The Bayonne Bridge over Newark Bay had approval for 12,500 TEU vessels through 2019. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey elevated the route connecting Bayonne, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York, in a $1.7 billion project to accommodate ships as large as 18,000 TEUs, just in time for the pandemic.
Insider boarded the CMA CGM Marco Polo while docked in New Jersey. Here is what it is on board.
A long, narrow walkway is the only way in or out of the Marco Polo for anything other than a container. It’s a long way because the walkway sways under the weight of the people on it.
Registered in the Bahamas, the CMA CGM Marco Polo is a nine-year-old ship delivered to the shipping giant in Marseille, France, in November 2012.
Hallways run the length of the ship’s massive tower with bedrooms on either side.
Our tour started in 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 over 30 years, traveling the world on container ships. Prior to that, he worked issuing airline tickets at an airport.
The Marco Polo began this voyage in China, crossing the Suez Canal taking about three weeks, with a stopover in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before arriving in New York Harbor.
Crossing the Suez Canal was normal, the crew described, even just weeks after the Ever Given ran aground and blocked the way for other ships.
The next stop was the bridge, located on the top floor of the tower. In addition to the main stairwell, there was an elevator to take us.
The posters on the stairway leading to the deck are also reminiscent of old airline advertisements showcasing the exotic locals this ship visits each year.
Some tables are glued to the walls to facilitate consultation.