Freighter World Cruises For the Adventurer in You

Saving for a needed holiday

Glamorous? No. A vacation to remember? Definitely. (Photo: flickr.com)

Glamorous? No. A vacation to remember? Definitely. (Photo: flickr.com)

Everybody needs to get away sometime. We save our nickels and dimes throughout the year. We stockpile vacation time and cut corners where possible to ensure that we have that little bit extra to help us get away for a nice holiday. Now that we’re dealing with a serious recession, being able to save on travel costs is certainly welcome. We all want cash now, and sometimes we resort to a cash loan or two to get it, but the reality is that if we are to be able to enjoy things like ocean vacation, we have to keep our impulses in check. Only those expenses that are truly necessary will do if we are to make that vacation we’ve been dreaming about.

An ocean vacation?

Yes, there are many of us who enjoy the occasional cruise on the ocean blue. However, even with a good rate on a cabin aboard a reputable tourist cruise line’s freighter, the costs can mount. Every smiling face aboard that vessel is looking to serve you, and tipping is customary. You can see how that can add up, as will the expense for alcoholic beverages if there’s a limit to what your food allowance will cover. At least square meals tend to come standard with your cabin fee.

If an ocean cruise is definitely for you but the cost has you a deep shade of blue, consider freighter world cruises. By that, I mean travel aboard a cargo ship instead of a luxurious ocean liner. Yes, I’m talking about freighter world cruises. According to numerous travel outlets, it isn’t as bad as it sounds… not bad at all, in fact.

You are cargo, but you won’t be treated that way

A recent L.A. Times travel story at http://www.latimes.com/travel/sns-trvrail2-wk4-aug19,0,186203.story indicates that there are cargo ship companies that make space available (not cargo hold, but actual rooms) for a “limited number” of guests. Think 10 people or less in most cases. Amenities generally include three square meals with the crew, a comfy room with TV and movies available, a reading room, an exercise room and sometimes even a pool. Plus, you can usually get a tour of your freighter, which is something most people never have the chance to see. So long as you book months ahead of time, you can find space and save money over conventional cruise lines.

But what about the view… and the entertainment?

On the latter, you’ll have to concede that one unless the crew gets together for karaoke on your freighter world cruises. But as for view, look off the deck of the ship and you will see nature’s splendor.  You may not be taking the most direct route to those exotic ports of call, but you’ll get there eventually. Not the tourist traps, but more industrial locations. Check on this ahead of time, but you probably will even have time to travel while in port, so there’s no need to stick around the shipyards.

What kind of trips do freighter world cruises take?

Ports may look like this, but that doesn't mean you have to stay there! (Photo: flickr.com)

Ports may look like this, but that doesn't mean you have to stay there! (Photo: flickr.com)

According to an AARP travel column, you can travel the world if you’re willing to take the time to fit into the schedule for your freighter world cruise. One AARP member inquired about passing through both the Panama and Suez canals on one journey, and it is possible to make that loop through both South America and the Middle East. As an example (as there are multiple companies that do this), the AARP travel writer suggests Maris Freighter & Specialty Cruises – www.freightercruises.com.  They have a 15-week trip, which is the shortest voyage through both places that they offer. However, it begins and ends outside the United States (flexibility is important when it comes to travel). Trips sail from Dunkirk to Le Havre, France, then cross the Atlantic to Cristobal, Panama. From there, they take the Panama Canal and travel on to Tahiti. Then come New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua, New Guinea, and Singapore. Suez Canal passage leads to the Mediterranean and finally ends in Hamburg, Germany. How’s that for a voyage?

If you’re willing to take three extra weeks, Maris offers an eastbound cruise that begins and ends in Texas. Go up the U.S. east coast, over to Hamburg, then to Belgium, Italy, and another European port. Next comes the Suez Canal to India, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan. The final leg of the voyage takes you to Southern California, through the Panama Canal, and finally to Houston.

How much does it cost and what else should you know?

The length of your trip may vary from as little as a few days to as many as several months. Prices generally are around $100 per day, which is more than flying but less than a glitzy cruise. According to AARP, these rates are generally Euro-based, so hopefully the conversion rate improves sometime soon.

Apply Now!

If you’re in good health, freighter world cruises can be a great deal for you. I can’t stress good health enough, as cargo freighters don’t generally carry a doctor on board. If there’s an emergency, one can be airlifted in, however. But you will pay for it. That’s not to say that your life isn’t worthy it – it is – but I’m just trying to make you aware. You may need cash now from a nice cash loan. Why not be prepared ahead of time? You can apply for a cash loan right here by clicking the green button!

Related Video:

Other recent posts by bryanh