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  #1  
Old December 9th, 2013, 07:04 AM
Norveilex Norveilex is offline
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Default Transatlantic travel?

I'm sorry if this is not the right place to ask this question. I have been looking online for companies that do transatlantic travel. I'm not sure if this place is just about cruise vacations. If it is, I'm really sorry.

I'm really afraid to fly in a plane. I've never done it and it just isn't something that I want to do. I have looked into transatlantic travel by ship and have a few questions. Is the Queen Mary 2 the only ship that does this? If not, what are the others? I seem to see some others that offer transatlantic trips, but I'm not sure. I've never been on a cruise ever. Are there any that go to Russia?

Thanks for your time and have a good day!
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  #2  
Old December 9th, 2013, 07:15 AM
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CraftyEC CraftyEC is offline
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Cunard's Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the only ship which offers a regular transatlantic crossing. It is, I believe, technically the only 'ocean liner' rather than a cruise ship. We have sailed both ways on her, and it was a very enjoyable experience.

Most other cruise lines do offer 'occasional' rather than regular crossings. These are often 'repositioning' cruises, where a ship is moved from, for example, a winter season in the Caribbean to a summer season in the Mediterranean. An example would be a cruise from the Caribbean via Fort Lauderdale and then across to Funchal (Madeira) and on to Barcelona. Obviously these go in both directions! We have recently been on such a cruise, from Barcelona, via a number of ports to Rio de Janeiro.

You can certainly cruise to Russia. There are many Baltic cruises, most call into St Petersburg. However, you would be unlikely to be able to do this in one trip from the USA. You could sail across to Europe and then either pick up another cruise, or, more likely, spend some time travelling on land to reach another port and then depart to the Baltic.

You are not alone. In 1964 my mother was desperate to see her siblings in the USA, but was terrified of flying. So, we sailed from Southampton to New York on the Queen Elizabeth, and back, several weeks later, on the Queen Mary! I just wish I could remember more about the trip. Sailing is a far more relaxing way to travel than flying, but you may have to do some manoeuvring to get yourself to the appropriate ports!
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  #3  
Old December 9th, 2013, 07:40 AM
Norveilex Norveilex is offline
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Originally Posted by CraftyEC View Post
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the only ship which offers a regular transatlantic crossing. It is, I believe, technically the only 'ocean liner' rather than a cruise ship. We have sailed both ways on her, and it was a very enjoyable experience.

Most other cruise lines do offer 'occasional' rather than regular crossings. These are often 'repositioning' cruises, where a ship is moved from, for example, a winter season in the Caribbean to a summer season in the Mediterranean. An example would be a cruise from the Caribbean via Fort Lauderdale and then across to Funchal (Madeira) and on to Barcelona. Obviously these go in both directions! We have recently been on such a cruise, from Barcelona, via a number of ports to Rio de Janeiro.

You can certainly cruise to Russia. There are many Baltic cruises, most call into St Petersburg. However, you would be unlikely to be able to do this in one trip from the USA. You could sail across to Europe and then either pick up another cruise, or, more likely, spend some time travelling on land to reach another port and then depart to the Baltic.

You are not alone. In 1964 my mother was desperate to see her siblings in the USA, but was terrified of flying. So, we sailed from Southampton to New York on the Queen Elizabeth, and back, several weeks later, on the Queen Mary! I just wish I could remember more about the trip. Sailing is a far more relaxing way to travel than flying, but you may have to do some manoeuvring to get yourself to the appropriate ports!
Thanks for the fast response. I have done some more searching and found a few that sound like what you are talking about. I wanted to go in February, but there doesn't seem to be any cruises. My main goal is just to get to Europe or any place close to Russia. I would take a train to Russia from anywhere.
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  #4  
Old December 9th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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paul929207 paul929207 is offline
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Welcome to Cruise Critic.

Other than the Queen Mary 2, most of the east bound TA's are in the spring, and the west bound are in the fall. These are the times the cruise lines are moving the ships between the Caribbean and Europe.

