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Old 04-22-10, 02:47 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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Crossing the Atlantic by ship...

Some news reports say the worst of the Icelandic volcano eruptions has yet to occur.. What if air traffic is stalled for several months..
.. . Has anyone traveled across the Atlantic by ship. By either Freighter or cruise ships.. How did it go and how much did it cost..
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Old 04-22-10, 03:37 AM   #2
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Ive been crossing the Atlantic for several times on a cargo ship. The cheapest thing is, if you walk to a harbor and ask the first officer
of a container vessel if he takes you over. If there is a possibility to work, you pay nothing. If not, they charge you much less then on
a cruise ship.

Kind regards,

Hans
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Old 04-22-10, 09:55 AM   #3
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Ive been crossing the Atlantic for several times on a cargo ship. The cheapest thing is, if you walk to a harbor and ask the first officer
of a container vessel if he takes you over. If there is a possibility to work, you pay nothing. If not, they charge you much less then on
a cruise ship.

Kind regards,

Hans
Thanks burns.. So can this be arranged in advance... ?.Since many of us don't live near a port.... How long did it take by cargo ship.. Maybe you crossed the Atlantic via the Pacific with a complimentary stop in Singapore. ?
I'd be happy to clean up dishes in order to get me across the ocean should air traffic be halted for a long period of time.. And could you bring along personal gear such as a bike.?
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Old 04-26-10, 01:46 AM   #4
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You can arrange it in advance, many cargo ships carry limited number of passangers. There's a Finnish writer who has done quite a few long haul tours on cargo ships since, dunno, about 1960s. She has also published several logbooks of her travels. From what I gather you need to be flexible with schedules, your ship's arrival to destination may be days off from what it says in the brochure. Also, cargo companies vary their routes according to what needs to be transported, so you may have to change ships in some port. The ships may take long time loading / unloading cargo, so complimentary stops are there. You just need to arrange for local transportation, cargo ports are seldom in city centers, or within the reach of local public transportation even.

In general, the author of the logbooks seemed quite satisfied with the service. It's not cheap though. Your local travel agency might have some pointers as to where to look. I've been thinking about such a trip too. I would imagine carrying lots of gear (including bike) would not be a big problem, it being a cargo ship and all.

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Old 04-26-10, 11:56 AM   #5
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Juha. Should the Iceland volcano blow for months on end, I'll wager there will be a wait to get onto cargo ships.. Bet those business class seats on the airlines would book the Queen Mary over a cargo ship...
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Old 04-26-10, 12:22 PM   #6
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I went from New York to Germany several times with my mother when I was a kid. She was born there and we went to visit her mother and siblings for the summer. At that time it was cheaper to go by boat than to fly. We used the slowest passenger liner then operating (the 'Berlin') and it took 10 days. Faster passenger liners took about half that time.
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Old 04-26-10, 12:46 PM   #7
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My surprise is that passenger liners still exist that are not really a cruise line ; geared to take one to Southampton rather than Curacao
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Old 04-27-10, 02:09 AM   #8
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cyclezealot, you say it like Southampton is worse than Curacao?

But on subject: it may have something to do with the downshifting idea in general, enjoying not just the two points at opposite ends of a journey, but everything in between as well. I think cyclists, or at least cycle tourists understand the concept. From what I've heard, the trans-Siberian rail service is doing well, and it takes about a week or more, compared to the overnight flight? Also, in Europe the Interrail system and culture has survived even though the prices are much higher than comparative cheap airlines. There are people who enjoy taking the slow option instead of the plane.

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Old 04-27-10, 02:37 AM   #9
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Thanks burns.. So can this be arranged in advance... ?.Since many of us don't live near a port.... How long did it take by cargo ship.. Maybe you crossed the Atlantic via the Pacific with a complimentary stop in Singapore. ?
I'd be happy to clean up dishes in order to get me across the ocean should air traffic be halted for a long period of time.. And could you bring along personal gear such as a bike.?
You may arrange it in advance if you mail some shipping companies out of the yellow pages. Travel agencies will charge you an extra fee.
I`ve never seen the Pacific. New York - Rotterdam - Hamburg takes 10 days as well as Lisboa - Recife on a freighter. You may take as
much luggage as you can carry, theres place enough.

Good luck!

Hans
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Old 04-27-10, 09:46 AM   #10
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Not that I am adverse to flying, I just prefer alternatives.. The check in procedure is increasingly a pain and the way airlines screw over cyclists. . Should volcano's not be blowing their stack and we are in no hurry , a calm sea cruise sounds like what many of us need..
.Probably the accommodations are worse than the EU hotel chain, formula 21?. And should the food be lousy, a 10 day cruise is a good place to diet..
. But the costs.?.. Are they less than airliner tourist class.?.
No Juha.. No slam on Southampton, I don't know the town.. I just thought ships were only used for cruises or freight ever since the Titanic went down and Delta took over the friendly skies..
. Actually how about this scenario to New York.. Take the trans Siberian rail to Nome Alaska and the Greyhound to New York. One must really hate flying. But, as long as my bike is secure , such an adventure might give a cyclist a chance to ride about Lake Baikal.
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Old 04-27-10, 02:34 PM   #11
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Regarding accommodation, the Finnish author I mentioned described the cargo ship cabins were spartan but OK. Definitely not up there with Royal Caribbean Cruises, but OK (so your Formule 1 comparison may be close...) She went as a paying customer, don't have the faintest idea how you travel if you're doing the dishes. Foodwise, crew and passengers ate the same menu on her journeys and she seemed to like the food. Those ships only had room for maybe 10-20 passengers.

A ship to Faroe and Shetland islands and a bit of bike riding there might be interesting too.

--J
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Old 04-29-10, 08:18 AM   #12
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There's a Finnish writer who has done quite a few long haul tours on cargo ships since, dunno, about 1960s. She has also published several logbooks of her travels.

--J
Could you tell me the name of that author plz?
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Old 04-29-10, 08:20 AM   #13
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There's a Finnish writer who has done quite a few long haul tours on cargo ships since, dunno, about 1960s. She has also published several logbooks of her travels.

--J
Could you tell me the name of that author plz?
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Old 04-29-10, 09:03 AM   #14
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Regarding accommodation, the Finnish author I mentioned described the cargo ship cabins were spartan but OK. Definitely not up there with Royal Caribbean Cruises, but OK (so your Formule 1 comparison may be close...) She went as a paying customer, don't have the faintest idea how you travel if you're doing the dishes. Foodwise, crew and passengers ate the same menu on her journeys and she seemed to like the food. Those ships only had room for maybe 10-20 passengers.

A ship to Faroe and Shetland islands and a bit of bike riding there might be interesting too.

--J
So Juha.. The Formula 1 comparsion is valid.. The accommodations are not a community, dorm like situation.?.
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Old 05-26-10, 09:29 AM   #15
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My surprise is that passenger liners still exist that are not really a cruise line ; geared to take one to Southampton rather than Curacao
I could be interested in this too. Could you tell the name of these lines?

(...or I understood wrong and your sentence was only a hope or similar??)
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