„All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." (Martin Buber)
Departure times and dates of the vessel
You will get to know the exact times and berth about 3 until 4 days prior departure from the port agent. Please note, that date and time can always change due to freight and weather. Changes about some hours up to several days are possible! Therfore it is necissary to stay early in close contact with the port agency.
Working on board
is not permitted or possible. Therefore the travelfare can´t be reduced also. The prices are fixed fares made by the companies and we have no options to reduce them.
Spoken language is English. According to the languages and nationalities of the crew, several other languages are spoken.
Pets and vehicles
Pets are not permitted on board.
Motorbikes and cars cannot be transportet on board of the vessels. The only exemption is a route between Europe to Montevideo/Uruguay and one between Europe to Namibia and South Africa.
Bikes can be taken without charge with previous notice. (Slowtravel Experience and the company disclaim liability.)
via telephone and fax is expensive and only used in case of emergencies. There is no Internet access on board, but the emailing system aboard can be used for a little fee in cash (EUR or USD) Attachments can´t be sended or recieved. The own private email-account can´t be used.
is possible upon your own responsibility. There won´t be any organised tours. In a few countries going ashore is not permitted by the national immigration stuff or because the freighter only stops at night or due to the fact that the harbour is too far away from the city center. The ship leaders will inform you about this. If you leave the vessel always inform the crew and ask when to be back latest. A cell phone is always helpful so you could be rached in case of any changes on short notice. To write down berth, emercency number of the vessel and telephone number and adress of the port agency is also assitant.
Time of berth
usually the demurrage of the freighter ships are between 6 till 24 hours up to 1 or 2 days due to the cargo. This can also be at night, when going ashore won´t be possible.
The container vessels are liners. which follow a schedule and a fixed routation of ports. There is a fixed schedule and the charterer will always try their best to follwo this schedule. Changes are expensive. But still they are always possible. Cargo has always priority compared to the passengers.
Time of ticketing
depending on the route the time you need to book can vary from some weeks up to one and a half years in advance. Still, enquires on short notice are always worth a try! Highly frequented routes such as from Europe to South America or the to east coast of North America should be booked some month in advance.
The port of Rotterdam
A Freighter Travel Documentary
Freighter travels – plan and explore world trips on a freighter
Travels on a freighter are the most likely way to get from A to B without an airplane, if you are doing a world trip for instance. A little planning is necissary, so you should put some time and flexibility into your suitcases, alongside along with the obligatory documents.
Freighter do not start daily, but every other week or month. Therefor popular routes such as those heading to Southamerica should be booked early in advance.
Freighter travels for everybody
Travelling by freighter offers a good opportunity for people with flying panic. They give an additional spirit to your Sabbatical and help people in special situations such as after a Burn Out Syndrom to get the rest needed.
Also for travellers who are moving countries or coming back home - a travel on a freighter is always a fabulous and almost jet lack free way to reach destinies, leave places behind, look forward to new ones.
Exploring the slow side of life with freighter travels
Going by freighter doen not simply mean the crossing from one continent to the other. They should be seen as more than that, since they are offering us a valued good: time. Time – to rest. Time – to escape the overwhelming satiation of every day life. Time – to work on a thesis, a book, an important project. And time – to let go and let be.
What is the attraction of the horizontical wideness of freighter travels? What is the allured point of apparently dreary landscapes? The answear is as simple as deep: it´s the turning away from a every day life in a hurry.Far away from cellphone connection and internet, the pressure of appointments and private commitments one will calm down and - as pathetic as it is – find some inner peace.
Spending days of watching the diversity of the horizon and oceantic landscapes does not only bring up the flashing feeling of freedom but gives you the opportunity get some breezy winds to help you to leave all your daily worries behind.
While the rest of the world takes part on the daily game about efficiency, speed and peak performances, freighter travels will treat you with an authentic feeling of the widenes of our planet. Slowly destinies will come up, slowly places will pass by. Travelling becomes a journey to the inner self. In the distance we can get close to our selfes. Creativity will be set free.
Everyday life on board
Your wellbeeing will be provided on board. There is no need to feel a lack of comfort, since the most vessels have a own swimming pool and a sauna. The comfortable furnished cabins are most of the time bigger than those at cruise ships.
Who is in need of a meaningful past time or looking for company will find it. For example you can spend hours at the bridge and learn about all technical details or you´ll gett some helpful advises for the next stopp over. If you look for some alternation from reading or watching movies, can go for a swim or to the sauna.
Sunbathing on deck and have a chat over coffee with other passengers will belong to your daily routine as well as having a beer, if wanted.
There is no need to get lonesome, if you don´t want to. The Barbecue parties on cargo ships with the whole crew, which take place once in a while are known to be very sociable.
Stop overs and shore leaves
Leaving for shore is usually permitted during your container ship travel, except very few harbours. Sometimes the harbour might a bit far from the city. Other than in times before using standardized containers, in nowadays the stops aren´t that long any more.. In Most cases the vessel will stop about 8-12 hours.
Being flexible is always necissary when beeing on a world trip as well as being on a cargo ship travel. When booking a freighter passage you will realise that, since all the departure dates are „planned“ dates, which could vary due to freight reasons.
In a world where everything is planned and disposable, this flexibility, this little unpredictable piece might be one of the reasons why travelling on a cargo ship is that delightful.