Freighter Travel

Europe - Africa


Germany - Netherlands - Great Britain - Spain - Morocco

Freighter round trip to the Canary Islands

21-day round trip:
Hamburg - Rotterdam - Tilbury - El Ferrol - Las Palmas/ Gran Canaria - Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Casablanca - Gibraltar - Cadiz - Huelva - Tilbury - Hamburg
Price: from 1.995 EUR

Departures: approx. every 3 weeks

Embarkation and disembarkation only possible in Hamburg!

Cargo ship round trip between Northern Europe, Canary Islands and Morocco

Experience an exciting journey to the Canary Islands and port cities in southern Spain. In front of the imposing gray city walls of Cadiz, the water sparkles a beautiful turquoise... this trip offers numerous sights.

The largest mosque in the world can be seen from a distance on the shores of the "white city" of Casablanca. A walk through the winding streets of the old town, the Medina, offers an authentic oriental flair.

The Spanish ports of call may vary, but Santa Cruz on Tenerife and Las Palmas on Gran Canaria are constant ports of call on this trip.

Travel report

Germany - Netherlands - Great Britain - Spain - Morocco

Freighter round trip to the Canary Islands

From Hamburg to Hamburg by cargo ship - a travelogue

Well, there it is again. This strange desire to go to sea, to experience something, for excitement, for peace and quiet - a cargo ship voyage. Said, done, booked. The ‘Linda’, sailing under the Finnish flag, is the ship of choice. From Hamburg to Hamburg, via the Netherlands, Spain, the Canary Islands and back via Morocco, Spain and England. It is scheduled to leave on 19 March 2024.
I'm on the ship on time on 28 March, receive a warm welcome, a quick handshake from the captain and check into my cabin. E deck, directly under the bridge. Small and cosy. Everything a sailor needs, berth, bathroom and a bit of space to sit. The second officer then shows me the main areas on board; the mess for the crew and officers, the pantry, the gym room and the launderette. There is also a Finnish sauna, of course. She also tells me where to find the life jackets and life suits and the corresponding lifeboats. With a further day's delay, we set off out of Hamburg on Good Friday evening in the glorious evening sunshine, down the Elbe towards the North Sea. The sailor's heart beats high. We call at Rotterdam, which we reach on Saturday as the sun sets. A lot of diesel oil and heavy fuel oil has to be refuelled for the tour and cargo is also transported back and forth. The Channel and the Bay of Biscay lie ahead of us. On Easter Monday, we pass the time with safety instructions and rescue training. We occupy the rescue capsule, but don't launch it. That would have been exciting. We set off at night, close to the Channel Islands. The bunk begins to rock more vigorously, as if by magic the table is suddenly swept clean. The metal hangers in the wardrobe sound like an improvised triangle orchestra. Climbing the stairs becomes a challenge. The steps push against your feet with all their might, only to disappear underneath you the next moment, the walls of the narrow staircase hit you from left and right. The everyday walk to the exhibition centre turns into a prevented fall down, up and down. It looks marvellous on the bridge. The sea is raging. Foam crests everywhere. The ship rears up, its bow into the horizon, only to fall down into the wave trough the next moment, piling up a huge cloud of spray. Over and over again. It feels like being on a huge, rather wobbly surfboard. It's magnificent. Thank you. Thank you Bay of Biscay. Things calm down again before Ferrol, we stop for a few hours to load and unload and continue on to Gran Canaria. The Canary Islands welcome us overcast but warm. We only stay in Las Palmas for a short time and then, immediately after the cargo lift, we cross over to Santa Cruz de Tenerife at night. This is an opportunity for me to disembark for a few hours and stretch my legs a little. We continue our journey in the afternoon. Casablanca! We reach it in the evening of the following day, but have to anchor for four days as work in the harbour is suspended. Ramadan and Eid need to be celebrated. The view of the huge mosque is impressive. One of the largest in the world with a tower over two hundred metres high. Monumental. Blue-green sea, pleasant air, marvellous sunsets. The wait is not long. Time to chat with the captain, tour the ship, explore the technology in the depths of the hull. During our tour, I see a small bell made of cast brass near the bow, like the ones you see on many smaller ships. The captain explains to me that such a bell is mandatory on all seagoing vessels in order to be able to signal in fog. This is done quite differently today, but a rule is a rule and so is tradition. Important to know: This bell must never be cleaned or even painted. This brings misfortune to the ship and the sailor, be it storms or heavy seas or all of the above. Incidentally, this also happens if the sailor doesn't pay the girl he likes in the harbour. That's why, during storms and windy weather, sailors mistrust each other as to who is to blame for the misery and why. After four days we weigh anchor to enter the harbour of Casablanca, the pilot is a funny, tidy guy. In the morning we cast off in the direction of Cadiz and we are there early the next day. From the harbour you have a beautiful view of the old town. Another opportunity to disembark for a few hours. Cadiz has a small old town worth seeing with wonderful alleyways, the architecture reflects the wealth of past centuries. The mighty cathedral is well worth a visit. It was a wonderful Sunday morning stroll. The early afternoon sees us back on course for Huelva, a stone's throw away. We dock there in the evening. We are moored in a river estuary, surrounded by industry and agriculture. And no more palm trees. But a marvellous sunset. Loading and unloading is noisy throughout the night and we cast off in the morning. A long journey lies ahead of us, through the Gulf of Cadiz, along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts through the Bay of Biscay and the Channel to Tilbury in the Thames Estuary. The weather is still fine, the sea is still calm at first, with the occasional dolphin or whale to be seen. Then we set course northwards and the sea slowly becomes more turbulent. Up to the Bay of Biscay it remains friendly and rough, with waves around four to five metres high. Once again, it's a huge pleasure. However, this also delays our arrival in Tilbury. Watching films, writing, recalling forgotten and forgotten things. Washing and drying the washing. Ironing too. It really is unbelievable how quickly time passes. The daily structure with the regulated meal times does the rest. Meals are served at 7:30, 11:30 and 17:00. The time on board is GMT+2, i.e. Central European Summer Time. This was decided by the captain and makes sense on this route to avoid having to change the time all the time. The cook comes from the Philippines and the food is really tasty, varied and flavoured in a super interesting way. There are two hot meals a day and cakes are often baked. There is always something to eat between meals and at night. There is nothing for vegans. Good food is the first remedy against mutiny. After four days at sea, we reach the Thames Estuary on Friday morning and moor in Tilbury. English weather, chilly. It's all about the cargo here. The area and the weather don't invite us to go ashore. It's too far to London. We leave Tilbury again in the afternoon and head down the Thames, passing places that look like seaside resorts with their beaches and piers. We head east-north-east into the North Sea, which shows its best side. I am delighted by the violent ups and downs and constant rolling swaying. On Saturday evening we reach the Cuxhaven coastal pilot, who accompanies us into the Elbe. From Brunsbüttel he is replaced by the Elbe pilot and in Hamburg the harbour pilot takes over the journey into the harbour and the mooring. And punctually, with a few days' delay, the journey ends at midnight sharp. Once again, it was a great trip that will stay with us for a long time to come. In interesting conversations with the captain and the crew, I gained a little insight into freight transport and the human labour on which our well-being is so dependent. And I learnt a lot about Finland, which makes me curious about this country. Now I'm leaving my cabin, which has been my home for some time, with a smile and a tear in my eye. I'm leaving the Linda and am already looking forward to the next freighter voyage, wherever that may be.

