Everyone wants to get out and see the world, but some of us aren’t quite satisfied with the all-inclusive beach breaks that countless families across the globe have quickly become accustomed to. For those ‘some’, the thought of laying on a beach for a week or two can have us pulling our hair out before we even jet off, which is where cargo ship travelling could be the ideal escape. For a unique break that takes you away from the beaten track, jumping on board a cargo ship is the perfect break – here’s what you need to know to get started.

The Cost

The costs of travelling on a cargo ship can vary, but in general, they’re pretty affordable for what you get. It’s essentially a rugged cruise of sorts, without the pool or the cocktails, of course. But you’ll get a cabin, no one will flutter an eyelid at heavy luggage and you’ll be fed every single day. Of course, the shore excursions you take for yourself will be as free as you want them to be, but you’ll need to cater for any excess costs associated with visas where needed. The average cost in Europe can be around €100 a day, though certain coastal trips can be much higher. You can find trips for €80 or less but it ultimately depends on how long you’re going, where you’re going, and the quality of the ship you’re travelling on.

The Atmosphere

For the most part, you’ll be welcomed on board with open arms. For newcomers, getting involved with any of the daily work activity on the ship is probably a no-go – the staff will have their timetables, their routines and particular ways of working so getting in the way of such isn’t the best idea! However, after watching for a while and learning the way of a freighter, it’s likely that staff will welcome a helping hand from time to time. Of course, this can be hit or miss – some ships will live for the extra guests they bring, going out of their way to make you feel welcome, while others will keep their heads down to work. Read reviews where possible if you want to avoid the more abrupt of captains.

The Sea Sickness

Freight ships often don’t come with the same stabilisers that a cruise liner might, so those prone to seasickness might find it difficult on board. However, the general atmosphere tends to be one of relaxation and once you’ve had the opportunity to sleep off the sickness, the opportunity to write, stroll the decks or simply watch the water rush by can be great ways to sit back and enjoy your trip away from the bustle of everyday life.

The Flexibility

When it comes to booking your freight ship, you need to be flexible. Cargo ships have schedules to keep and are unlikely to delay to wait for you to board but on the complete opposite end of the stick, departure times have been known to change at the last minute. If you’re stuck on time off of work, travelling on a cargo ship might not be the best way for you to travel but for those with a little more flexibility, it can easily be a more adventurous way of exploring the world.

Book In Advance

Cargo ships are limited on the space they have and while freight cruises aren’t necessarily a popular holiday type just yet, they are still known to sell out quickly. Make sure you book far in advance. Remember, the prices aren’t likely to change at any off-peak or peak times, so the price you’re given is likely to stay the same regardless. Simply book in advance, and sit back and wait for the big day to finally roll around!

For something a little different, travelling on a cargo ship can be a great way to get a unique view of the world. Why not give it a try?