Cargo Cruises: Is it Cheap to Travel by Cargo Ship?

How to Travel by Cargo Ship

Cargo ships often act as passenger ships and offer real travel alternatives under the banner of freighter cruises, however, travel by cargo ship is often more expensive than you might expect, regularly costing about the same as a cruise ship! So you might wonder why you would want to travel on a cargo ship as a passenger in this way. There are several good reasons;

  • Cargo ships often cover less touristy parts of the world which are not serviced by cruise ships
  • Not only is it real travel but it’s one of the greenest forms of travel as you form a very small part of the container ships total cargo
  • Cargo ships travel throughout the year unlike cruise ships which are influenced by passenger demand, this means that cruise ships often only sail in the high season (usually the summer)
  • When you are a passenger on a cargo ship you usually get to dine with the captain of the ship and his officers
  • The standard of passenger accommodation is generally very good with most cargo ship passenger cabins having their own toilet and shower (you don’t have to sleep in a container!)
  • Cargo ships usually accommodated just 12 or fewer passengers (a doctor is required for more than this), so the cargo ship is not going to be overcrowded with other passengers

The Royal Mail Ship St HelenaThere are quite a few websites out there which specifically focus on alternative travel by cargo ship, we have listed all the sites that we are aware of. To save you time trawling through all the websites below, email us and we will forward your query to select agents who can help you book your freighter trip if the route you want to do is possible.

Although the sites below offer some very useful information we would also recommend phoning the harbormaster for your preferred passenger departure point. They will often provide you with local contacts and up to date and local information.

Useful Cargo Ship Travel Resources

  • US agencies booking passenger travel on cargo ships are: freightercruises.com & travltips.com
  • UK agencies booking passenger travel on cargo ships are: Cargo Ship Voyages, Strand Travel, The Cruise People Ltd, Pathfinder & Sea Travel Ltd
  • Other agencies booking passenger travel on cargo ships are cross-ocean.com, freightertravel.co.nz/ & cargoshipcruises.nl
  • CMA CGM is a French cargo transportation and shipping company and is the third-largest cargo shipping company in the world. – www.cma-cgm.com, you can book direct or via several of the agents listed above
  • German freighters, Hamburg SED, have a useful website that details numerous routes and prices for cargo ship travel around the globe. – www.hamburgsued-frachtschiffreisen.de
  • Italian freighter company, Grimaldi Line – covers routes to and from Europe to South America and Africa. www.grimaldi.co.uk/, Pathfinder (www.safemariner.co.uk) and Cruise
  • Cyprus (www.cruisecyprus.com) act as agents for Grimaldi Line
  • German freighter company, Rickmers-Linie with cargo ship travel routes around the world. – www.rickmers-linie.de
  • Another German freighter company, Deutsche Afrika Linien (DAL) (www.dal.biz/) have a cargo ship (Kalahari) that sails between Bremerhaven and Cape Town, again Pathfinder (www.safemariner.co.uk) act as agents
  • Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), a global cargo transportation company centered in Singapore. – www.nol.com.sg
  • FAQ’s & general information on passenger travel by cargo ship: Gonomad.com, Seaplus.com, A la Carte Freighter Travel & Freightertrips.com

Featured Routes

The Royal Mail Ship St Helena

There are a number of popular passenger ship routes on cargo ships, we have featured a few interesting ones below to help inspire you to take a trip which is a real travel alternative to traditional modes of travel.

TransPacific

South Korea (Busan) to California crossing on the Hanjin Dallas cargo ship was featured on the BBC series “Around the world in 80 days” for Children in need (2009). The crossing should take ten days but departure times are unpredictable. There are a number of other cargo ships that carry passengers and cross the Pacific Ocean which is detailed in some of the web sites listed in the above section. Contact details for Hanjin can be found on their website www.hanjin.com.

The Royal Mail Ship St Helena

This is sold as a magnificent island cruise from Cape Town to the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, just south of the Equator. This cargo/passenger ship also calls in at Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia where the desert meets the sea. Go to www.aws.co.uk for more details.

French Polynesia

Sail around Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands over 14 days on the Aranui www.aranui.com. The Aranui is a mixed passenger/cargo ship that offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about two hundred passengers. Passengers are able to sunbathe on deck and swim in the pool. The ship operates under the French flag, and her crew is all local Polynesians.