I believe the QM2 has on occasion done a Baltic cruise (which would include St. Petersberg) right after a TA and followed it by another TA. My mother did all three, so it was round trip NYC for her.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norveilex View Post
Thanks for the fast response. I have done some more searching and found a few that sound like what you are talking about. I wanted to go in February, but there doesn't seem to be any cruises. My main goal is just to get to Europe or any place close to Russia. I would take a train to Russia from anywhere.
Very few passenger transatlantics are scheduled for February. The weather can be quite bad, and that does not translate into good customer service, so the Atlantic ocean in winter is pretty much relegated to cargo ships. Having said that, have you considered travel on a freighter? You can go to the "Freighter and non-conventional cruises" forum for some guidance. I've looked at some, MSC for instance, that carries 6 passengers, costs about 360euro per person each way, and takes about 8-10 days for the actual crossing, depending on where you board and leave the ship. That price is for the entire 35 day round trip, so if you only wanted to book say NYC to Bremerhaven, there would probably be a deep discount.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 08:58 AM
rwr235 rwr235 is offline
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Originally Posted by Norveilex View Post
Thanks for the fast response. I have done some more searching and found a few that sound like what you are talking about. I wanted to go in February, but there doesn't seem to be any cruises. My main goal is just to get to Europe or any place close to Russia. I would take a train to Russia from anywhere.
Hi,

Yes, if you are looking to go in February of 2014, QM2 is not an option either, as she will be doing the different segments of her World Cruise between January and May.

Might want to check out some of the Freighter options?....Here is one site:

www.freightercruises.com

As kindly suggested above as I was typing !
Good luck

Woody

Last edited by rwr235; December 9th, 2013 at 09:00 AM.
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  #7  
Old December 9th, 2013, 10:13 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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The QM2 is the only one that does the crossings several times a year.

You will find other ships doing the crossing as they reposition there ships either to Europe or to North America.

Keith
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  #8  
Old December 9th, 2013, 12:03 PM
Essiesmom Essiesmom is online now
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If you have the time to get yourself to Europe in Feb. on a freighter, there are numerous ferry services carrying people all over the Baltic and North Sea year round. They are a large as the smaller cruise ships, with many of the amenities: restaurants, duty free shops, shows, casinos...and very basic cabins. I believe there are regular ferry crossings from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, maybe also from Tallin. EM
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  #9  
Old December 9th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Sekhmet Sekhmet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norveilex View Post
My main goal is just to get to Europe or any place close to Russia. I would take a train to Russia from anywhere.
You might like to look at the website of the man in Seat 61 www.seat61.com for excellent information about rail travel in Europe and much of the wider world. Hope this helps.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 01:46 PM
jamessemaj jamessemaj is offline
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You can do a transatlantic to the Baltic and combine that with the first Baltic/Russia cruise that the ship does. Those ships reposition to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Southhampton, and other locations. Or you could do the reverse, the ships last Baltic cruise for the season and then reposition back to the states. But not in Feb, it would have to be Apr., May, Sept, Oct. There are also occasional transatlantics by cruise lines other than the repositions, but you have to search to find them. One example is a new ship being put into service from Europe to the US.

One other note, on Russia, which you seem most interested in. Those itineraries usually stop in St. Petersburg and usually for 2 days in the middle of the cruise, and to stay you would have to forego and pay for the whole cruise. The alternative would be to take the transatlantic and then the train to Russia. I think Helsinki is the most convenient place to catch a train to St. Petersburg.

It is tricky to go both ways across by ship, but it can be done, just not necessarily according to your preferred schedule. As horrible as air travel has become and more and more people want to avoid it, I am hoping that regularly scheduled ship crossings will be offered eventually.

Last edited by jamessemaj; December 9th, 2013 at 02:00 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 02:31 PM
jamessemaj jamessemaj is offline
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I thought of another intriguing possibility if you are an especially energetic and hardly person, would be a transatlantic to the Baltic, train to St. Petersburg, high speed rail to Moscow and then on the transmongolian to asia, then another reposition to the west coast. Some people do it and I wish I had when I was younger and had the energy and enthusiasm but little money and time. Now I have the money and time but not the energy and fortitude.

Last edited by jamessemaj; December 9th, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jamessemaj View Post
I thought of another intriguing possibility if you are an especially energetic and hardly person, would be a transatlantic to the Baltic, train to St. Petersburg, high speed rail to Moscow and then on the transmongolian to asia, then another reposition to the west coast. Some people do it and I wish I had when I was younger and had the energy and enthusiasm but little money and time. Now I have the money and time but not the energy and fortitude.
A saying I heard a looong time ago:

We get too soon strong and too late rich.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norveilex View Post
I'm sorry if this is not the right place to ask this question. I have been looking online for companies that do transatlantic travel. I'm not sure if this place is just about cruise vacations. If it is, I'm really sorry.

