Do you hate flying? Or, maybe, you still weren’t able to conquer your fear of flying. Or you hate waiting in the endless airport lines. What if I’d tell you that there is a valid, green alternative? Well, there is one. It’s called freighter travel.
Another reason to potentially utilize this transportation option is if you find your cargo too precious just to leave it for other people to care about. I know, at first, traveling with your containers might sound crazy. That’s what I thought. However, around 1% of all steamship lines offer passenger voyages along with cargo ones. Think about it: it’s you, the ship’s crew, a handful of passengers, and…well, containers in the middle of the ocean. Pretty unconventional, right? A very different way to travel.
Travel With Style
If you’re not fascinated yet, here are a couple of reasons why you might want to try out this unique experience:
- You can explore less touristic areas since cargo ships normally go to places that aren’t included in cruise ship routes.
- You get a chance to dine with the ship’s Captain. How cool is that? You’ll never get anything even close to this with air travel. Since traveling by ship is usually more prolonged, you quickly become a part of a family.
- The number of passengers varies from 4 to 12. The reason behind this is because if there are more than 12 passengers present – they’d need to hire a doctor. So, you have a cruise-size ship almost all to yourself.
- If you care about the environment, you should know that steamship is the greenest way to move from point A to point B out there (after a bike, I mean). Technically, you’re considered a small part of the container.
- You’re not actually going to sleep in a container! The passenger cabins tend to be very comfortable with beds and everything you might need, including TV and even WI-FI these days.
Remember! If you want to watch all your favorite football videos or check the latest livescore while cruising through different countries, – install a VPN beforehand, since many popular websites can be banned in some countries (e.g., China), where you won’t be able to reach those sites.
- One of my favorite reasons to travel this way: You can bring as much baggage as you can squeeze in your cabin! That automatically makes this way of traveling better for those who move to another country with all their belongings.
- You have access to crew facilities such as lounge, mess areas, and other common areas.
How Does it Work?
To put it in simple terms, you pay a cargo company to transport you along with whatever cargo they have on their vessel. You can sail from Europe and the US to Japan, China, and India in a container ship. Be aware that certain red tapes exist. Say, US citizens can’t travel from one state to another using cargo ships. Make sure you’ve checked all of those limitations in advance.
Other Common Downsides Include:
- Travel time.
- Daily fare (it might turn out to be not the cheapest option).
- The fact that you have to bring your own entertainment on board.
- You might need to get additional visas for all the countries where the ship will have to stop for loading.
People who have done multiple trips using freighter travel say that the things you need to pack with you to a sea trip are patience and flexibility. If you book your trip ahead, don’t be surprised that your dates and departure ports might change slightly.
Even though it might sound too complicated, it’s an experience one should consider trying in their lifetime!
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