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working on a freighter for passage across the Pacific


Sep 16th, 2000, 09:55 AM
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working on a freighter for passage across the Pacific

I realize my question may be better suited to Lonely Planet, but I've always gotten good direction at this site, so here goes...

I am looking to gain passage across the Pacific by working on a freighter on my way to Asia and/or the South Pacific. Should I contact companies before I make my way to the west coast (I'm from Toronto Canada), or should I simply show up at the docks (either Vancouver or Los Angeles) and pound the pavement so to speak, to find a ship needing crew going my direction?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Sep 16th, 2000, 03:48 PM
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Daniel, you should definitely contact the shipping lines first, and be prepared for a lot of "no" answers. Many freight lines use crews hired from recognized training schools, or use union or otherwise exclusive hires, etc. You need to be aware of visa, labor, language, and all sorts of other issues which may arise. Most countries will want you to show them you have the resources to support yourself and/or buy a ticket home before they'll let you in.

On a transpacific freighter cruise a couple of years ago we learned that one line, Hamburg Süd, does occasionally hire walk-ons for work-for-passage, or at least did some years ago. Might be worth a call.
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