I'm really afraid to fly in a plane. I've never done it and it just isn't something that I want to do. I have looked into transatlantic travel by ship and have a few questions. Is the Queen Mary 2 the only ship that does this? If not, what are the others? I seem to see some others that offer transatlantic trips, but I'm not sure. I've never been on a cruise ever. Are there any that go to Russia?

Thanks for your time and have a good day!
If you're looking just for non-airplane transport to Europe and you're flexible with your schedules and time, you might also want to consider crossing on a freighter - much more bare-bones, but the variety of schedules, ports, and times of crossings are much greater. I've met a couple who travel to and from their seasonal home in Europe that way, and they love it. It's not a vacation, though, it's transport to your vacation.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 04:57 PM
jamessemaj jamessemaj is offline
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A saying I heard a looong time ago:

We get too soon strong and too late rich.
Another: youth is wasted on the young. Maybe a little too cynical for me, but still, I wish I had what I have, and knew what I know when I was young. Who knows, maybe that wouldn't have been ideal either.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 10:21 PM
navybankerteacher navybankerteacher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norveilex View Post
I'm sorry if this is not the right place to ask this question. I have been looking online for companies that do transatlantic travel. I'm not sure if this place is just about cruise vacations. If it is, I'm really sorry.

I'm really afraid to fly in a plane. I've never done it and it just isn't something that I want to do. I have looked into transatlantic travel by ship and have a few questions. Is the Queen Mary 2 the only ship that does this? If not, what are the others? I seem to see some others that offer transatlantic trips, but I'm not sure. I've never been on a cruise ever. Are there any that go to Russia?

Thanks for your time and have a good day!
You might not want to hear this, but good advice to you might be to get over your fear of flying. If it is deep-seated, there are programs run at many airports to help people overcome that phobia. Since you have never flown, you might not have a phobia - rather a reluctance which you might be able to overcome on your own by talking with friends you trust who have flown - and maybe take a short trip with them.

Think about it - life would be a lot simpler - and vacation activities far broader and less expensive if you could consider flying.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 12:33 AM
jamessemaj jamessemaj is offline
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I hate, hate, hate to fly and it's not fear. I hate the airports, the security, waiting in line to get to a seat, the overstuffed bins, the junk, the smells, the surly attendants, the whole bag of flying. No fear at all. Just total, absolute discomfort. There is nothing about flying I don't hate much less like. As I said earlier, I hope for regularly scheduled ocean crossings, and reliable and high speed train travel domestically. Please spare me the suggestion that I pay the outrageous expense for some comfort in business or first class.

Forgive my rant. Thank you.

Last edited by jamessemaj; December 11th, 2013 at 12:35 AM.
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  #17  
Old December 11th, 2013, 01:26 AM
alcpa1 alcpa1 is offline
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Norveilex.
We welcome you to Cruise Critic.
I strongly suggest you contact a travel agent. You do not necessarily need a cruise specialist but you need an agent who is familiar with freighter bookings and Europe. We cannot recommend agents on this site. You need to sit down with a game plan and expectations in hand.
I will add to what others have said.....
There are no transatlantic cruises in March.
If you can find a freighter schedule that gets you to western Europe you must make your way to Russia - best by train with many changes and stops unless you can get to Helsinki, Riga or Talinn.
To enter Russia, other than by cruise ship, you will need the Russian Federation VISA. It is a complicated and costly form and no guarantee it will be issued.
Is there something specific you wish to see in Russia......it's a huge country, and you do not specify where you wish to go or what you intend to do. It is also a little disconcerting if you do not speak the language or have the ability to read cyrilic. It is not a country where you can travel easily unescorted. AND February can be brutally cold. (I was there in March and could not imagine what February would have been like.)
If you want to attend the winter Olympics in Soshi you have waited too late in all likelihood. The VISA would be the issue here and transportation to the Black Sea difficult to arrange.
Please contact a travel agent after you have checked out travel books by Lonely Planet and/or Rick Steves, for example.
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