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Frequently asked questions

If you've never been on a cargo ship, or even if you are an experienced traveller, there may be one or more questions you want answers to. We have compiled a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer any queries you may have. Please contact us if you can't find the answer to your question on our website.

I can't find the route I'm looking for

As routes and ships are changing all the time it's impossible list all of them on the website; if you have specific needs please contact us and we can quickly check if your proposed voyage is currently possible. 

Schedules

When considering cargo ship travel it is essential to understand that schedules published are for guidance only. For many operational reasons schedules change and flexibility is paramount. Any associated travel arrangements should be booked on a flexible basis only. No liability is accepted by us or the shipping companies for schedule changes or delays; this is the nature of cargo ship operations.

We advise against cargo ship travel if you have fixed date commitments to meet and we strongly recommend purchase of cancellation insurance in the event you are unable to travel on a delayed or changed voyage.

Are there age restrictions?

Age restrictions apply to most services; generally lower age limit is over 16 years and upper 78 years (to 79th birthday). One operator (Grimaldi) permits passengers from 5 years (must be accompanied)up to 84 years (to 85th birthday) subject to medical certification and on selected voyages only. Rules vary by shipping company.

Can I work on board for a discounted fare?

It is not possible to work your passage under any circumstances; as you would expect crew members are trained to a very high standard to ensure the safety of the vessel, cargo and passengers.

Fares quoted are for the only cabins available for passenger use; there are no 'cheap' cabins (and no it's not possible to bring your own food for a reduced fare!).

Can I take my pet?

It is not possible to take accompanied pets on any cargo ships.

No go areas

It's currently not possible to embark or disembark as a passenger by cargo ship in India, Pakistan or any of the Gulf States.  

How long in advance should I book?

Certain voyages (eg transatlantic and Australia) are in high demand and do book up many months in advance. The further you are able to plan ahead the better your chances of securing a berth. When enquiring you need to have in mind your earliest and latest departure dates to give us the best chance of finding a suitable ship.

What is my luggage allowance?

Most allow 20-100kg per person depending on the specific line; personal luggage is to be carried aboard and stored by you in your cabin. Commercial/household goods are not permitted under any circumstances and must be sent as freight.

Medical and mobility requirements?

You must be generally fit and able to climb the ship's gangway and internal stairs unaided. Wheelchairs are not permitted, and there are no adapted cabins on cargo vessels for disabled use.

Ship owners require a declaration of medical fitness from your Doctor, CMA CGM now requres this at time of booking and revalidated again before travel.

Can you tell me about days ashore

Shore leave is granted at the discretion of the Captain, where safe and operationally practical to do so, and not guaranteed nor contractual; you should consider this aspect carefully before booking.

Are there other passengers aboard the ship? What are they like?  

Passengers have a varied background.  A large proportion are mature travellers with around half of them being single but this type of travel is also popular with younger people seeking an alternative way to travel. The most common factor our passengers share is their love for the sea.

What sort of facilities do the ships have?

Being designed for a specific purpose; the ships do not have the same facilities as cruise ships.  But then, that is the whole purpose of going on a cargo vessel. Cabins on cargo ships are comfortable spacious suites for 1-2 people. Passengers share the officers facilities (lounge and dining areas). Some ships may also have bar, swimming pool, gym and lift.  

What food is available on board? 

Food standards are generally good on cargo vessels, but not restaurant or cruise ship standard. Expect three freshly cooked meals a day (included in the ticket price) offering a well balanced and healthy diet. In between meals passengers have access to the pantry for snacks. Whilst specific dietary requirements cannot be met, with international crews most needs can be catered for in discussion with the cook.

Fare guidance

Across most operators the fares average around €150 Euros per person per day (en suite cabins and full board meals). All agents work from the same shipping company tariffs so shopping around is of no benefit, delays responses and causes confusion. Please do not ask us to start an enquiry if you are already in contact with another agent.

We accept payment in USD, Euro & GBP, Euro being the invoice currency. Prevailing exchange rates will be applied to deposit and balance payments as/when they fall due.

Does the ship have WiFi?

Many ships do now have access to internet and email. Where available this is likely to be charged for, subject to ships business taking priority. Where no internet is available there will be a facility for you to send/receive emails or telephone via satellite.

 

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The Greener Way to Travel

carbon footprints

Whether a Cargo ship has 1 or 101 passengers onboard, it will still sail and use just as much fuel, making your journey almost completely 'carbon neutral'.

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