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Take A Container - NZ To The UK On A Banana Boat

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Contributor:
Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy

Travel overland, reduce your carbon footprint, sail away, blah blah jumbo jet, fuel crisis etc etc. All the cheap flights are beckoning but your conscience is disturbed – traveling is a selfish pastime. If that’s the case try taking a container ship, but only if you’re a time rich individual who love the sea. Now be warned, the adventure might be there but it’s not for the faint hearted. Many of the midway destinations are obscure and the stops are usually pretty brief. There are no organized bingo games, entertainment or tours. It aint the love boat but the cabins are often large, comfortable and the meals made to order. The average cost is slightly more than an airfare but does include a multitude of bizarre stops, meals and accommodation.

A trip ex New Zealand or the United Kingdom will often stop at USA, Panama Canal, Australia and the Suez Canal. A round the world voyage runs for about 120 days and involves a fast, modern cargo ship. www.cruisepeople.co.uk have a four month round the world trip that encompasses Dunkirk - Le Havre - Panama - Papeete - (Pago Pago) - Suva - Auckland - Noumea - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Santo, Vanuatu - Honiara - Port Moresby - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Kimbe, Papua New Guinea - Lae, Papua New Guinea - Madang, Papua New Guinea - Jakarta - Singapore - (Port Kelang) - (Suez) - Algeciras - Hamburg and Antwerp. If that’s too many stops for your liking they have 300 other freighters that carry passengers worldwide stopping at many different destinations.

The options for sailing by freighter from the US west coast to New Zealand are more limited than trips to the UK but they do exist with Hapag-Lloyd or ANZDL. Freighter World Cruises has a 25-day passage from Los Angeles to Tauranga for $3895 or 14 days from LA to Auckland for $1780. The fares include all meals but don't include taxes and alcoholic drinks. Apparently it is very popular to travel amongst car containers, bananas, New Zealand lamb and boxes of rubber ducks, so enquiries should be made a year in advance. Supposed budget is about $135/£70 per person per day plus any taxes.

Useful websites with plenty of details about shipboard life include www.freightercruises.com, http://members.aol.com/CruiseAZ, www.freightertravel.co.nz, www.cargoshipvoyages.co.uk, http://www.cruisepeople.co.uk/freighters.htm, www.freighterworld.com.

 

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