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Trans-Atlantic Passenger Service by Sea 2015-16


            r.m.s. Queen Mary 2  (Southampton-New York, 2,620 passengers)         m.v. Independent Voyager  (Liverpool-Philadelphia, 5 passengers)              


Year-round Sailings by Liner and Freighter

(Also See Frequently Answered Questions at the bottom of the page)

To E-mail The Cruise People about a Transatlantic Voyage

Cunard Line North Atlantic Service (Since 1840)

 2015 Crossings     
New York to Southampton Southampton to New York     
Queen Mary 2   May 3, 2015
May 10, 2015 Queen Mary 2   May 27, 2015
June 3, 2015 Queen Mary 2   June 14, 2015
June 21, 2015 Queen Mary 2   July 4, 2015 (from Liverpool)
July 14, 2015 (+) Queen Mary 2   July 22, 2015
August 4, 2015 Queen Mary 2   August 11, 2015 (+)
August 19, 2015 Queen Mary 2   August 27, 2015
September 4, 2015 Queen Mary 2   September 20, 2015
October 11, 2015 Queen Mary 2   October 22, 2015
RCI Sailing (7 nights): Anthem of the Seas October 27, 2015
October 29, 2015 Queen Mary 2   December 15, 2015

Sailings by the Queen Mary 2 take 7 nights in each direction or (+) 8 nights via Halifax                  

To E-mail The Cruise People about a Cunard Transatlantic Voyage

Freighter Pricing Guide:  Budget about $135 (about £90) per person per day plus any dues and taxes.

North Atlantic Cargo/Passenger Services

Notice: Most westbound sailings from Europe are sold out until September but eastbound space is still available from the USA.

North Atlantic Routes

Twice Monthly (April/November) - PZM POLISH STEAMSHIP COMPANY (mv's ISA, ISOLDA, ISADORA, IRYDA and IRMA, 35,600 dwt tons, 6 passengers each, and mv's DRAWSKO, JUNO, LUBIE, MAMRY, MIEDWIE, RESKO, SOLINA and WICKO, 30,000 dwt tons, 3-5 passengers each) - Amsterdam (IJmuiden) to Cleveland and Burns Harbor, IN (for Chicago). Tramp voyages from the Great Lakes. Round voyages also available.

About every 14 days - INDEPENDENT CONTAINER LINE Route (mv's INDEPENDENT PURSUIT and INDEPENDENT VOYAGER, 3-5 passengers each) - Between Antwerp,  Liverpool and Philadelphia and Wilmington NC (Note: Embarkation at either Antwerp or Liverpool, disembarkation at Antwerp only, where there are fast Eurostar connections to London St Pancras).

About every 21 days - CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE (mv CMA CGM JAMAICA, 53,700 tons, 7 passengers) and HANSA SHIPPING (mv HS BACH, 44,985 dwt tons, 2 passengers) - Le Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven to Charleston, Miami, Veracruz and Altamira (Mexico), and return via Houston, New Orleans and Miami to Le Havre.

Every 28 days -  NSB FREIGHTER CRUISES (mv MSC ILONA, 85,825 tons, 5 passengers) - Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre to New York, Baltimore, Norfolk  and return via New York to Bremerhaven and Felixstowe.

Twice Monthly - RICKMERS LINIE - PEARL STRING ROUTE (Nine vessels, each 30,000 tons, 6 passengers) - From Houston and Philadelphia to Hamburg and Antwerp, eastbound only and subject to space availability.

Monthly - MACS NORTH ATLANTIC SERVICE (mv's AMBER LAGOON and PURPLE BEACH, each 32,000 tons, 2 passengers) - From Immingham, Antwerp and Bremen/Brake to Altamira, Mexico, New Orleans, Houston and Port Arthur and return via various ports to Immingham, etc.

Mediterranean Routes

Every 42 days - NSB FREIGHTER CRUISES (mv MSC FLAMINIA, 80,000 tons, 5 passengers) - La Spezia, Genoa, Valencia, Algeciras and Sines to New York (Newark), Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston, returning via Algeciras, Valencia, Gioia Tauro, Naples and Livorno to La Spezia. With supplemental service every nine weeks by sister ship MSC ALISSIA, Valencia  to New York, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah.   

Every 49 days - MEDITERRANEAN GULF EXPRESS (mv TOMMY WITSCHER, 57,500 tons, 5 passengers) - Genoa, Barcelona and Valencia to Port Everglades, Veracruz and Altamira (Mexico), returning via Houston, New Orleans and Port Everglades to Cagliari, Salrno and Livorno to Genoa.  

