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.
Insider boarded CMA CGM Marco Polo while docked in New Jersey. This is what it looks like on board.
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.
CMA CGM Marco Polo, registered in the Bahamas, is a nine-year-old ship delivered to Marseille, France-based shipping giant in November 2012.
Aisles run along the ship’s massive tower with spaces on each side.
Our trip began at the ship’s office, also known as the cargo office, where we met Captain Zeljko Mioc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some diagrams, like posters, are taped to the walls for easy reference.