Traveling by Containership mv CMA CGM Andromeda

A photo log of Bo Drewsen’s trip onboard
mv CMA CGM Andromeda

Route

Malta – Beirut | Beirut – Suez Canal | Suez Canal – Jeddah | Jeddah – Jebel Ali | Jebel Ali – Port Kelang | Port Kelang – Yantian | Yantian – Xiamen | Xiamen – Qingdao | Qingdao – Busan

mv CMA CGM Andromeda
The vessel I am traveling as passenger on – mv CMA CGM Andromeda.
The vessel I am traveling as passenger on - mv CMA CGM Andromeda
The aft of mv CMA CGM Andromeda with towering stacks of containers.
Map of the ship’s route that I took, I boarded in Malta and will disembark in Busan.
Onboard CMA CGM Andromeda
Onboard the CMA CGM Andromeda together with captain MITROVIC (right) and chief engineer LUCIN. A most competent and friendly team onboard!

Dear Readers of PCW,

The month of July has passed and I hope you have enjoyed the month even without your usual weekly issue of PCW. This special edition of Project Cargo Weekly is focused on travel shipping and the trip I have taken onboard CMA CGM Andromeda from Malta to Busan. First of all I wish to dedicate this issue to the sailors of the world who are the ones keeping the supply chain running and the stores full of the much coveted products that we seem to want endlessly.

When I decided to take a containership as passenger with my daughter from Europe to Asia it was not something that came out of the blue. In fact I have travelled this way each year since 2005. This is the 2nd time that my daughter has joined me on a container ship, so she was well aware that internet would not be available onboard. We have spent quality time together and we improved our table tennis skills. We have both read a lot of books and also gone ashore to meet contacts/friends and do the occasional shopping (mainly in the endless malls of Dubai).

You may ask why I travel by containership when there are cruise ships available and you may wonder how one passes the time onboard. From my current and previous trips I have found the following benefits:

  • Total tranquility onboard for you as a passenger on a “working” ship
  • There is ample peace and quiet to read books and no one bothers you
  • You have time to reflect on decisions already made and carefully plan for the future. Somehow looking at the ocean in the daytime and stars at night opens your mind completely
  • You have time to remember what is important in life and what really means something
  • You can avoid news, most of which is negative and copy / paste anyhow

The route I chose for this trip included a few ports where I have never been before such as Beirut, Jeddah and Jebel Ali. In all 3 ports I made new contacts in shipping, met with local agents and come to think of it, if I had visited them in the “conventional way with flights and hotel” the cost and time would have been almost the same, but the stress would have been much more.

So for a shipping man like the undersigned it is indeed the way to travel and, the ideal way to combine business with pleasure.

The vessel CMA CGM ANDROMEDA has 5 luxurious cabins on the F deck dedicated to passengers along with a passengers recreation room. On C deck there is a gym and a small indoor pool which is filled daily with saltwater. Kudos indeed to CMA CGM as a shipowner to offer such a product in today’s market. Most shipowners do not accept passengers. It is not necessarily a cheap way to travel but the cost is reasonable at eur 110/euro/per day/person including all meals. If you would like to know more about the routes that are available around the world then I welcome you to approach Ms. Marie Paule Aubert of Ponant, partner of CMA CGM direct. Her email address is: mpaubert@ponant.com

So, without boring you further I will allow the photos below to do the “talking” in this issue of Project Cargo Weekly.

Next week (on August 10th) the normal newsletter is back in town with interviews, sector news, industry news and so on – and until then I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen
Editor, Project Cargo Weekly
Currently onboard mv CMA CGM Andromeda close to Busan, South Korea


First sunset onboard after leaving Malta
First sunset onboard after leaving Malta.

Splendid scenery on the horizon.

Sports onboard
Sports onboard.
Arrival in Beirut
Arrival in Beirut.
Arrival in Beirut
Alongside in Beirut.

Arrival in Beirut
Lunch ashore with Mr. Maroun El Khoury of CMA CGM Lebanon on the Beirut marina.
Entrance to the Suez Canal
Entrance to the Suez Canal with Port Said Container Terminal on the port side of the vessel.
a vessel on the Suez
Another container vessel heading northbound in the new Suez Canal whilst we were heading Southbound.
Sailing midway through the Suez Canal
Sailing in the desert about midway in the 15 hr long journey in the Suez Canal.
Exiting the Suez Canal
Exiting the Suez Canal at Ismailya with a jack-up rig on our starboard side before entering the Red Sea.
Exiting the Suez Canal
Exiting the Suez Canal at Ismailya with the great mosque on our starboard side before entering the Red Sea.

