The Extra Mile

Yes, you can travel from SA to Europe by cargo ship

It is possible to hitch a lift on a freighter, but it's pricey

03 November 2019 - 00:00
You can make your way to many places in the world by buying a ride on a freighter.
You can make your way to many places in the world by buying a ride on a freighter.
Image: www.langsamreisen.de/

Q. I would like to travel from Cape Town to the UK or Europe by sea. Is this possible by cargo ship? For medical reasons, I am unable to travel by air. — Eloff Snyman

A. A few shipping companies offer passenger berths on freighters serving the route between SA and Europe, mostly, it seems to either Antwerp in Belgium or Hamburg, Germany.

A handful of travel agencies specialise in freighter travel, such as Frachtschiff-Touristik Kapitän Zylmann and International Freighter Voyages Pfeiffer. These agents will handle your bookings.

Voyages are on standard container ships with one-way trips taking about 27-31 days, depending on the number of ports of call and how long each call takes.

Accommodation is in private, two-berth cabins with en-suite facilities. You will eat with the senior officers.

Rates are from around 95-110 per day so expect to pay at least 2,945 (R48,000) for a 31-day trip.

There is also useful information on cargoshipvoyages.com and langsamreisen.de/en/freightertravel.

We can help with destination dilemmas, visa puzzles and itinerary ideas. E-mail us on travelmag@sundaytimes.co.za