Of course, no tour operator will offer it to his customers, but for some, especially for lovers of unusual travel, it could be the kind of trip to try at least once in their life!
Probably not many people know that it is possible to reach the most remote corners of the earth by traveling on container ships, which measure over 600 meters in length, and which welcome paying guests, passengers who choose an unusual way of traveling the world. Cruising on a cargo ship is probably the least known and most alternative form of tourism that can be chosen among those by sea.
On a cargo ship there are rarely ten paying travelers (the maximum for this type of vehicle), more frequently there may be four or five, but more often the guest is only one. This is a type of tourism suitable for those who love solitude, in addition to the long days spent on the high seas, without the comfort of animators, entertainment, and board games.
There are about 30,000 large transport ships that sail the seas all over the world, but only one percent of these also carry passengers. You can choose between a freighter, or a cargo or postal vessel, to reach distant islands off the beaten routes, and coastal communities that are not too well known.
After the landing, travelers will not find the shuttle to the luxury hotel, nor a tour guide who raises a colorful parasol to be followed in souvenir shops. This type of adventure is suitable for travelers who do not like to be guided on predetermined routes, but prefer to explore places that are not too touristy. Port cities do not usually represent a major attraction, but the average one-day stop in each port allows you to see places that no cruise ship will ever reach.
To undertake such a journey, you should not have strict time constraints, or strict planning to follow. Those who want to reach the ends of the earth can choose between itineraries that require a minimum of two weeks of navigation, up to one hundred days, depending on the ship chosen. However, possible delays must be taken into consideration, as well as overnight arrivals, which shorten the time spent on the ground, or even the failure to dock to the port.
Life on a cargo ship has nothing to do with what can be carried on a cruise ship: housing is undoubtedly more spartan, even if the cabins are usually more spacious, located on the upper decks, with private facilities , air conditioning, and sometimes a small fridge and TV.
There is no organised entertainment on board and you need to bring with you a supply of reading material, pack of playing cards and map of the region.
Some ships have a swimming pool, but in none will there be the casino, the ballroom, and any kind of organized activity, except the time of meals, which is shared with the crew in the common dining room. After dinner, the only attraction is represented by beautiful sunsets, but also by the sound of the waves, or by the poignant call of sea birds, and sometimes by the tales of old sailors.
Freighter travel is more about the journey than the destination and for those who choose this type of journey, this is a wonderful way to see the world. Perhaps the destination is not as important as putting one’s spirit to the test, far from an indifferent world where sometimes solitude is more oppressive than on the vast sea…
Different sources and images from web.