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Trans-Atlantic Passenger Service by Sea 2016-17


            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)

 2016 Crossings

From Southampton to New York: May 10, June 23, July 17, August 1, September 1 and 20, October 18, November 3 and 19, December 15.

From New York to Southampton: May 17, July 6 and 24, August 9, September 8, October 11 and 26, November 11, December 8 and January 3, 2017.

Sailings by the Queen Mary 2 take 7 nights in each direction or 8 nights if via Halifax. Some sailings turn at Hamburg.


North Atlantic Cargo/Passenger Services

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

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 monthly - CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE (mv CMA CGM JAMAICA, 53,700 tons, 7 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. Also occasional  Transatlantic sailings to and from New York by Far East ships (mv's CMA CGM AMBER and CMA CGM CORAL (5 passengers each).

Three weeks out of four - INDEPENDENT CONTAINER LINE Route (mv INDEPENDENT VOYAGER, 39,164 tons, 3-5 passengers, mv's INDEPENDENT PURSUIT and INDEPENDENT SPIRIT, 2 passengers each) - Between Antwerp,  Liverpool and Philadelphia and Wilmington NC (Note: Embarkation at either Antwerp or Liverpool, disembarkation at Antwerp only, for fast Eurostar connections to London).

About  every 25 days (westbound only) - PETER DOEHLE (Two vessels, each 65,474 tons, 8 passengers) - From Antwerp, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Savannah, westbound only.

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

Every 28 days - NSB FREIGHTER CRUISES (mv's MSC CORDOBA and MSC MONTEREY, 63,385 tons, 6 passengers) - Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Sines, Portugal, to Long Beach and Oakland, returning via Manzanillo (Mexico), Panama and Sines to Felixstowe.

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.

Every 56 days - NSB FREIGHTER CRUISES (mv MSC LAUSANNE, 81,000 tons, 6 passengers) - Genoa, Valencia, Algeciras and Sines, Portugal, to New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston, returning via Algeciras, Valencia, Gioa Tauro, Naples, Livorno and La Spezia to Genoa.

Mediterranean / US East Coast (49 days)

Mediterranean Routes

Every 11 days (westbound only) - GRIMALDI LINES (mv's GRANDE MAROCCO, GRANDE GUINEA, GRANDE SIERRA LEONE, GRANDE BENIN, GRANDE NAPOLI, GRANDE ROMA, 15,000-25,000 tons, 12 passengers) - Civitavecchia to Baltimore and Halifax.

Twice monthly (eastbound only) - 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.

About Monthly (westbound only) CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE - MED / GULF / ECUADOR ROUTE (mv's CMA CGM  MANET and CMA CGM MATISSE, 28,000 dwt tons, 6 passengers.) - Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Tangiers to Caucedo, Veracruz, Altamira, Houston and New Orleans.

Every 55 days - MELFI LINES (mv VERA D, 22,500 tons, 2 passengers) - Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Lisbon to Halifax, returning via Havana, Altamira, Veracruz, Progreso, Havana (2nd call), Salerno and Livorno to Genoa.

Caribbean Routes

Every 14 days CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE - EUROPE / ST MARTIN / TRINIDAD ROUTE (mv's CMA CGM CAYENNE, CMA CGM MARSEILLE and CMA CGM SAINT LAURENT, 21,200 / 29,000 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 21 days CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE - EUROPE / CENTRAL AMERICA ROUTE (mv's CMA CGM FORT ST GEORGES and FORT ST PIERRE and FORT STE MARIE, 28,000 dwt tons, 12 passengers) - Between Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Antwerp and Le Havre and Kingston, Cartagena, Santo Tomas, Puerto Cortes, Moin and Kingston, and return.

Every 28 daysCMA CGM - FRENCH WEST INDIES LINE (mv FORT ST LOUIS, 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. Also chartered vessels such as POINTE MARIN.

About Monthly (eastbound only) CMA CGM THE FRENCH LINE - MED / GULF / ECUADOR ROUTE (mv's CMA CGM  MANET and CMA CGM MATISSE, 28,000 dwt tons, 6 passengers.) - Guayaquil and Kingston to Malta, Livorno, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Tangiers.

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. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 14th April 2016

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