Being a former ship crew and grew up with a family and relatives of working on board cargo,tanker, passenger, luxury ships and even yachts all over the world, freighter travel was heard from an uncle who is a captain in one of the biggest cargo/tanker ships. Yet, it did not sink in at all that he was trying to explain that people do travel with their ships. In my head, I could not even work in a tanker or cargo ships because there’s nothing to do other than work and stare at sea.
Researching about cruises now brought me to a freighter cruise travel membership page that told me about it. It is a cheaper way to travel, less carbon emission, going around the world. If you’re looking for a backpacker style of cruising, this is it!
Depending on the location where you want to go. It is basically just a transport from destination to destination, they offer meals as well and you can have your basic modern room of choice (with varying rates, of course). I did not realize that it is big in US and Europe, that people really travel like this.
You may think the price range may not be a lot of a difference from a luxury cruise, but like how the backpackers would like it off the beaten path style in a quieter, less crowd of travelers, and more connected to the world kind of travel, this is something to try.
How to Maximize Freighter Cruise Travel?
- It’s an independent cruising, having most bars and restaurants available on board are self served. Do it yourself(DIY) most of the time.
- You get to be more connected to the crew and the officers, you’ll get to learn more how the cruise industry really works and how these hard working crew’s lifestyle on board and odd shore.
- Tours are DIY as well, managing your itinerary should be what you’re good at, but you can also be flexible.
- Taking it as a means of transport is the best way to maximize it. Like taking freighter cruise versus a plane ride may save you money. Then again, check your options where you’ll get the most out of your travel finances.
- Like backpacking, it is not for everyone. How patient and hardcore are you when it comes to budgeting travel or how your travel style is?
- Voyage fare starts from 85-100 euros/day
TIP: There are also memberships where you can get from 10-75% discounts or automatic discounts (depending on the shipping company or membership you will get) that you can also take advantage of.
What about you backpacker? Are you up for this kind of cruise?