HGPEU – The patriarch blesses the container ship “Georg Forster”

In June 2015, the huge shipping conglomerate “Compagnie Maritime d’Affrèchment/Compagnie Générale Maritime” (CMA CGM) received its second newly-constructed giant container ship capable of carrying 18,000 TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Units – the length of a typical container).  On July 9, 2015, in the presence of more than 400 honored guests, the ship was christened with the name “CMA CGM Georg Forster.  Mrs. Christine Kühne-Nagel, wife of a businessman with the same name, performed the christening in a festive ceremony according to the old maritime custom.  A champagne bottle was thrown against the side of the ship with the traditional words, “I hereby christen this ship with the name CMA CGM Georg Forster.  May God bless this ship, and all those on board.”

Our Spiritual Protector of the Order of St. Lazarus, His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregorios III, from Damascus, spoke the church’s blessing in several languages and at the same time thanked President Jacques Saadé for the long-time support in the area of humanitarian aid to the people of Syria in cooperation with the Order of St.Lazarus..

The CMA CGM Georg Forster completed its maiden voyage to Hamburg to be christened.  The container giant is one of the largest ships in the shipping company fleet and was built using the most modern techniques and fully conforms to all environmental protection regulations.  The freighter is capable of transporting 18,000 containers.  Among the container aboard the ship are five containers with humanitarian aid and medical treatment equipment which were loaded in the past weeks.  Included in the Lazarus-containers is material and equipment intended for the establishment of a hospital in Damascus.  Because of this, the company management invited a strong Lazarus delegation of nine members to come to Hamburg.  The delegation was led by Chev. Folker Theis, Chev. Lothar Kestler and Chev. Klaus-Peter Pokolm.  In the past, Chev. Theis in a couple of times has coordinated with the CMA CGM shipping company to provide delivery of humanitarian aid at no cost.  

CMA CGM Director Reinhard Peschel and his assistant, Mr. Berger, were instrumental in the christening of the ship.  At the beginning of June, at the invitation of the Humanitarian Grand Priory of the Order of St. Lazarus and din coordination with Chevalier Theis r a meeting with His Beatitude the Patriarch to discuss Cologne in advance res of the christening.

His Beatitude Gregorios III, Grand Prior Klaus-Peter Pokolm, Chevalier Manfred Erdenberger

The new freighter sails on the route between South East Asia and North Europe, and in the future will be in Hamburg every two-and-a-half months.  The CMA CGM Georg Forster is presently at sea – see Akktuelle Position m Schiffsradar.  The CMA CGM Georg Forster is 398 meters long – approximately six time as long as the giant AirBus A 380.  On board is space for around 18,000 containers.
The ship is named after the German naturalist Georg Forster, who, in the 18th Century, sailed around the world with James Cook, the founder of modern travel literature.  CMA CGM named its huge container ship after the famous researcher and explorer.  The ship will remain in the city until early Saturday morning.

Unbelievable Dimensions

If 18,000 containers were laid end-to-end, the distance would approximate the distance between Hamburg and Hannover.  If the ship were turned vertically, the CMA CGM Georg Forster would be three times as tall as the Elbphilharmonie, almost one-and-a-half times as high as the Telemichel.  The ship’s thrust is comparable with that of ten AirBus A 380s.

Captain  and Crew
Operational Area of the CMA CGM Georg Forster

The CMA CGM Georg Forster will become part of the French Asia Line (FAL), one of the most important service lines of the CMA CGM group.  In this line, which binds eleven individual countries together, only the largest ships of the CMA CGM group are in service.

Technical Data of the CMA CGM Georg Forster

Christened:  July 9, 2015, in Hamburg
Storage capacity:  18,000 TEU
Displacement:  175,000 gross register tonnage
Length:  398 meters
Width:  54 meters
Speed:  max. 23 knots