Category Archives: USEFUL INFO

Booking a trip

If you have already decided that travelling on board container vessels is what you really like for a few day (week) holiday, you should spend some time on the internet and make the needed research or you should put your trust in a travel agency and let them offer you the best alternatives.

Internet on Board

More than 20 years ago, seafarers didn’t have too many options to communicate with their families while they were at sea. Sending a telegram from time to time, letters – which were taking weeks (even months) to reach their destinations – or short phone calls were all they could do to stay in touch with their loved ones.

How the accommodation on board looks like?

Accommodation on board a port container vessel may not be top notch, but it will offer you exactly what you need to make your stay as pleasant as possible. There are usually two or three cabins on board which are fit to take passengers and one of them is considered to be first class as it can have two rooms.

Can you go anywhere around the vessel?

A voyage on a port container vessel offers you a lot more freedom than one on a cruiser and this can be one of the main reasons for which you chose this kind of travelling. You can go almost anywhere you want around the vessel – as long as you do not interfere with the crew’s work – and the most important thing that you have to take into account is your own safety.

Is there any fun on board a container vessel?

There are many things that can be considered ‘fun’ on board a container vessel but the most important thing is what you consider to be fun. Most of the passengers travelling on container vessels choose this way of travelling especially for the peace and quiet it can bring along, allowing them to relax, slow down and enjoy everyday life as it comes along.

Where can you travel with a port container vessel?

Generally speaking, a container vessel can go anywhere, from China to Peru and from New Zealand to Cape North (except Antarctica). The longest non stop passage can last ~ 3 weeks (for example, crossing the Pacific Ocean or from Japan to Brazil) and the shortest distance between two ports can be covered in less than 2 hours (for example, between Trieste – Italy and Koper – Slovenia, or between some small ports in China).

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.

Why travelling on container vessels?

Before launching yourself in such a journey, you have to take into account some important aspects. You have to be sure that this is the type of experience you need and can endure because once you put foot onboard a container vessel you can only ‘escape’ when arriving at your destination. Of course, you can give up after one port (if this is possible) but in this case you lose the money you paid for your ticket, or you can try to survive and finish your itinerary. Life is not always easy on container vessel and the fact that you are a passenger on this kind of ship does not give you the right to ask for more than it is already offered. In some cases, you can experience bad weather or the food might not be always to your liking, but these are the risks you have to take before making your reservation.

Planning to visit ashore?

For seamen and passengers alike, going out of the port for a visit of the city can be interesting and challenging at the same time. All must follow the same rules, obey the same laws and for this reason, it can be easier if passengers and seamen join forces and find together better solution for this problem.

Before going out for a visit, you have to know how long the ship is going to stay in the port, how much time is needed to arrive to the gate and how far the city is. You’ll also have to leave your contact telephone number to the officers on board, so you can be reached in case of some emergency.

Documents required to travel

If you are a European Union citizen you will not need any visa if your ship is calling European ports. If you travel only inside Europe, you will most probably need your National I.D. You will be allowed to go out of the port and visit the city and come back again to join the vessel and continue your journey. But, if the ship is going to travel to USA, you will need a valid passport and a B1/B2 USA visa. So, regardless your country of residence, if you enter USA by ship you will need a B1/B2 visa (tourist visa), which you’ll have to take in advance (prior to your arrival).