Inside a container ship on the front line of ship crisis; CMA CGM Marco Polo

The Bayonne Bridge, which guards Newark Bay, was only licensed for 12,500 TEU ships until 2019. The New York and New Jersey Port Authority raised the roadway connecting Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York in a 1.7 project. billion dollars to accommodate ships as large as 18,000 TEU, just in time for the unforeseen pandemic.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Insider boarded CMA CGM Marco Polo while docked in New Jersey. This is what it looks like on board.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


A long, narrow gangway is the only way to or from Marco Polo for something that is not a container. It’s far up as the gangway sways with the weight of people on it.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


CMA CGM Marco Polo, registered in the Bahamas, is a nine-year-old ship delivered to Marseille, France-based shipping giant in November 2012.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Aisles run along the ship’s massive tower with spaces on each side.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Our trip began at the ship’s office, also known as the cargo office, where we met Captain Zeljko Mioc.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


The Croatian captain has served in the maritime industry for more than 30 years and crossed the globe on container ships. Prior to that, he worked on issuing airline tickets at an airport.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Marco Polo started this journey in China, where the crossing via the Suez Canal took about three weeks with a port call in Halifax, Canada, before arriving at New York harbor.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Passing through the Suez Canal was normal, the crew described, even just a few weeks after Ever Given had run aground and blocked the path of other ships.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Next stop was the bridge located on the top floor of the tower. Luckily there was an elevator off the main stairs to pick us up.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Posters on the stairs leading up the bridge are also reminiscent of old airline advertisements highlighting exotic locals that this ship visits on an annual basis.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


Some diagrams, like posters, are taped to the walls for easy reference.

Port of New York and New Jersey visits

On tour in New York harbor and New Jersey.

Thomas Pallini / Insider


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