A recent article in The Telegraph gives an overview on 10 fascinating voyages on cargo ships. Here’s an excerpt from that article.
Italian shipping company Grimaldi owns a large fleet of container vessels operating worldwide itineraries and also offering cabins to paying passengers.
Offers 12 passenger berths
These include a recently introduced cargo-passenger service from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the option of continuing to Newark and Baltimore. Five of its ships run this itinerary each offering 12 passenger berths in standard or lounge cabins.
Grimaldi Freighter Cruise between Liverpool and Halifax from €937 (£791) per person, one way for nine nights based on an outside cabin, including all meals. Departs weekly. The Cruise People (thecruisepeople.co.uk).
Built in Bremen in 1958, MS Oldenburg is a vintage supply ship which was bought by The Landmark Trust in the mid-Eighties to service Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, 12 miles off the Devon coast.
She takes cargo and passengers to the island on a two-hour sailing trip from Bideford and Ilfracombe up to four times weekly, from March to October. In winter she is used only for essential deliveries.
Return fare to Lundy £42 (adult); £22 (child under 16 years, free for under four years); £95 (family of two adults and two children). Landmark Trust (landmarktrust.org.uk).
St Helena adventure
Despite the new airlink to St Helena, the MV Helena still supplies the far-flung South Atlantic island together with Ascension Island out of Cape Town – journeys of 1,945 miles and 2,749 miles respectively.
The ship has one passenger cabin containing four berths with bunk-style beds which are curtained for privacy and passenger meals are served in the mess room. Books and games provided and Wi-Fi available for an extra fee.
Round trip from Cape Town to St Helena and Ascension £1,500 (33 nights); Cape Town to St Helena £900 return (20 nights). Fares include all meals and nights in port. St Helena Shipping (sthelenashipping.com).
The Alaska Highway
The Alaska Marine Highway System delivers essential supplies to over 30 of Alaska’s far-flung coastal communities set in some of the world’s most spectacular coastal landscape.
Ten vessels, each carrying between 125 and 499 passengers as well as freight, provide
basic but clean two-and four-berth cabins, a cafeteria-style restaurant, shower rooms and observation lounges and passengers are permitted to camp on deck. Voyages depart for the northern Alaskan coast and islands from Bellingham in Washington State but you can join and disembark from the ship along the way.
Voyages from around $504 (£383) for three nights, with supplements depending on cabin reservations and group sizes. Alaska Marine Highway System (dot.alaska.gov/amhs).
Translated as “the fast route”, the Hurtigruten service was first introduced in 1893, and by the early 1900s offered departures from Bergen all the way around the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes, near the Russian border, completing the 780-mile voyage in just seven days.
Now Hurtigruten operates 11 ships carrying freight and paying passengers along the Norwegian coast and elsewhere, with 34 daily ports of call. The full round trip from Bergen to Kirkenes lasts 12 days and the best chance of seeing the northern lights is between October and April.
Classic Round Voyage from £1,249 for 11 nights including flights, transfers and all meals. Hurtigruten (hurtigruten.co.uk).
The primary function of Aranui 5 is to carry freight through the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands of French Polynesia. But she also carries up to 254 passengers in 103 cabins.
Departing from Tahiti, the regular two-week voyage is accompanied by a guest lecturer and facilities include two lounges, four bars and an outdoor pool. There are also voyages to the Pitcairn Island which book up fast.
Aranui 5 voyage from €4,200 per person full board for 12 nights in a stateroom cabin, including taxes. Excludes flights and transfers. Aranui (aranui.com).
THV Patricia is a 2,500-ton patrol ship working off the coasts of England, Wales and the Channel Islands from Harwich. She also carries up to 12 paying passengers in six en suite cabins and has a dedicated passenger dining room, lounge and viewing deck.
The ship has an “open bridge” policy at most times. Voyages are one or two weeks long, starting on a Wednesday.
THV Patricia voyage from £1,850 per person for seven nights full board, in a stateroom cabin. April to September. Trinity House (trinityhouse.co.uk).
A 135ft working freighter, the Aurora Explorer works the straits to the east of Vancouver Island in British Columbia departing from Menzies Bay, near Campbell River.
Transporting heavy equipment and supplies to lumber and fishing camps nestled in numerous mainland and island inlets, she offers a great chance to see whales, porpoises, grizzly and black bears, eagles and cougar. Departures are on Tuesdays, returning Sunday. A dozen passenger berths alongside a crew of six.
Broughton Archipelago or Discovery Islands itinerary from $2,365 (£1,805) per person (if booked before Dec 31, 2019) for five nights including all meals from late March to October. Marine Link Tours (marinelinktours.com).
Cape Town via the Canaries
The German-owned shipping line NSB operates from Hamburg and offers berths to passengers on lengthy itineraries to ports throughout the world. Its regular 55-night freighter voyage on the MV Conti Makalu from Hamburg to Cape Town sails via the Canaries and along Africa’s west coast.
NSB freighter voyage from €5,585 (£4,705) per person for 55 nights based on an en suite cabin, including full board. Hamburg Süd Travel Agency (hamburgsued-frachtschiffreisen.de).
In Cook’s wake
To explore the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, you can book a day out on MV Uchuck III, a former Forties US Navy minesweeper, which supplies remote fishing lodges and logging yards scattered around the inlets of Nootka Sound.
Departing from the tiny harbour of Gold River, she slowly circles the wooded islands with up to 40 paying passengers on her upper deck. If conditions allow, the itinerary passes Resolution Cove where Captain Cook took refuge in 1778.
Day cruise on MV Uchuck III (getwest.ca) from $82, year round. The Lodge (thelodgeatgoldriver.ca) has rooms from £230. See also Destination British Columbia (hellobc.co.uk).
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Source: The Telegraph