a no-frills way of getting from New York to the UK, according to Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People (020 7723 2450; cruisepeople.co.uk) – sea transportation specialists who sell tickets for CMA CGM departures alongside more recognised cruise sailings.

While slow-and-steady access to and from the Big Apple is the route’s most attractive facet, adventurers can also extend their stay, and take in less obvious ports of call.

Once they reach New York, CMA CGM vessels continue down America’s Eastern Seaboard – south to Charleston (in South Carolina), Savannah (in Georgia) and Miami (Florida).

The freighter voyages also stop in Charleston
The freighter voyages also stop in Charleston CREDIT: SEANPAVONEPHOTO/SEANPAVONEPHOTO

There are also opportunities for extensions on the opposite side of the ocean, with stops in Le Havre (France), Antwerp (Belgium), Rotterdam (Holland), and Bremerhaven on Germany’s North-Sea coast. Extra nights can be booked from €140 (£123) or €160 (£140) per person per day for the “Owner’s Cabin” (depending on sole or single occupancy) – or €150 (£132) for the single berth.

CMA CGM has eastbound voyages scheduled to depart New York on May 30, June 20, July 4, July 25, August 8 and August 29.

The sailings are certainly not the fastest way to skip the Atlantic – they take 10 days. But for those with time to spare, they do offer value. For example, the “Grand Eastbound Crossing” that Cunard (0344 338 8650; cunard.co.uk) has slated for July 1 – a 12-night odyssey between New York and Southampton aboard Queen Mary 2 – is currently on sale from £2,579 per person.


Article from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/news/french-freighter-company-passenger-fares-new-york/?fbclid=IwAR2RE7FUVRu6Jc2kPPA6ucmK16lOgQ7bDhKpla9aPuKltFMtBD38yxK29JY