Main Menu | Ultra-Luxury | Cruises | Small ShipsExpeditions | Freighters | Transatlantic | Australasia | The World | About Us

CMA CGM Takes Delivery of World's Largest Passenger-Carrying Container Ship

The CMA CGM CHRISTOPHE COLOMB, one of eight new "Explorer" class cargo ships that carry ten passengers each to the Far East.


France's CMA CGM Group took delivery last week in South Korea of the largest passenger-carrying cargo ship in the world, in its new 148,000 gross ton flagship, the CMA CGM CHRISTOPHE COLOMB. Registered in Marseilles and carrying up to 13,300 twenty-foot equivalent containers and ten passengers, the new flagship is one of the largest container ships in the world. Its dimensions of 1,198 feet in length by 168 feet width, and draft of over 50 feet, exceed Royal Caribbean's giant new 6,400-passenger OASIS OF THE SEAS (1,181 x 154 feet and 30 foot draft), also delivered this month.

"It is interesting that just as the huge cruise ship OASIS OF THE SEAS is delivered to her new owners CMA CGM should be taking delivery of this even bigger giant." said Kevin Griffin, managing director of The Cruise People Ltd, who act as passenger agents for CMA CGM container ships in London. "But rather than 6,400 passengers this ship will carry only ten, in great comfort and away from the madding crowds."

The CHRISTOPHE COLOMB is the first of eight "Explorer" class sister ships, with subsequent vessels to be named after Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama, Amerigo Vespucci, Corte Real, La Pérouse, Magellan and Zheng.

Operating in the Europe/Asia trade, CMA CGM CHRISTOPHE COLOMB will run in the French Asia Line 7, a 69-day round voyage that is run in conjunction with Maersk Line. Her ten passengers are carried in four double-bedded and one twin cabin and she features a dedicated passenger lounge, library and an outside terrace off the passenger lounge, as well as a swimming pool and a gym to allow passengers to keep fit.

The CMA CGM CHRISTOPHE COLOMB also sets itself apart with the position of its superstructure, just forward of amidships, which maximizes space utilization, guarantees better visibility from the bridge and reinforces the ship’s hull. She is also the line's first vessel to be fitted with a pre-swirl stator, an ingenious new device that, together with a twisted leading-edge rudder, maximizes propulsion efficiency and optimizes vessel hydrodynamics, in turn leading to reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of 2 to 4 %. An electronically-controlled engine also reduces oil and fuel consumption by 25 and 3% respectively. The new engine also allows this vessel, capable of speeds up to 25 knots, to be operated at a "super eco-speed" of 14 to 15 knots if required.

She began her maiden voyage in Shanghai on 11 November, proceeding thence to Ningbo, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Yantian and is due at Algeciras on 3 December before arriving at Rotterdam on the 7th and Bremerhaven on the 9th. On her return voyage she will call at Algeciras again and then Yantian and Hong Kong en route to Shanghai.

Although CMA CGM is the third largest container line in the world, in commemoration of the line's illustrious maritime past that once included great ocean liners such as the PARIS, ILE DE FRANCE, NORMANDIE, LIBERTE and FRANCE, chairman Jacques Saadé decided some years ago that new cargo ships would continue this tradition by being outfitted to carry passengers on their voyages worldwide, a tradition to which the company is holding true.

In addition to its new flagship, CMA CGM is due to take delivery of eight more giants in 2009. The CMA CGM HYDRA, MUSCA and THALASSA carry up to 11,000 twenty-foot containers, while five more, the CMA CGM ANDROMEDA, AQUILA, LEO, LIBRA and LYRA, are capable of 11,400. All will carry ten passengers except the HYDRA, MUSCA and THALASSA, with eight. Of these, the CMA CGM ANDROMEDA has been registered in the UK with CMA CGM (UK) Ltd and at 131,332 gross tons, is the second largest vessel under British registry after the 148,528-ton QUEEN MARY 2.

Passengers who travel with CMA CGM are accommodated in outside cabins, many with windows that open, and take breakfast in their own lounge, while lunch and dinner, which include complimentary French table wine, Chateau Paquebot, are served in the officers mess. The fare for a full 69-day Far East round voyage from Southampton or Rotterdam, is Euros 6,900 (about £6,275) per person double or Euros 7,179 (about £6,525) for sole use of a double stateroom, but one-way and part voyages are also available.

For further information and availability for CMA CGM sailings please contact The Cruise People's Miri Lopusna at 020 7723 2450, Freephone 0800 526 313 or or visit their web site at

- 30 -

Notes to editors:

1)For enquiries and reservations, please contact Miri Lopusnaof CMA CGM UK passenger agent - The Cruise People on 020 7723 2450 /

2)The Cruise People specialise in niche cruise markets including ultra-luxury, small ship cruising, expedition voyages and freighter travel. For more information on their range of itineraries and vessels please contact Kevin Griffin at The Cruise People.

3)For more information on these and other CMA CGM voyages visit

Enquiries & Reservations 020 7723 2450

Prepared by The Cruise People Ltd / 17 November 2009

Main Menu | Ultra-Luxury | Cruises | Small ShipsExpeditions | Freighters | Transatlantic | Australasia | The World | About Us

Posted 17th November 2008