How to Travel by Cargo Ship Around the World?


Travelling by cargo ship around the world is a unique and adventurous way to explore the globe. It involves booking passage on a cargo vessel, often offering a slower-paced, authentic, and eco-conscious travel experience compared to traditional cruises or flights.

Tired of conventional travel? Embark on a thrilling journey around the world by cargo ship! Experience the allure of the open sea, visit remote ports, and savour a slower-paced, eco-friendly adventure. Discover the secrets of global trade while immersing yourself in a one-of-a-kind travel experience.

To travel by cargo ship, research shipping companies that offer passenger cabins. Expect longer voyages with durations ranging from weeks to months. Ensure you meet visa and health requirements for various ports of call. Prepare for a unique travel experience with fewer amenities but authentic, off-the-beaten-path adventures on the high seas.

1. Exploring the World by Cargo Ship

If you’re seeking a unique and adventurous way to travel, consider embarking on a journey around the world by cargo ship. This unconventional mode of transportation offers a distinct experience compared to traditional cruises or flights, allowing you to immerse yourself in the authentic rhythm of global trade and explore remote destinations.

2. Choosing the Right Cargo Ship

72,058 Cargo Ship Stock Photos, High-Res Pictures, and Images - Getty Images

Image Source: Copyright: Art Wager Credit: Getty Images

The first step in your cargo ship adventure is selecting the right vessel. Numerous shipping companies offer passenger cabins, but it’s essential to research and compare options. Consider factors like route, duration, amenities, and passenger capacity when making your choice.

Evaluating Cabin Types and Amenities

Cargo ships come in various sizes and offer different levels of comfort. Evaluate the cabin types and onboard amenities to ensure your journey meets your expectations. While cargo ship cabins are typically simpler than cruise ship staterooms, some vessels offer more comfortable accommodations for passengers.

Checking Passenger Capacity and Availability

Passenger capacity varies among cargo ships, and cabins can fill up quickly, especially during peak travel seasons. Check the availability of passenger cabins on your preferred ship well in advance, and be prepared to book early to secure your spot. Smaller vessels may provide a more intimate experience, while larger ones offer more amenities and services.

3. Booking Your Voyage

Booking a cargo ship voyage requires planning and patience. Be prepared for longer journeys, with durations ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on the route. It’s advisable to book well in advance, as passenger cabins are limited and can fill up quickly.

4. Visa and Health Requirements

Before setting sail, ensure you have the necessary visas for the countries you’ll be visiting during your cargo ship journey. Additionally, review and meet the health requirements, including vaccinations and medical documentation, to gain entry into various ports of call.

5. Preparing for Life at Sea

Living on a cargo ship is a unique experience. Pack essentials, including clothing suitable for a range of weather conditions, books, entertainment, and any specific items you may need during your voyage. Be ready to adapt to a simpler and slower-paced lifestyle with fewer amenities compared to traditional cruises.

6. The Cargo Ship Experience

While cargo ships lack the luxury of cruise liners, they offer an authentic and immersive travel experience. Interact with the crew, witness the daily operations of the ship, and enjoy peaceful days at sea. Embrace the absence of crowds and relish the solitude of the open ocean.

Meals and Dining

On cargo ships, dining is a communal affair. Meals are typically prepared by the ship’s cook and served in the mess hall. You’ll enjoy hearty, home-cooked fare, but don’t expect a gourmet dining experience. It’s a time to bond with fellow passengers and crew over shared meals while savouring the simple pleasures of seafaring cuisine.

Leisure and Entertainment

While cargo ships lack the entertainment options of cruise liners, there are still opportunities for leisure and relaxation. Bring books, movies, or hobbies to occupy your time during sea days. Enjoy the solitude of your cabin, take in the vast ocean views, and make the most of this peaceful and reflective travel experience.

7. Ports of Call and Shore Excursions

One of the highlights of cargo ship travel is the opportunity to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations. Explore remote ports, engage with local cultures, and savour unique shore excursions that may not be available to traditional tourists.

8. Costs and Budgeting

6 Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Budget

Cargo ship travel can be cost-effective compared to luxury cruises, but expenses can vary. Ensure you budget for the voyage, considering the ticket price, meals, and any additional charges. Keep in mind that you may need to cover some meals and personal expenses.

9. Safety and Security

The Duties Of Ship Security Officer (SSO) - International Register of  Shipping (INTLREG)

Safety is a top priority on cargo ships. Familiarize yourself with the ship’s safety procedures and follow the crew’s instructions. Although cargo ships are generally secure, exercise caution and take necessary precautions during your journey.

10. Documenting Your Adventure

Capture the unique moments and experiences of your cargo ship adventure through photography, journaling, or blogging. Share your journey with others and create lasting memories of your extraordinary voyage around the world.

Travelling by cargo ship offers a distinctive way to explore the planet, immersing you in the world of global trade, remote destinations, and a slower-paced, authentic travel experience. While it requires planning and flexibility, the rewards of this unconventional journey are unparalleled.


If you’re curious about “How to Travel by Cargo Ship Around the World,” it’s an exciting and different way to explore our planet. It’s like an adventure, not like regular vacations. You can choose a cargo ship, pack your things, and get ready for a long trip. Remember to get all the right papers for the countries you want to visit. You’ll live on the ship, eat together with others, and enjoy the simple life at sea. Even though it’s not fancy like big cruise ships, it’s a chance to see amazing places that most people don’t.

So, if you’re a young explorer at heart, cargo ship travel might be your ticket to discovering the world in a unique way. It’s about making memories, meeting new people, and experiencing the beauty of the open sea. Just remember, it’s not a fast journey, but it’s a memorable one that will stay with you for a lifetime. 

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