Captain Philippe ROUVIERE is in charge of the CMA CGM DALILA. He shares his professional experience with us: a singular path, made possible thanks to a firm resolve.
My name is Philippe ROUVIERE, I’m a French captain in charge of the East/West transits on the COLOMBUS line service on board the CMA CGM DALILA. I take command in Seattle (Washington, U.S.) and land in Savannah (Georgia, U.S.).
My first professional experience at CMA CGM started in 2001, and I’ve been a captain for a bit more than 7 years now. Originally coming from the Army, I gradually rose up to the rank of captain.
Indeed, I graduated as an engineer from Ecole Spéciale Militaire of Saint-Cyr (the French Specialised Military Institute) in 1994. I completed my degree at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. The same year, I became an officer cadet (Lieutenant Rank) at the Ecole d’Application de l’Infanterie (a French Infantry School), in Montpellier (France).
After my graduation, I applied for the Foreign Legion. There, I served as a Head of Section in Castelnaudary (France) and in Mururoa (French Polynesia), from 1994 to 1998.
In 1998, I took a leave from the Army to plan a career change. During this break, I signed a contract in the Operational Reserve Force and was admitted to the Ecole Nationale de la Marine Marchande (the French National Merchant Navy School), in Marseilles. In 2006, I graduated from the Collège de l’Enseignement Supérieur de l’Armée de Terre (Higher Education School for Land Forces) as a Defense Reserve Force Specialist Officer.
The CMA CGM DALILA starts from Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada) then crosses the Unimak Strait and the Bering Sea. We then sail on the Sea of Okhotsk and pass through the La Pérouse Strait during the summer, or through the Tsugaru Strait during the winter, off the coast of Japan. From there, the ship halts at Nakhodka port (Primorsky Krai, Russia) for bunkering operations. After this stop, we sail to the ports of the Yang Tse River’s mouth (Ningbo, Shanghai – China) and to the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong, Yantian – China). The vessel then goes southward, towards Vung Tau (Vietnam), formerly called Cap Saint-Jacques. She then crosses the Singapore Strait, makes an in-transit call at Port Klang (Malaysia) and crosses the Suez Canal before reaching Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada). Ultimately, we call various ports of the East Coast of the United States (New York, Norfolk, Savannah), putting an end to our journey.
One of the most amazing moments I had on board the CMA CGM DALILA was in China. Sailing down the Pearl River (China), I once had the opportunity to see a pair of Chinese white dolphins, an endangered species, related to the Amazon River dolphins.
Lastly, in my opinion, the main characteristic of a sailor, no matter his/her rank, is his/her ability to adapt to each and every situation.