When booking the trip?

Depending on the duration of your trip and on the part of the world the vessel is going to travel, you may start your inquires and preparation for an average voyage between 3 and 6 months in advance.

For a few day European tour, you may need no more than one month to make the reservation and all the necessary paper work, but, if you plan to travel from Europe to Australia, Asia, North or South America and the voyage includes many ports from different countries where visas are required you have to start your preparation one year in advance.

You will also need time to take your shots (against yellow fever or some other illnesses), to make a routine medical checkup (after 70 years old you may be required to have a more elaborated one) and to book the flights (which will take you closer to the ship and/or back home).

You have to take into account the fact that not all container vessels can accommodate passengers and, for this reason, it may be a little difficult to find the voyage you want at a certain time. Some routes can be very popular among travellers and, for this reason, very crowded (especially the Atlantic crossings) and you have to book well in advance.

Before starting your search for a vessel, try first and look for your desired destination (if you have one in mind). In this way you will have a great variety of vessels going to a specific port and you will be able to choose the one that satisfies you better. Container vessels have a very tight schedule, but a lot of changes can appear from one month to another (even from one week to another), so, if you book your voyage 6-8 months in advance, never book the flights at the same time. When choosing the plane tickets you have to be flexible about dates and places. You’d better buy them only when you are perfectly sure about the exact date of your embarkation on the ship and always try to buy tickets that can be slightly changed. Even if you travel only inside Europe, do not buy the plane ticket for the same day of joining the vessel, but at least one day in advance. The same with the return ticket. Little delays may appear on the schedule and there is always a chance of entering the port later than predicted (due to port congestions or bad weather) and the last thing you want is miss your flight back home. It is better to book the return plane ticket the next day after your arrival into the port.

You will be told about all these inconveniences from the start – when booking your voyage from the travel agency.

The most important thing concerning your voyage is to find a vessel travelling on your desired route (on your desired time). You can book the voyage with a travel agency a few months in advance, but you may be told the name of the vessel only 1-2 weeks before. In some cases, you may be told the name of the vessel, but this name may be changed few times before the actual departure. You do not have to be concerned about this aspect. All you need to do is find a reliable travel agency that can make all the necessary arrangements for you and stay in contact with it until the embarkation time.

Always check more offers before deciding which one to book and better make your reservation through the regional office of the company you are about to travel with, not through intermediate agents.

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