Travel By Cargo Ship and Overnight Ferry

July 09, 2012

travel by cargo ship or freighter for adventure

Who knew that travel by freighter, cargo ship or ferry can be one of the best ways to travel? We've done a lot of it on our family world tour in the last 7 years, but we probably never would have thought about it as a travel option before doing extensive road trips in Europe.


Sometimes it is MUCH cheaper, faster and convenient to hop on a freighter ship with one's motorhome in Europe, like we did from England to Sweden, rather than drive.  It was a new and luxurious ship and we really enjoyed this relaxed mode of travel that reminds one of the old seafaring ways, with privacy and  only a handful of other passengers. I didn't write about that cargo ship ride yet, but below there are similar stories in other destinations in Europe, Africa and Turkey.


You can take your car on most of these, sometimes one can even camp inside one's motorhome while on the ship and save money on a cabin fee. We often rent a cabin for the privacy, but it is much cheaper to sleep in the comfortable lounges. Often times we run into biking travelers and people from all walks of life and many countries...although other Americans are rare.


It was a bit of a intimidating adventure the first time, but now that we've done it so much, we don't hesitate to do it often and it is one of our child's favorite ways to travel. Here are some posts that I have written on this topic.

Overnight cruise between Barcelona and Rome
( This tells about our first experience but now we have done this many times as it is one of our favorites as well as their ship that goes from Barcelona to Genoa)

Cruise from Venice to Athens

Greece - Italy- Croatia Ferries
( We've taken extensive ferries and ships in Greece, Italy and Croatia)

Ferry from Kusadasi, Turkey to Samos, Greece

Ferry from Athens to Santorini ( World's scariest road for a motorhome upon arrival)

Ferry from Split to Hvar Croatia

Ferry from France to Ireland ( Crazy story that invovles a wreck and police dog)

Turkey bus on a Ferry to Canakkale

Ferry from Santorini to Crete

Ferry from Spain to Morocco

Ferry from Samos to Mykonos

Cruising the Fjords in Norway

Crete to Rhodes Greece Ferry


Have you ever taken a cargo ship, freighter or over night ferry cruise ship? Is there anything more you would like to know on this topic?

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Jonathan Look, Jr.

What a great experience! Is there a central location to get information about this type of travel?


Hi Jeanne, I used the Helsinki-Stockholm ferry (as a foot passenger - a short trip, just overnight) 2-3 winters ago. I remember waking up very early in our cabin, to some soft but unrecognizable noise, the ship was actually sailing across broken ice. It was like sailing on a giant Martini!
A week later the Baltic Sea froze up and those giant ferries were caught in the ice. Difficult to imagine, but this made the headlines.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Jonathan! I think the best way is just to google it as there is a TON of info on line...both general and also specifics like trying to find certain routes like UK to Sweden, or Greece to Turkey etc.

That's how we first discovered this and sometimes we also just go to the port and see what is available if we know we want to go some place across the sea from a particular port.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Oh my, Nadine, how interesting! We have rarely traveled in the winter by sea, so haven't run into any ice.

We also have been very lucky and have not run into any rough seas. ;)

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