Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Any General Cargo Ships left from North America?

Recommended Posts

To be clear, I do NOT mean container ships or RO-ROs!  General Cargos spend 2-4 days in port, not 12-24 hours.  This is the kind of travel we are seeking.  The Rickmers Line was the last line that we were aware of that carried passengers to-from Europe and North America.  We have been informed that they will no longer do this for 2019.  Does anyone know of another General Cargo line still carrying passengers on this route?  We will go container ship if we must, but it's not our first choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a few websites I have bookmarked. Most of the cruises are probably box boats, but I noted the first one does have reefers (banana boats). On reefers, the time in port varied with the port - I have seen full loads in anywhere from 2 to 7 days.


http://www.freightervoyages.eu/Ship Types.htm





Link to comment
Share on other sites



I've checked the third one already, I'll try the other two as well.  I'm currently talking with Maris, but haven't committed as yet.  The tough part seems to be finding one that sails from North America to Europe.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Break bulk" ships (what you refer to as "general cargo") are becoming more and more rare in general, let alone ones that carry passengers.  Add in that cargo going between countries with well developed intermodal transportation systems, like the US to Europe, depends on containerization, and you've just about limited yourself out of the market.  The only ships I know that spend more than 24 hours in a port are "bulkers", but these tend to be dusty, dirty and don't go to "nice" areas of ports.  I worked on some old "stick boats" (break bulk ships with their own cargo gear) way back in the day, and most of them carried passengers, but I'm actually surprised that even container ships these days carry passengers, the trouble outweighing the profit.  I think box boats sometimes do it because they have a given sized accommodation block, and the crew cabins don't fill it, so they say "lets put in passenger cabins".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, RobertHemsley said:

Whats the purpose on traveling this way?

It looks even more expensive so cant be costs... ?

Back in the day, when more ships carried passengers, you paid about $600 per person (about $2800 today), but you were signed on for the duration of the voyage, and I knew some passengers that got a six month cruise for that.  Also, the "single supplement" is about 10-15%, not 100% like the cruise lines.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, RobertHemsley said:

Whats the purpose on traveling this way?

It looks even more expensive so cant be costs... ?

How about an opportunity to travel on a real working ship rather than one of the mega ships that look less like a ship with every new version. Cargo ships also have a relaxed schedule and even today, some break bulk ships still get multiple days in port.


Other benefits are no art auctions, no photogs, no shopping host, no queues around the ship, especially at the gangway. You actually get to meet and enjoy the company of the officers, if you wish. You are normally also invited to spend time on the Bridge.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • Write a Review
      • Hurricane Zone
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations


  • Create New...