With this in mind: Ahoy!

Ship & Cabin Details

Germany - Netherlands - Great Britain - Spain - Morocco

Freighter round trip to the Canary Islands

MS Linda:
Flag: Finland
Year of construction: 2007
Capacity: 11.300 TDW
Length: 141 m
Width: 21.3 m

Air conditioning, DVD / TV, treadmill and ergometer in fitness room. 
Onboard voltage 220V. Currency on board: EUR

Age limits: 6/ 75 years (without exception)

Bunk bed cabin standard:
Shower/Wc. Sofa and refrigerator. Bunk beds, upper bed is folding bunk. E-deck (captain's deck). View to aft - only slightly restricted by stairs.


Germany - Netherlands - Great Britain - Spain - Morocco

Freighter round trip to the Canary Islands

General Notes

Depending on the particular cargo loaded, changes or variations may be possible. As a rule of thumb, three days of delay per week of travelling are to be accepted. Minor modifications and shifts can be expected.

Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months counting from voyage commencement. 

The agency 'SLOWTRAVEL experience' is not the operator, rather the agent of this travel. Therefore the terms & conditions of the shipping company is applicable. For further information please do not hesitate to contact us either by phone or by email.

Covid-19 regulations:

No Covid19 vaccination required. 
Upon embarkation, you might be required to present a negative rapid antigen test that you have performed yourself on the day of departure.