Every 50 days - MELFI LINES (mv VERA D, 22,500 tons, 2 passengers) - Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Lisbon to Halifax, Havana, Altamira, Veracruz and Progreso, returning via Havana, Salerno and Livorno to Genoa.  

Twice monthly - RICKMERS LINIE - PEARL STRING ROUTE (Nine vessels, each 30,000 tons, 6 passengers) - From Houston and Philadelphia via Hamburg and Antwerp to Genoa, eastbound only and subject to space availability.

Monthly to/from Egypt - CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE (mv's CMA CGM AMBER and CMA CGM EIFFEL, each 58,540 tons, 8 passengers) - From New York, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston to Port Said, and returning from Damietta to New York.

Caribbean Routes

WeeklyCMA CGM - FRENCH WEST INDIES LINE (mv's CMA CGM FORT ST GEORGES, FORT ST LOUIS, FORT ST PIERRE and FORT STE MARIE, 28,000 dwt tons, 12 passengers) - Between Dunkirk, Rouen, Le Havre and Montoir and Fort de France, Martinique, and Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe, and return.

Every 12 days CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE - EUROPE / ST MARTIN / TRINIDAD ROUTE (mv's CMA CGM ARISTOTE, CMA CGM HERODOTE, CMA CGM HOMERE and CMA CGM PLATON, 21,250 dwt tons, 6 passengers) - Between Rotterdam, Tilbury, Rouen and Le Havre and St Martin, French West Indies, and Port of Spain, Trinidad, and return - also serving Cayenne and North Brazil ports.

Every 44 days HANSA SHIPPING  (mv HS SCHUBERT, 23,700 dwt tons, 6 passengers) - Between Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre and Kingston, Cartagena, Santo Tomas de Castillo, Puerto Cortes, Moin and return via Kingston.

Note: Passage tickets are issued by shipowners, which may differ from the operator. Payments are accepted in Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars.

Important: Non-US & Canadian passengers entering the USA by freighter require a Full US Visa Type B1/B2.

To E-mail The Cruise People about a Transatlantic Voyage

Click here to visit our Round-the-World and Extended Voyages Page

Trans-Atlantic Sailings - A Few Frequently Answered Questions:

1. How much will it cost me to cross the Atlantic?  Firstly, you shouldn't think of sea travel as a way to beat an air fare. It isn't. But unlike flying, it can be a richly rewarding experience. You should expect to pay a minimum of about $1,700 per person each way, depending on route and cabin.  Sea travel is only cheaper than flying when you consider the many days you will spend on board (which has to be compared to a hotel stay ashore) with three full meals a day and a private cabin. Remember that a ship can normally steam in a day only as far as a jetliner can fly in an hour. But drinks on board cargo ships are not only tax and duty free, but also profit free (from what is call bonded stock).

2. Can I take my pet or my vehicle with me?  Those wishing to take their pets with them can do so only on board Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 between New York and Southampton and the French West Indies Line (small dogs only, maximum 20 kilos) between France and the French West Indies. Shipments of vehicles needs to be arranged with an outside company as they are not carried on Queen Mary 2 and container ships do not accept them as accompanying baggage.  TransGlobal Logistics, with depots in Europe and North America, can arrange shipment of your vehicle (or motorcycle) to destinations worldwide at reasonable rates.  Please follow the link below to their web site:

3. Can I work on board to lower my fare?  Briefly, No. Thirty or forty years ago cargo ship crews numbered 39 to 49 people but today, with automation, crew size is more like 21, so don't even ask. There aren't enough jobs to go round for the real seamen.

4. What about single (and female) travellers?  Cargo ships have the great advantage of being inexpensive for single travellers, often with no single supplement for single cabins. And single women may travel without fear - the ships' crews are accommodating and welcoming - most of them have wives and girlfriends at home. Single female travellers are among the more important groups who travel this way.

5. How quickly can I sail across the Atlantic?  Relax. You won't get there in just 5 days. Most Trans-Atlantic freighter voyages take 10 to 14 days and even Queen Mary 2 takes 7 days. The fastest Trans-Atlantic freighter passages are between 8 days and 10 days, but passages of 12 to 14 days are not uncommon.

6. How accurate are sailing schedules?  Dates for Queen Mary 2 and cruise ships are unlikely to change unless there is a realignment of schedules. Container ship sailings are year-round, but dates are subject to change due to cargo or weather. Take care to make flexible arrangements, eg. changeable flight tickets and allowing time for connections.  Tramp sailings depend on cargo and are less reliable.

To E-mail The Cruise People about a Transatlantic Voyage

Did you know that flying produces 36 times more carbon dioxide per passenger-mile than sea travel?

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Last Revised 21st March 2015

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