In the old days before the advent of flying the only way to travel across the seas was on the seas. It would take a long time on these cruises and typically the conditions were less than comfortable. Today anyone can fly to the other side of the world in hours. Other people choose to travel across the seas on cruise ships that are basically massive luxury floating hotels. But freight ships offer a break from it all and an unorthodox mode of travel.

For those who do want to take a normal cruise, then Alaska is one of the most stunning places to enjoy a cruise with extraordinary views. If it is one's first time on a cruise, then be sure not to make the mistakes first-timers often make on a cruise.


Cargo Ship Travel Opening Back Up

It is possible to travel around the world by cargo vessel or freight ship. This slow way of travel offers a whole different dimension to international travel.

Note that due to the fallout of the pandemic many of the routes are no longer possible but some routes may still be feasible. Also, travel restrictions may mean that shore visits may be very limited. That being said, cargo travel may be picking up again now. According to Slow Travel as at the time of writing voyages are coming back step by step.

  • Sailing Voyages: Within Northern and Southern Europe, the Caribbean, and Crossing the Atlantic Are Bookable
  • Freighter Travel: May Be Open Again at The Start of 2022

Related: This Is What It's Like To Visit The Queen Mary Ship (Now A Hotel And Restaurant)

Why Take Freighters And What To Expect

When looking at traveling by cargo ships it is important to be flexible as trading routes are constantly being updated and schedules, itineraries, and pricing are subject to change.

  • Bonus: Arrive Jet Lag-Free

Freighter Travel is much more than just getting from A to B. It is a wholly unique experience in itself. If one has a project and wants to be free from distractions (like writing a book or thesis), well there are not many distractions out on the high seas.

One will be spending days or weeks far away from the internet, time pressures, commitments, and the rat race. Out on the high seas, one can have a calming sense of freedom.

Life on freighter ships can be surprisingly comfortable. There is no need to be uncomfortable on a freighter. Most of them have their own swimming pools, gyms, and saunas. The comfortably furnished cabins on these ships are often bigger than those on cruise ships.

During these voyages, one will get to know the ship's crew and even join in their sociable activities like BBQ parties.

Along the route, one can often go on shore leave. Typically this is around 8 to 12 hours but it can be for up to 2 or 3 days.

  • Flexibility: Being Flexible is Required When Planning To Travel by Freighter
  • Dates: Freighter's Arrival and Departure Date Are Typically Estimated - It Depends On things Like Weather Conditions and Time To Load Freight

 Italy - Spain - USA Voyage

This voyage is on board the MSC Flaminia an 82,000-ton deadweight capacity freighter. It was built in 2001 and has a range of facilities. While the shortest way to cross the Atlantic is from Antwerp in Belgium to Charleston in South Carolina and only takes about 9 days. This freighter travel can take a total of around 49 days.

  • Route: Genoa via Valencia to New York or Boston
  • Ship Facilities: Inside Swimming Pool, Sauna, Excercise Room, Lounge, TV Room
  • Example Cabin Facilities: Cabin 3: Double Cabin (30 m²), One Double Bed, Shower, TV, Table, Desk, Wardrobe, View To The Front
  • Departures: Every 6 Weeks
  • Fare: From 110 Euro Per Day ($125)

Related: This Is What You Need To Know About Royal Caribbean's Lengthy New Cruise

Germany To Brazil and Uruguay Voyage

This nearly month-long journey on the Cap San Augustin is one of the more affordable options with the fare from as low as 60 euro per day. One also has the option of bringing a motorcycle, car, or RV on board for an extra fee.

  • Route: From Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo
  • Departures: Every Two Months
  • Fare: From 60 Euro Per Day ($68)
  • Total Cost: From €1,580 to €4,440 ($1780 to $5,000) Europe (Tilbury, Hamburg, or Antwerp) to South America (Rio De Janeiro, Santos or Paranagua)
  • Duration: Approx. 25 Days (Round Trip Approx. 65 Days)
  • Ship Facilities: Inside Swimming Pool, Sauna, Excercise Room, Table Tennis, T
  • Cabin Facilities: Double Cabin, View May Be Blocked by Containers, 2 Single Beds, Shower, Desk, Fridge, TV

Slow Travel has many more voyages listed on its website. Not all of them are the better part of a month either! Some of them are just a few days while others can be even longer.

Next: Is A Mediterranean Cruise Worth It? Here Are The Perks Of A Ship