Europe, Travel Advice

Sailing The High Seas On A Freighter?? | Freight Cruising

March 24, 2010 • By

Have you ever looked at a freight ship and wondered at what faraway port they would eventually dock?  Or thought about how they could possibly carry enough freight to fill such a large vessel?  Well, quite often than not, they have additional space on board for those who enjoy cruising at long intervals.

Freight Cruising

Freight cruising is a little known way of transport for people who either do not like to fly, have a penchant for cruising for long stretches of time or have a fantasy of sailing the high seas in general.  This type of passenger has had enough of the crowds and who just wants to walk outside of their cabin, grab a deck chair and watch the sunset for a quiet respite.  Rumor also has it that some celebrities find this to be the ideal venue for protecting their privacy.

There are several booking agents that will arrange passage to world destinations like Scandinavia, South America, South Pacific, India, The Far East, New Zealand Australia, Northern Europe and The Mediterranean to such travelers.  One of the most revered is Freight Travel Club International.

Here are some FAQ’s you may want to keep in mind when planning such a venture:

  • Age limits are between 13-79; Some freighters will make exceptions, but this range is the most accurate.  Passengers are small in number…usually less than 10 are allowed to travel per cruise.
  • Book 3-6 months in advance, or earlier if you plan to travel during the quickly sold out high season.  A 25% deposit is required at the time of registration from the booking agent.  The balance of the fare, plus port and vessel fees for voyages on the German ships, is payable 70 days before departure.
  • Baggage limit is usually 200 pounds per person.  You are not allowed to take cars/motorcycles with you; they will have to be shipped independently of the freighter you will be traveling on.
  • Dress is casual, passports are required, if visas are required, you will be notified in advance.  A medical statement of good health and accident insurance are required.  Inoculations for yellow fever or cholera may be required on some trips, there is no internet access, fares are established in euro currency, the fare includes all meals (whose fare usually depends the nationality of the crew), soft drinks but passengers must pay for liquor.
  • Port times vary from 6 to 24 hours.  However, a bulk cargo ship could dock for several days or more (which would be great for sight-seers).
  • A self service laundry is available at no charge.  It includes washer, dryer and drying room, iron and ironing board.
  • The majority of freighter cruises last between 30 to 75 days.  But some cruises can last only two weeks.  The fares typically range from $100.00 to $130.00 per day depending on your destination.
  • Each spacious room is a well furnished outside cabin with private facilities.  Most ships have a lounge with upholstered furniture, a TV and music center, exercise rooms, a book and video library, a small pool and good deck space where you can watch the seagulls fly by.

Here is a sample itinerary of what you could expect on a typical trip:  Savannah, GA (Day 1); New York (3); Halifax, NS (5); Tarragona, near Barcelona, Spain (14); Haifa, Israel (19); Leghorn (26) and Genoa, Italy (27); Tarragona (29), Halifax (37) and New York (39), all 2nd calls, and back to Savannah (42) .  As you can see, the route covers quite a bit of geography in 42 days.

To book a freighter cruise, you can contact Freighter Travel Club International at 800-996-2747 for more information.  Be sure to sign up for their lifetime membership (only $59.00), you will be able to secure discounts of up to $500.00 on each cruise.

Bon Voyage!