Traveling on a merchant ship, the life of the "passenger" on board


Cargo ship under the bridge April 25 (CC) Osvaldo Gago

Ferries, yachts or cruises are not the only ones ways to travel by sea as a passenger. We have talked on Viajablog on some occasion how to travel in a cargo ship and thus navigate the wide sea. But instead of talking about it, today what I bring is a video with testimonies of crew members and passengers of a merchant ship and they will be the ones who tell it.

Of course, the first thing I have to remind you is that traveling by merchant ship has its pros and cons, which is a way of traveling not suitable for everyone. Some, when they read them, may think that the positive is negative for them and vice versa. Let's go in parts and let each one judge for himself:

In theory it is possible reach any port important in the world where merchandise is landed, which also means that only if merchandise is landed could it be a destination within reach of the traveler.

Traveling on a cargo ship has neither the luxuries nor the distraction capabilities that a cruise ship has, which also means that one is responsible for their abundant leisure time.

The crew of a merchant ship aims to take the ship, in the safest, fastest and most efficient way possible, to a port where you can embark or disembark your cargo. The passenger of a cargo ship can attend as a privileged witness of the comings and goings of sailors and officers but they are not there to serve you.

Depending on the type of vessel, the shipping companies make available to passengers between one and a dozen seats in cabins singles or doubles similar to those used by ship officers. They have a full bathroom, varying the rest of the equipment (refrigerator, TV, dimensions, etc.) depending on the boat.

The meal times They are set in advance, with little room to arrive late as they are performed based on the crew's shifts, and these are done in the officers' dining room. Ingredients and menu are limited (which are not scarce or unappealing) for logistical reasons, if one has special needs it is advisable to notify beforehand.

Report for the Nosolomúsica de Telecinco program by Ambae Producciones

If the cost of a cabin on a cargo ship (from 80 to 120 Eur per day) is not exactly cheaper than taking a cruise trip organized, what leads someone to travel as a passenger in a merchant ship?

As they say in the video, this type of trip is for people who want disconnect from a job and a life where stress prevails over relaxation, obligations and decisions about dolce far niente, the pleasure of doing nothing. It is the right trip for someone who is not afraid of free time and does not need a mixed team of entertainers to entertain themselves. On board there are small bookstores and video libraries, plus the material one carries.

Traveling on a cargo ship as a passenger is not like doing it on a cruise ship or on a sailboat. Time on board, apart from a chat with the crew When they are not working, you basically spend it with yourself and that is a type of trip that not everyone can take without stress.

For more information or to hire the trip in a merchant ship

Agency Frachtschiff-Touristik GmbH Kapitän Zylmann (in Spanish)

Facebook group “Travel in Merchant Ships” (in Spanish)

Naviera OPDR (Recruitment is through agents) (in Spanish)


Agency A la Carte Freighter Travel (in English)

Agency Balloons (in German)

Agency Cruisepeople (in English)

Agency Freighter cruises (in English)

Guide Seaplus on cargo ship travel (in English) 4,001