First container ship cruise to leave Halifax on Sunday

The first container ship cruise will leave Halifax on Sunday for Vancouver. It will take 71 days as it travels through the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and Asia.

Longest stretch is 37 days between ports

Starting this Sunday, the CMA CGM Cendrillon could be your home for 71 days as you travel from Halifax to Vancouver. (Courtesy CMA CGM)

Starting this Sunday travellers can take a unique cruise from Halifax. Instead of water slides and shuffleboard on deck, this cruise ship is loaded with cargo containers.

For the first time, container ships leaving Halifax will take on passengers as they travel to Vancouver through the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and Asia.

Cruise People Limited is a London-based company that arranges container ship cruises and other sailing adventures.

Owner Kevin Griffin said container ship cruises have been a popular way to travel in other parts of the world. Vancouver has been a port of call for years.

"You'd be surprised the number of Canadians who like to go on these long voyages," he said. "A lot of them come from the west because we have a lot of ships going to and from Vancouver. But now Halifax has the opportunity. Because there haven't really been a lot of container ships carrying passengers into and out of Halifax," he said.

Container ship cruises are popular with people looking for a more authentic sailing experience, said Griffin.

It's less glamorous than a vacation cruise and more expensive. A container ship cruise typically costs around $150 CAD a day. The fare includes port charges, a private lounge and separate bedroom and table wine at lunch and dinner.

And don't be in a hurry to get to your destination. The Halifax to Vancouver cruise takes 71 days. The longest stretch is 37 days between ports.

The ships offering the passenger service are six French-owned vessels. This Sunday, passengers can board the CMA CGM Cendrillon.​


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