[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcjEaRtzumk[/youtube]

The CMA CGM Marco Polo, now the world’s largest containership, arrived in Southampton on Sunday loaded with containers from China, officially marking the completion of the first half of her maiden voyage from the Far East to Europe and back, as well as its first port call in Europe.

During her visit to Southampton, the CMA CGM Marco Polo was officially welcomed to the UK ship registry. ”I am delighted to welcome CMA CGM MARCO POLO onto the UK Ship Register, particularly as it is now the largest vessel we have,” said Debasis Mazumdar, the Head of UK Ship Register. ”It is also pleasing to see that our good relationship with CMA CGM continues to bear excellent results and I hope we can continue to do so together in future.”

With a 16,020 TEU capacity, the M/V CMA CGM Marco Polo took over the title of world’s largest containership upon her delivery to the French shipping company CMA CGM Group on November 5th. The UK-flagged behemoth was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea and measures an astounding 396 meters long by 54 meters wide and has a draft of 16 meters.

Marco Polo is the first of three sister ships to be owned by the CMA CGM Group, which will share the title of world’s largest until Maersk’s 18,000 TEU Triple-E’s are put into service sometime in 2013.

CMA CGM Marco Polo transiting the Suez Canal on December 1, 2012. Photo: CMA CGM Group

CMA CGM notes the Marco Polo will be operated on the French Asia Line (FAL 1). Here  is her schedule over the next few months:

The CMA CGM MARCO POLO will call at Ningbo (7 Nov), Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Port Kelang, Tanger, Southampton (10 Dec), Hamburg (14 Dec), Bremerhaven (14 Dec), Rotterdam (16 Dec), Zeebrugge (17 Dec), Le Havre (19 Dec), Malta (26 Dec), Khor Al Fakkan (5 Jan), Jebel Ali (7 Jan) and Ningbo (23 Jan).

Illustration (c) CMA CGM Group

The CMA CGM Marco Polo is berthed at a terminal operated by DP World Southampton.

CMA CGM Marco Polo AIS. Image via MarineTraffic.com

Check out gCaptain’s FULL Coverage: CMA CGM MARCO POLO

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