Satomi went on journey from Hamburg to Le Havre.
Did you know about the service “Cargo Cruise”?
Satomi: I found out about cargo cruises about a year ago. I did some research and waited for the right moment to undertake my voyage. I wanted to start with a short journey to see if I really liked it. About a month before the time I wanted to go, I saw I was available for ten days, so I sent an email to CMA CGM, asking them what journey would work with a departure and arrival in Europe.
How did you organize your journey?
Satomi: I received several proposals that were all in line with my expectations. I chose a journey “with calls” in order to be able to easily disembark in case I got seasick (which didn’t happen, thankfully).
How did you book your trip?
Satomi: The booking was done very quickly and efficiently, which was much appreciated. The team were available to answer all the questions I had.
Why did you choose a cargo cruise instead of a « regular » cruise?
Satomi: It spontaneously happened. I wanted to see the sea and the sky, and to see how life onboard a containership was. For me, the destination was the ship. It was the right thing to do: it was even better than I had imagined.
How was your boarding?
Satomi: The arrival onboard was one of the most memorable moments. When I reached the gangway, I was moved. An officer helped me to board and carried my luggage. He said “Welcome!” (Wow!) As soon as I got onboard and saw the white metallic armored doors, I knew I would like it. I can’t explain it. Nothing superfluous, no décor, and yet it was beautiful.
Tell us about the journey itself…
Satomi: I saw and did many wonderful things. There is so much to say!
My top 3 would be:
- “Nature”: the sea and the sky changing colors, the stars, the milky-way, the moonset (which is orange!), the albatross…
- “Sensations”: continuously being rocked, at sea and when anchored, was very pleasant. The noise of the engine, which was very calm and reassuring, reminded me of an orchestra and a choir sound. You could hear it all the time at sea and when anchored. The CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN sounded like a C major. It is a clear tone, optimistic… (Note: The passenger is a piano teacher.)
- “Human”: Talking to the officers and the crew. I really appreciated their sincerity. Sometime, our discussions were about navigation, sometime family or work. I will take this opportunity to thank the officers and the crew who were very thoughtful with all passengers. They kindly organized a tour of the engine room and would regularly ask me if everything was ok. I had the feeling it was good team work. It was nice to see such a team.
What remains your nicest memory of this journey?
Satomi: When I was at sea, staying alone for hours on the (very high!) bridge, feeling the wind; and simply watching the sky, the sea and other ships, it was so beautiful. Being alone between the sky and the sea was a bit scary for me at first but I knew the seafarers were there and that a good meal was getting cooked at the same time. I was able to recharge my batteries.
Would you recommend it?
Satomi: Yes I would! And I would like to do a longer one next year, with my husband this time.