Additional Cargo Cruise Information

Cargo Ship Voyages | The Greener Way to Travel
www.cargoshipvoyages.com
Traveling on a cargo ship is a unique experience. Cargo Ship Voyages is not the supplier or organizer of these voyages, acting as a booking agent only of the shipping company.

Cargo Ship Cruise ConvoyCargo Ship Travel: Everything You Need To Know (2020) | eBiz Facts
ebizfacts.com/cargo-ship-travel
Expensive Cargo ship travel will cost you about $125-$145 per day. (Though you might be able to swing a free trip; see below.) Boring You’ll have little entertainment or social interaction.

Cargo ship travel – things you should know
www.freighterexpeditions.com.au/cargo-ship-travel-things-you-should-know
Traveling by cargo ship is a fascinating way to see the world. You’ll need to keep in mind the few Many ships only have 2 to 4 cabins so you will usually need to book up to 6 months in advance to get…

Cargo ship travel, a unique traveling experience | Voyages en Cargo
voyagesencargo.com
Travel in cargo ship and navigate through the world trade route. If so, the cargo ship and freighter travel are perfect for you. Welcome and enjoy your visit.

Here’s how you can travel by cargo ship | Matador Network
matadornetwork.com/notebook/how-to-travel-by-cargo-ship
Traveling on a cargo ship is very much possible, and while it isn’t considered a luxury cruise, it is still a great way to travel — even at a cost of roughly $100 USD daily, it is worth the time to find a spot on a…

How to Travel by Cargo Ship Around the World
www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/travel/articles/travel-by-cargo-ship-around-the-world.shtml
Travel through Vancouver by cargo ship. Imagine for a moment that you are on the deck of a ship, sipping a glass of wine. You turn your head towards the water just in time to spot a pod of dolphins…

Travel by Cargo Ship: What You Should Know – GoNOMAD Travel
www.gonomad.com/1560-freighter-travel-faqs
Travel by cargo ship continues to interest our most curious and intrepid readers. Freighter travel: Info on freighter travel cost, and how you can take a cruise on a freighter ship. You can travel from one…

Cargo / Container Ship Travel Guide: Everything you need… – YouTube
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz7gGOxTKq8
How do you travel on a cargo/container ship! This is you all you need to know guide! Cargo and Container ships are such a cool means of travel!

Passenger Freighters Voyage List – Maris Freighter Cruises
www.freightercruises.com/voyages.php
Maris Freighter Cruise and Travel Club Int’l, offering voyages from coastal and island specialties to one-way ocean crossings and around-the-world cruises.

Meet the man who has spent three years traveling the world for free…
www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/cruising-around-the-world-on-container-ships
For globetrotters on a very tight budget, or those who love being at sea but not cruise ship crowds, traveling the world by cargo vessel could be the way forward.

Travelers’ Guide To Cargo Ship Travel – Wiki Travel… – Travellerspoint
www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Cargo_Ship_Travel
Open source, wiki travel guide to Cargo Ship Travel with information, photos, activities, maps, travel tips, and more. Created by the amazing members of Travellerspoint.

Traveling By Cargo Ship | TravellingTwo: Bicycle Touring Around The…
travellingtwo.com/resources/cargoship
Traveling by cargo ship or freighter is an appealing option for the adventurous cyclist. You get to avoid airport stress, for a start. There are no bike boxes or worries about your trusty steed getting lost.

Freighter travel – Wikitravel
wikitravel.org/en/Freighter_travel
This article is a travel topic. Freighter travel is a less crowded alternative for crossing a sea or ocean, not using airplanes or commercial cruise ships or ferries. A well-kept secret in these days of airport anxiety is that it is still possible to book a regularly scheduled sea passage to most parts of the world.

Can you really travel around the world by cargo ship? | Travel.Earth
travel.earth/can-you-travel-by-cargo-ship
Traveling by cargo ship is a unique experience, and a fascinating way to see the world. If you don’t like air travel, traveling by cargo ship is an excellent alternative.

