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Freighter Cruises

Please Note: Euro-based fares may be lower than listed due to recent currency fluctuations. Contact TravLtips for a current quote.

Overview

The goals of avid freighter buffs are relaxation, enjoying days at sea, the fascination of unusual destinations and the camaraderie of a few generally well-read and perceptive fellow travelers. Some other common traits among freighter travelers are good health (you are on a long voyage without a doctor), a fair amount of agility (lots of stairs to navigate between cabin and dining room or other public area), good seamanship (lots of days at sea with changing weather conditions) and a high degree of self-sufficiency.

Today’s freighters are fast, efficient vessels designed to accommodate all cargo in large, standard-size containers that reduce loading/unloading costs and time in port. While this generally means more reliable schedules, it also means port time more comparable to that of a cruise ship — from six to 24 hours — instead of several days as in the past. Proportionally more of your time is spent at sea aboard a container ship.

The listings in this section represent the majority of reliable passenger-carrying freighters departing from North American ports and select foreign departures. The ports are "typical": all itineraries are contingent on cargo. No two sailings are identical and ports of call and length of voyage are never guaranteed. Fares, unless otherwise noted, are in U.S. dollars, per person, double occupancy and are subject to change. Vessels are fully containerized unless otherwise indicated. Rates on most freighters listed are subject to foreign currency fluctuations.

This listing is intended to be a guide. The information in these listings is accurate to the best of our knowledge, but we reserve the right to make corrections.

Things to be aware of when booking a freighter cruise.

Be Flexible! — The freighter traveler must be flexible — in schedule, plans and expectations. Cargo movements govern all schedules and itineraries. The duration of freighter voyages are quoted as an average...they can be shorter or longer. Ports-of-call can change: some could be added, others dropped. Weather and port congestion are other factors that affect a ship's ability to stick to its original schedule. Sailing dates are quoted as "on or about" and changes should be expected. Rather than planning on a specific departure date, the freighter traveler should make his/her request somewhat broader.

Insurance — Most freighter fares have an additional charge for deviation insurance. Deviation insurance does not insure the passenger! This fee protects the shipping line in the event the vessel has to deviate from its schedule due to a passenger emergency. All freighter passengers need to have their own travel insurance coverage. It is essential for your protection and mandatory on most voyages.

Fares — Most freighter fares are based in euros. The U.S. dollar fare quoted will be approximate and subject to adjustment. The final U.S. dollar fare will be based on the exchange rate at the time the currency is purchased. If the euro strengthens against the dollar, passengers must understand they are responsible for the difference.

One-way travel — We advise travelers seeking one-way freighter passage to ALL foreign destinations that they must bear onward travel documents. In addition, we advise all travelers to check with consulates and embassies of the countries they will visit for additional information on entry requirements, including necessary period of passport validation for entry into that country. Due to security concerns, travelers should expect increased entry requirements and entry scrutiny.

Freighter Travel Facts

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Download the information sheet (pdf). Please contact us for the latest rates as they are subject to change.

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