The largest container ship to call the North American East Coast is drawing shoreline crowds on its first visit. CMA CGM is even offering tours of the Marco Polo to those who post the “most beautiful” images of the mammoth container ship to Instagram.
The next opportunity to capture the berthing of the CMA CGM Marco Polo, with a carrying capacity of 16,022 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), comes Wednesday morning, when the vessel calls the Port of Savannah. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) will livestream the Marco Polo’s arrival on its Facebook page.
The GPA said the Marco Polo is expected to pass Tybee Island at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday and be in front of River Street in Savannah at about 8:30 a.m.
The CMA CGM Group, headquartered in France, announced it was running a contest for “the most beautiful pictures in each port city” posted to Instagram. To enter, tag @CMACGM with at least one of the following hashtags: #CMACGMRecord, #CMACGMMarcoPolo, #CCMarcoPoloHalifax, #CCMarcoPoloNYC, #CCMarcoPoloNorfolk, #CCMarcoPoloSavannah or #CCMarcoPoloCharleston.
CMA CGM will select three winners from each port city. The 15 winners will be offered a tour of the Marco Polo during the vessel’s next port call.
CMA CGM said the massive Marco Polo would set big-ship records all along the East Coast. The Marco Polo’s first stop was the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia on May 17, followed by the Port of New York and New Jersey last Thursday and Port of Virginia on Sunday. Following the Port of Savannah, the Marco Polo will call the Port of Charleston in South Carolina on Friday.
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) will be providing updates on the Marco Polo’s progress on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. The SCPA said great vantage points to capture photos of the Marco Polo as it approaches the Port of Charleston are Sullivan’s Island, Patriots Point, South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Waterfront Park, Ravenel Bridge, Mount Pleasant Shem Creek Park, Pitt Street Bridge, Charlotte Street Park Irish Memorial, Melton Peter Demetre Park and Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.
The CMA CGM Marco Polo should be easy for spectators to spot. At 1,300 feet, it’s longer than three and half football fields end to end. Its 16,022 TEUs laid in a single line would stretch nearly 61 miles.
The Port of New York and New Jersey said that during the Marco Polo’s call at APM Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal, it offloaded some 5,000 TEUs of clothing, pharmaceuticals, furniture, appliances, building materials, home fixtures and food.
The Marco Polo is deployed on CMA CGM’s Columbus JAX service between South Asia and the East Coast.
Previously the largest container ship to call the East Coast was the 15,072-TEU CMA CGM Brazil, which made its first visit last September.