I sailed on a cargo ship from Malaysia to Hong Kong, and it was more luxurious than I ever could have imagined

MV CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci in Hong Kong

A voyage aboard a cargo ship can be the adventure of a lifetime. A number of shipping companies now offer passenger berths, and a number of specialized travel agencies can arrange trips aboard cargo ships.
Some cargo ships, like the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci that I traveled on, are far more luxurious than some people might assume, with rooms on par with cruise ships or hotels and amenities including a library, gym, and gourmet meals served by a French-trained chef.
Booking through a company called Freighter Travel, I sailed aboard the Amerigo Vespucci for eight days, from Malaysia to Hong Kong.
With more access to the ship than I was expecting, and a far greater level of luxury, it’s a trip I’d take again in a heartbeat.
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Ever since I was a kid, it had long been my dream to go to sea and have an adventure. There were just a few problems: I couldn’t afford to go on a cruise (and didn’t think I’d like to anyway, at least not with thousands of other people), nor could I afford a boat of my own (and didn’t know how to sail, anyway). But then, one day, inspiration struck: I’d go on a cargo ship.

TL;DR version: it was an adventure — one that was far more luxurious than I could have ever imagined, and just as memorable as I was hoping.

Here’s how I did it — sailing through the South China Sea from Malaysia to Hong Kong aboard the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci — and how you can, too.

While cargo ships are (of course) mainly for transporting cargo, a number of shipping companies now offer passenger travel, too.

About 90% of global trade — we’re talking trillions of dollars’ worth of goods — is carried by ship. But several of the world’s biggest shipping companies — like France-based CMA CGM — also offer passenger travel aboard their vessels.

A number of specialized travel companies arrange trips on cargo ships. One of the best is the one I used, New Zealand-based Freighter Travel.

Googling how ordinary people can travel on a cargo ship, my searches led me to Freighter Travel. Founded in 1993, a real selling point is the company doesn’t do package trips — you get in touch, and then they work with you to create the itinerary of your dreams, or at least one that works within your boundaries for where you’d like to go, for how long, and your budget. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for a short voyage to tens of thousands for a months-long, around-the-world trip of a lifetime.

Not knowing what to expect, I phoned cofounder Hamish Jamieson. I needn’t have been nervous: he was incredibly friendly, and easy to work with — and had just the perfect idea for someone who’d never been at sea before but wanted to go somewhere with warm weather and a friendly crew.

My journey began southwest of Kuala Lumpur …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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