It says a special survey of the 2,260-teu CMA CGM Fort Ste Marie (built 2003) will be carried out by French offshoot Damen Shiprepair Brest.

The CMA CGM Fort St Louis, the second ship in a series of four sisters with the same specifications, will be drydocked as well. Discussions surrounding similar deals for the CMA CGM Fort St Pierreand Fort St Georges are believed to be ongoing.

In a statement the Dutch shipbuilder didn’t indicate how long the first two units will be out of commission but managing director Jos Goris described the deal as the “first step” towards a “sustainable business relationship” between Damen and the French carrier.

According to Dolphin Maritime & Aviation Services of the UK, the CMA CGM Fort Ste Marie suffered an engine breakdown in the Bay of Biscay on 17 February. The firm says the ship was towed to Brest soon after.

“CMA CGM Fort Saint Marie was to sail to Guadeloupe from France but is likely to have cargoes on board for other areas of the world,” the casualty specialist told clients at the time.

“It is possible that a salvage claim will be made against the owners/insurers of the cargo on board this vessel. It is also possible that general average will be declared.”

Data from Equasis shows the same ship also ran into trouble in October of last year when port inspectors issued a citation for deficiencies related to charts, documentation of dangerous goods and Marpol Annex IV, a set of rules that relate to the discharge of sewage at sea.

The sub-panamax containership and its sisters appear to be affiliated with CMA CGM’s cargo cruise programme. Travel brochures reviewed by TradeWinds advertise access to a 28-day roundtrip voyage from Le Havre to the French West Indies for up to 12 passengers.

The vessels boast air-conditioned cabins with private showers, refrigerators and twin beds. Tourists are given access to a television lounge, gymnasium and swimming pool with deck chairs. The cost of the “Voyage Atlantique” and other cruise packages vary.

It’s unclear if tourists were on board the CMA CGM Fort Ste Marie during the port inspection or the breakdown in the Bay of Biscay. Calls to the company seeking comment were not immediately returned on Wednesday evening.

You can check out CMA CGM's cargo cruise brochure by clicking on the link located under the Related Media section to the right of this article