Hitching a ride on a cargo ship seems like it would be awesome! I have visions of paying my way as a deckhand – hauling up the nets, fighting pirates and drinking rum. However, having researched the subject it seems that my vision may have been a little unrealistic. Let’s take a look at the reality of travelling by cargo ship and whether it’s something worth considering.
How much does cargo-travel cost?
You’d imagine that it would be cheap to travel by cargo ship – I mean the ship’s going there anyway, so why can’t the Cap’in just let you hop aboard for free? The reality is that it isn’t particularly cheap at all. You should expect to pay between $70 and $140 per day. After a few weeks at sea this will easily have exceeded the comparative cost of airline tickets.
This begs the question, why wouldn’t you just fly? Aside from being a unique experience, the main reason that some people choose to travel on cargo ships is actually due to a fear of flying. For these people the fear is so great that they would rather spend weeks aboard a ship than a few hours by air.
Where can you go by cargo ship?
Almost anywhere. Major global shipping lines including Canada Maritime and Bank Line offer spaces on their ships to paying passengers.
What can you expect from the experience ?
It’s likely that you’ll be travelling the high seas with fellow passengers, which will give you a chance to strike up some friendships. In addition to this you will be able to watch the shipmen at work, eat with the crew and explore the vessel. Obviously the experience can vary depending upon the weather (if it’s bad you may very well spend the entire trip throwing up overboard) and also the food. French liners are renowned for serving up delicious cuisine with wine aplenty.
Generally the cabins are spacious but very basic, although you can usually expect an en-suite.
Cargo ship vs. cruise liner
Can you compare a transit van to a Ferrari? Not really. A cargo ship is very basic – simply a means of transport from A to B. A cruise liner, on the other hand, is a luxurious, entertaining holiday even if you never step on land for the duration of the trip. If a luxurious cruise is more your kind of thing then start planning for your ultimate getaway! There are a wide range of options available, and all of them are guaranteed to be a more comfortable ride.
Booking a trip on a cargo ship
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below!