CMA CGM CARGO CRUISES | Travel around the world on a container…
www.cma-cgm-blog.com/cargo-cruises-discovering-the-world-in-a-new-way
Travel aboard a container-ship. With Cargo Cruises, travelers discover the possibility to live a unique and unforgettable experience by discovering oceans, seas and continents to the beat of international…

5 Cool Cargo Ship Cruises | Spot Cool Stuff: Travel
travel.spotcoolstuff.com/cruise/freighter-cargo-ship-itineraries
Cargo ship travel is the un-cruise. There’s nothing fabricated about it. Every day thousands of freighters ply the high seas. Some of them have extra state rooms and accept passengers to tag…

The Ultimate Carbon-Saving Tip? Travel by Cargo Ship | WIRED
www.wired.com/story/the-ultimate-carbon-saving-tip-travel-by-cargo-ship
Travel by Cargo Ship. Container ships sometimes have a handful of passenger cabins—the peak of carbon emissions frugality. Getty Images.

Cargo Ship Voyages – Purveyors of sea travel – Home | Facebook
www.facebook.com/cargoshipvoyages
See more of Cargo Ship Voyages – Purveyors of sea travel on Facebook. There are no realistic prospects of travel much before June 2020 and severe restrictions may still apply well beyond then.

Traveling By Cargo Ship | The Planet D | Adventure Travel Blog
theplanetd.com/travelling-by-cargo-ship
What makes travelling by cargo ship such a unique experience? Slow way of travelling – great for getting a feeling of how large the world is; Giving the possibility to visit ports and places that are not…

What is a cargo cruise – Insider
www.insider.com/cheapest-way-to-travel-the-world-what-is-a-cargo-cruise-2017-1
Cargo ships are utilitarian boats. They don’t have stabilizers, but with a big enough ship and a Is traveling on a container ship for you? If you’ve got a flexible schedule and a sense of adventure, go…

Ahoy there. How to travel by cargo ship | Rail Europe (formerly Loco2)
raileurope.co.uk/blog/travel-by-cargo-ship-freighter
Crossing the pond by cargo ship brings new meaning to slow travel. It’s a little known fact that you get almost anywhere in the world as a passenger on a cargo ship, without having to be a)…

Can anyone join a cargo ship? | The Guardian
www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/jan/20/3
Cargo ship travel is not for everyone, but in an age when any idiot can get on a plane and twang themselves to the other side of the planet, there is something uniquely satisfying about a long voyage…

The World’s Cheapest Cruise Ever? Try A Cargo Ship!
www.tripzilla.com/world-cheapest-cruise-cargo-ship/5723
Some cargo travel agencies, such as freighter travel, give you full control over your itinerary to suit your needs. If 60 straight days of floating on the sea is overwhelming, disembark the ship, spend a…

The Ultimate Resource for Freight Cargo Container Ship Travel
adaptainer.co.uk/cargo-container/ultimate-resource-cargo-container-ship-travel
37 cargo container ship travel resources on the web to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. For some, being on a cargo container ship is a hard-working job that takes them away from their home and…

Cargo ship travel: passenger life onboard | Mowgli Adventures
mowgli-adventures.com/cargo-ship-travel-passenger-life-onboard
Cargo ship travel is a unique way to hop across continents but what’s it like to spend a month or Cargo ship travel isn’t a common mode of transport for getting around the world these days.

Would you take a ‘cruise’ on a cargo ship?
www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/blogs/would-you-take-cruise-cargo-ship
Cargo-ship travel isn’t for everyone, and most who do it consider it an adventure. Schedules may be adjusted en route, and there may be a few other passengers on board — or none — so you need to…

Cruising on cargo ships: How to be a passenger on a cargo ship
www.traveller.com.au/cruising-on-cargo-ships-how-to-be-a-passenger-on-a-cargo-ship-gl9muk
They may not be luxurious, but John McGuffick thinks cargo ships are the only way to travel (on a budget).

Secret Tourism: Traveling the World on a Cargo Ship
www.messynessychic.com/2014/02/06/secret-tourism-traveling-the-world-on-a-cargo-ship
On any cargo ship voyage, there will rarely be more than ten other paying travelers on board (the But alright, you want to know what the digs are like; what is life like traveling on a cargo ship?

 

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