Freighter travel is an alternative to traditional cruising.
It's where you book a trip on a commercial freighter that is delivering it's cargo from one destination to another. You won't find casinos, theaters, and other entertainment venues on freighters, and don't expect to stop for lots of shopping and guided shore excursions. (You'll have chances to go ashore, but you'll be on your own!) Also, freighter trips tend to be longer, and you can expect to spend 30, 60, or even 90 days at sea.
So, why would you consider a trip on a freighter?
There are lots of reasons these types of "cruises" intrigue people, and any one of them may appeal to you:
- Freighters roam the globe and stop at famous and exotic industrial ports that are usually far removed from the touristy areas of cities.
- On a per diem basis, they cost less than traveling on cruise ships (you can roam the wold for months for as little as $90 a day and unlike on cruise ships, there are few opportunities to spend extra money).
- Freighter travel is relaxed with a carefree informal environment.
- Companies that allow freighter travel rarely advertise in mainstream venues, so you'll get to experience something few people have heard of and most have never done.
- You'll be one of only a handful of passengers (12 is the maximum allowed on transportation vessels), and you'll dine with the actual ship's crew.
- Instead of being on some pristine cruise ship made for entertainment, you'll be able to wander amongst stacks of metal containers (much like railroad box cars).
- You'll easily find quiet nooks where you can relax with a stack of books or perhaps hit up other people for a game of bridge.