Ms. Véronique Touze
CMA CGM group is a worldwide, well-known and respected shipowner. What is less known, perhaps, is that it also provides would-be passengers the opportunity to travel on one of their modern container vessels. Please tell us, first of all, about your travel agency. When was it established as part of CMA CGM Group, what is your headcount and what is your main line of business?
The Traveler’s Club Agency has been part of the CMA CGM Group for twenty years now.
The headcount is about twenty two people working in the CMA CGM tower in Marseille. Six travel agents work full time on Voyages en Cargo sales and marketing, while the rest of the team works as a traditional travel agency, booking all the hotels and flights for the CMA CGM employees and their companions.
How many people average a year travel aboard your vessels?
1,200 people travel every year on our vessels.
Which routes are the most popular generally?
Europe to USA (Liberty, Amerigo)
Europe to Asia (Fal 1)
Europe to South America (Sirius)
Could you provide us with a link to your routes, and available prices?
All our routes are available on our new website: https://voyagesencargo.com/lines
We have about thirty lines open today with an average price of 130 euros (the price is per day and per person including full board, excluding port taxes and deviation insurance, visas before or upon arrival at destination).
And our team is also there to answer customers and agencies’ questions.
Would-be passengers often ask about food, accommodation, on-board internet and where they are allowed to go. How would you respond to that?
Three meals are served a day. They are included in the cost of your cruise, prepared by the ship’s chef and served at set times in the officers’ mess. These daily meetings allow passengers and crew to chat in a friendly and convivial setting. You will be able to get to know the officers and hear their fascinating tales.
As a reminder, alcohol is forbidden on-board.
The cabins on the cargo ships are generally spacious (from ten to forty square meters) and each is fitted with an en-suite bathroom plus toilet, a double bed or two single beds, a sofa, a desk and one or two portholes.
For washing clothes, most container ships provide laundry facilities, including washing machine, dryer, iron and ironing board. Sheets and towels are provided and a steward will keep the cabin clean. Passengers are in charge of leaving their cabin in good condition at the end of the cargo cruise.
There is very limited access to internet on the vessel and priority must go to the crew. You have to see that as an opportunity to do a digital detox!
ACCESS ON THE VESSEL
Some areas are reserved for the crew, most notably the navigation bridge and the engine room. However, passengers are often allowed to visit these places, provided they are discreet and do not get in the way of the crew working.
What would you say is the main difference between freighter cruises and more conventional cruises?
The main difference is that there is no entertainment and there are only between four and twelve passengers maximum on-board, but the most important thing is that ‘travelling’ by cargo ship really focuses on the origin of the word, ‘traveling’, which signifies traveling around a path but not arriving anywhere, as said by Hugo Verlomme.
Traveling by cargo ship is taking time to travel. It’s sharing unique experiences, it’s setting sail for adventure!
Aboard commercial ships, you will sail across the oceans, following in the wake of the first great explorers and their resulting trade routes. For days or for months, you can make the most of your time aboard ship to escape from the tumult of modern life and rediscover the true meaning of travel.
Are your passengers generally older or are you also seeing a younger crowd enjoying this kind of ‘getaway’?
Most of our passengers are older people, but more and more we see the younger generation being attracted by this authentic and unique method of travel.
As a reminder, cargo ships are accessible for anyone from sixteen to seventy seven 77 years old and it is imperative to be in good health.
What kind of feedback do you get from passengers?
Here are two testimonials we received recently:
Pierre G, on the CMA CGM LAPEROUSE
“Already a month and the memory is so intense that the past is an illusion of the present. [I recall] the engine’s roar, the navigation bridge’s silence, the engine room’s smell, the cook’s perfume, the calm of the officers and the working port show. Do not hesitate, get away for a few days on a CMA CGM cargo ship!”
Aymaar S, on the CMA CGM BERLIOZ
“The crew and officers [were] very kind and the captain acted [with] a huge kindness, open mind and disponsibility. The Strait of Gibraltar crossing at four a.m. was an unforgettable moment. Thank you so much!”
Could you provide us with some pictures of some of the available cabins on-board (from a couple of different routes) so that we can show our readers?
I have included several photos for you here and your readers can discover our routes here: https://voyagesencargo.com/lines
Whom is best to contact for further information about this very interesting way of traveling?
A team of experts is available to organize your trip:
+33 4 88 91 75 20