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CMA CGM appears to be attempting to boost its coffers by expanding its service offering – to include passengers. Perhaps learning something from the airline industry, where passengers provide the profits while cargo provides the losses, the shipping line is offering a “cargo cruise”. The marketing spiel promises private bathrooms and living rooms, a swimming pool, and a “large range of facilities provided on board, such as a theater for movie-fans, a library for readers, or a fitness room for the most energetic ones”.

From many weeks of experience of this lifestyle, however, The Loadstar would warn any potential passengers that both (pirated) movies and books are likely to be in Tagalog, for Filipino crew members; the ‘Chef and Maitre d’Hotel’ are at the mercy of few-and-far local markets or long-life food, and “immersing yourself in life on board” will actually mean immersing yourself in a major project, like learning to read Mandarin or finishing the complete works of Tolstoy. Because if you’re not crew, there really isn’t much to do.


On vacation