Freighter cruises

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Aug 7th, 2008, 06:59 AM
  #1
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Freighter cruises

Has anyone ever cruised on freighters (e.g., Hamburgo, Aranui, etc.)? Where did you go and for how long, how many passengers, etc.?
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Aug 8th, 2008, 02:22 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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No personal experience but I subscribe to a mag whose audience
is Cruise & freighter travel.
www.travltips.com.
If memory serves correctly, they will send you a free issue to peruse
e-mail [email protected]
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Aug 10th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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We rode a freighter from Auckland to San Francisco around 10 years ago. We (wife and I) were the only pax; it would hold up to 8 if I recall. The ship was a mixed container/LTL job, around 30K DWT - Hamburg Sued line. 19 days total travel time; we spent 2 days in port in Suva, Fiji. Arrived in SF at 8 PM on Christmas Eve - coming under the Golden Gate Bridge at last light was an experience we'll never forget.

It's very different from a cruise line - entirely informal; we ate with the officers who in our case were German and Polish, the rest of the crew were from Kiribati. Our cabin had a sitting room with big desk, sofa and one bunk, then there was a separate bedroom with a single bed. There was a big lounge with a bar, TV/VCR, short wave, decent book and video library, puzzles and games, etc. There was a stationary bike for exercise, and a seawater plunge that nobody used because the rolling of the ship created waves in the pool that would bash your brains out against the (metal) sides.

We had the run of the ship - bridge, decks, engine room (by arrangement - kind of a hot, noisy and dangerous place) and my wife got to drive the boat for a while, until the XO informed her that her inability to hold our course would have us going to Mexico instead of California.

It was as educational as it was relaxing - of course the skipper and officers had been around the world umpteen times, and really understood the international commerce business as well as most bankers.

You really have to be self-reliant for freighter cruising. The officers are busy so you're on your own during the days - walk around the decks, get a lot of books read, scanning the horizon for other ships or pelagic birds (the middle of the Pacific is empty of everything.) But it's amazingly peaceful, the ocean is constantly changing colors and moods; the skies are stunning (and the stars at night like nothing you've ever imagined.) And you see ports of call (Auckland, Suva and SF in our case) from an entirely different perspective than on a cruise.

They're fairly inexpensive - around US$100 a day per person, but of course many more days than most.

We want to do it again sometime soon - I have my eye on a cruise that starts in Italy, goes through the Suez and down through the islands in the western Indian Ocean - Comoros, Reunion, Madagascar, etc. - and ends in Kenya (then turns around and goes the other way.)

There are a couple of big agencies that specialize in freighter travel - see http://freightercruises.com/ and http://www.freighterworld.com/.
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