Cargo ship travelling

cargo ship at sea

You know the thing that you can see in some old movies – where the characters just pack whatever little that they own and walk down to the closest harbor, offer their services on board, travel with the cargo ships all over the world and encounter all kinds of adventures? How cool wouldn’t it be to experience something like that? Just pack the everyday life into a suitcase, wave your hometown goodbye and spend a few months on the sea – and get to see the world from a whole new point of view.

However, things don’t really work like they do in the movies. Unfortunately. You can’t just stroll down to the closest harbor and get a job in a heartbeat. Modern-day ships carry a lot of valuable cargo, and are huge machines – so they won’t just let anyone work on board. There are high demands on security education nowadays, and you will at least need a “Basic safety” education in order to get a job. Taking a course for that, though, will cost you about as much as an airline ticket to Australia – which isn’t exactly cheap. But on the other hand, if you are employed at a ship, you won’t have too much spare time to enjoy the countries and harbors that you visit. You’ll probably not see a lot of the world, except for the inside of a huge ship of course. And having the time to experience the stops all over the world, that’s kind of the point – isn’t it?

Even though the “going to the harbor and getting a job”-thing will have to stay in the world of Hollywood, there are actually some great options out there. A lot of big cargo ships do allow passengers on board to tag along on the journey. In fact, there are plenty of different routes to choose from. Sites like offer routes between different European harbors, as well as voyages to USA, Australia and the Middle East. Every voyage makes quite a few stops in different harbors, and you can choose to either leave the boat at some point of its journey – or if you want to ride the boat all the way around and back to the same harbor where you boarded.

A trip with a cargo ship will cost somewhere around 50-90€ per day – which isn’t really that expensive. Every travel agency that offers trips with freighters, at least the ones that I could find through google, has basically the same concept. You get your own cabin, you are served three meals a day cooked by the chef of the boat – that you dine with the officers on board – and you get access to the common rooms as well as some of the different facilities on board. Accommodation, food AND the journey itself for less than 100€ a day? I mean – that´s kind of a catch.

To me, it seems like the perfect way to discover the world. No stress, no crowded airports or cruise ships. No delayed flights and missed connections. Just slowly on the move all the time, always on the way to a new destination.

It does take time though. Getting from Europe to USA, like to Miami for example, will take around two weeks. Travelling with airplanes and other more modern transportation forms will get you there in a day and a half – so there is quite a difference there. But the journey gets to be a part of the experience, and you’ll get to see so much more of the world – more than you’ll ever see from a plane 36000ft above the ground. Also, it’s a lot more comfortable. At least to me, a then hour flight is absolutely excruciating. You basically sit there in some uncomfortable position, praying to fall asleep fast so that you can sleep your way through the flight. On a cargo ship you’ll have your own bed, in your own room, the opportunity to walk around for a bit – and also plenty of good food. Because let’s be honest, airplane food isn’t exactly something you long for, is it?

If you just get on the internet you can find plenty of stories by those who have travelled with cargo ships around the world. If those stories don’t intrigue you – I honestly don’t know what will. They are writing about the amazing things they saw, the places they got to visit and the people they met on the journey. That’s another pro for this way of travelling; you actually have time to get to know the other people you’re on the journey alongside – that’s for sure nothing that you would do on a ten hour flight.

Up until two days ago, I had no idea that travelling with freighters even was an option. But the more I read about it, the more interesting it seems. It sounds like such an adventure. Seeing the world, travelling comfortably at a reasonable price with food included – what is there not to like?A trip around the world would be quite expensive though, since the cargo ships move slowly it will take at least a few weeks or months. So a little extra change in the pocket wouldn’t exactly do any harm. I find online casinos very amusing, so visiting sites like Casinosnack is one way to help the trip last a bit longer. After all, there will be quite a few long hours on board, while making way to the next harbour.