Moon over the Red Sea
Heading south in the Red Sea with an incredibly clear moon ahead of us.
On the Red Sea
On the Red Sea.
Entering the Islamic port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Entering the Islamic port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – careful navigation needed.
Entering the Islamic port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah Port Control Tower

Entering into the port of Jeddah very close to the bulk terminal with a bunch of tanks ready for either dispatch or inland transport, a bulk carrier – and the berth for our 363m long vessel.

A bulk vessel at the port of Jeddah.
Meeting onboard with CMA CGM Jeddah office
Meeting onboard with CMA CGM Jeddah office. Present from left to right: Mr. Muhammad A. AlGhamdi, Mr. Bo H. Drewsen, Mr. Muhammad Asif.

Leaving Jeddah
Leaving Jeddah at 0100am with some spectacular lights of the port in the still 36 degree heat at that time.
Leaving Jeddah
Glowing lights from the port and the ships alongside.

Grilling fish on deck, our dining table, the 4 passengers onboard Mr. Piccinino from Malta, Ms Drewsen from Finland, Mr. Bailey Castro from USA and Mr.Drewsen from Denmark, dessert today after main.

The engine room
The final result with grilled fish and an overall enjoyable dinner onboard.
The Engine Room
Engine room and passenger Piccinino from Malta talking to chief engineer.
A visit to the engine room
A visit to the engine room an incredibly powerful ships engine at some 100,000 horsepower.

Close to Jebel Ali, view from bridge wing, view in the Red Sea facing aft, salmon dinner, the day’s menu, a visitor onboard near Oman, a view of the bridge, a navigation system on the bridge, a map used for navigation on the bridge and several photos of the ocean as we sailed along.

Me with daughter outside her cabin, meeting another CMA CGM vessel, work starting immediately on arrival, when in Jebel Ali I met local contact Mr. Ghassan of Gamma5 Logistics. My daughter in the Dubai mall in front of the indoor ski slope and a view of the Burj Khalifa – the worlds tallest building.

Forward view, galley with chief cook and steward from the Philippines, today’s menu and the deck “walkway” where I took 6 rounds (equal to 6km) daily, the sunset in immense heat close to Jebel Ali and me outside in the 47 degree weather leaving Jebel Ali.

Passenger on deck shows scale/size of the deck onboard, steaming ahead and view from deck.

Bottle Post
Preparing a bottle post to be sent out from the ship – hope someone receives!

Dinner onboard in the Indian Ocean – Donuts for dessert.

The horizon close to Port Kelang
The horizon close to Port Kelang

meeting in port kelang
Meeting at Westport Kelang office with Mr. Dennis Tan (of Tera Projects), Bo Drewsen, Mr. Kumar Manager of PKL office of CMA CGM and his colleagues.

mv CMA CGM Andromeda alongside in Westport Kelang, on the wing leaving Westport, Sailing in the Indian Ocean towards Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, container operations, 5km quay with STS cranes.

Meeting in Yantian, China
Meeting with CMA CGM OOG Desk Manager and Sales Manager at the Port of Yantian, China.
Lisa on the bow
My daughter on the bow of the ship almost like in the movie The Titanic. Near the entrance to Taiwan strait before a typhoon. arrived.
Sunsets are spectacular on the open sea
Sunsets are spectacular on the open sea.

More beautiful sunsets.

Evening view in Yantian port
Evening view in Yantian port – working 24-7
Between Yantian and Qingdao
Between Yantian and Qingdao one night, we experienced winds of some 50 knots (see lower right) and 4-5m high waves with subsequent rolling and pitching.

Relaxation onboard
View of passengers recreation room.
Relaxation onboard
Amenities in the passenger recreation room.
Relaxation onboard
Relaxation onboard – sitting on my balcony digesting one of the 20 books I brought with wonderful views and temperatures.

Wonderful 29sqm cabin onboard at F deck just below the bridge with forward and side views.

Wonderful cabin
The sitting area and beds in my cabin.
Wonderful cabin
View from side window in my cabin on F-deck.
Showing the scale of the ship - my daughter on an empty deck
Showing the scale of the ship – my daughter on an empty deck.
Positioning of empty flatracks between Asian ports
Positioning of empty flatracks between Asian ports.
Luggage being lifted at Busan Port.
End of the trip in Busan, luggage being lifted off and a goodbye from the captain onboard.