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New Zealand - Getting There By Sea
Several cargo ship companies will allow passengers to join them on their route and often they charge by the day. This can add to the adventure of the journey but if you are looking to get to your destination quickly this is not ideal. Cargo ships will be stopping off in several ports along the route to make deliveries and pick up more cargo therefore delaying the trip. On the plus side you can disembark at many of the ports to explore before re-joining the ship to continue the journey when they are ready to set sail. However, some ports will not allow this so it is wise to check beforehand.
Freighter trips can cost around €100 per day (or roughly £80.00 or $140.00 (USD), depending upon the exchange rate). The cost includes the accommodation plus all meals while on board. This means that the cost can work out more expensive if for any reason there are delays due to extreme weather conditions or hold ups in customs at the drop–off ports. The length of the trip cannot be guaranteed to the exact date of arrival although usually there are very few problems.
However, there are certain restrictions on those passengers wishing to travel this way. As there are often no medical staff on board a freight ship then all potential passengers must have a medical certificate showing they are fit and healthy enough for travel. Disabled passengers are usually not allowed to travel this way. There may also be age limits set, although these would vary depending on which freight company you choose to travel with, but generally young children and the elderly are not permitted.
Choosing to travel by cargo ship does not necessarily mean you will be stuck in hostel style accommodation. You may think you will be below deck in a large room filled with bunk beds. This is not the case. Many freight ships have spacious accommodation for their guests and en-suite rooms with stunning views.
To take advantage of using the cargo ship route your itinerary must be flexible. The schedule can change prior to boarding and even during the trip. You also need to be prepared for the fact the journey could take 30 days or more. Although the daily rate is considerably less than what you would expect to pay on a cruise, the longer journey can make it much more expensive. However, it is the perfect option for those looking to travel a little differently and ideal for those who are afraid to fly.
However, there is little to no entertainment on board. Most people who choose to travel this way spend a lot of their time on board reading and relaxing. You are highly likely not to be the only passenger on board so it is also an opportunity to meet other people from all walks of life who are enjoying the same travel experience as you although passenger numbers are usually limited. Most ships will allow no more than 12 non-crew people on board. Meals are usually taken in the crew’s dining room.
The main freighter ports of New Zealand include Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. This means that you can stay on board until you reach the port that is closest to your final destination which cuts down dramatically on additional transfer time and costs.
There are several companies who can help you to organise your trip including Sea travel Limited.
Sea Travel Ltd
Company No: 7078009
5 Partridge Close
Tel: +44 (0) 203 371 9484
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