Freighter Cruising Highlights for 2006

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From one- to three-week voyages on vessels such as mail and supply ship Aranui, sailing to French Polynesia's isolated islands, to three- and four-month eastbound or westbound around-the-world cruises offered by modern containerships and general cargo ships.

There are four basic classifications of passenger-carrying working ships. These include: containerships, which carry the majority of oceangoing trade today; general cargo ships, which are frequently used to transport large and/or unwieldy goods; mail and supply ships, with routes to isolated coastal communities and islands; and tramp steamers, with very short-notice itineraries going wherever their manifests take them.

Shorter duration itineraries offer vessels such as the mail and supply ship Aranui-3 sailing on the South Seas. Its voyage consists of a regular, 16-day, roundtrip from Tahiti to the Marquesas Islands, and it prides itself on its passenger service. Accommodating 200 people, Aranui sails once or twice a month year round and fares start at $3,500 US per person for private (two person) accommodations. Bunks in a 30-person dormitory, with shared facilities, can be had for as low as $1,980 US.

Another popular shorter itinerary can be found on Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' venerable 94-passenger supply ship Amazing Grace, originally built in 1955 in Dundee, Scotland and christened Pharos. She displays a lot of character as exhibited in her classic old lounges. A typical voyage on Amazing Grace consists of one- or two-week itineraries throughout the Caribbean, as she supplies the "tall ships" while providing her passengers with a leisurely tour of the islands at a cost of as little as $800 US per person per week. The seldom-seen and classic "tall ships" provide a beautiful travel bonus.

Offering a more northern route, the Patricia, flagship of a fleet constituted by Royal Charter in 1514, sails regular one- to three-week voyages around the coasts of England, Wales, and the Channel Islands. It services lightships, lighthouses, and navigational buoys, so much of the scenery is quite unique and often very quaint. While there are few opportunities to go ashore, it's an amazing experience for real maritime enthusiasts, with comfortable accommodations for up to 12 guests. Prices start around $2,500 US per person, per week.

At the longer itinerary end of the spectrum, you'll find that containerships and general cargo ships offer three- to four-month eastbound and westbound around-the-world voyages, with fares starting from $8,200 US per person. Generally these transatlantic, transpacific and southern hemisphere roundtrip voyages take approximately four to eight weeks and cost about $100 - $130 US per person, per day.

For more detailed information, or to book a voyage, please contact:

Maris Freighter Cruises
215 Main Street
Westport CT 06880
1 800 996-2747

Maris Freighter Cruises incorporates the Freighter Travel Club (established in 1958)


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Ian Turner
(203) 936-7447
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