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Links and References



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Expand your background on freighter cruising and other freighter topics by pursuing some of the links and references described below.  These include other sites related to currently available freighter cruises, the adventures of other freighter travelers, a webcam and virtual reality tours of specific freighters.

The anchor chain links were each over a foot long.

I have listed a number of books related to freighters, along with links to where they can be purchased.  These books range from casual reading that could be enjoyed by anyone interested in freighters, to “hard-core” references such as textbooks that were written to be used by officers and crew when preparing for a career at sea.

For those who really enjoy digging into details, I have provided links to the company that owns the Katrin S, as well as the shipyard in Germany that built the ship.

I try hard to provide links that are useful,  interesting and current.  If you discover any bad links, please let me know and I will try to make a correction.

General Freighter Travel Sites:

Internet Guide to Freighter Travel.  This is probably the single most popular resource for learning about freighter travel.  R. F. Ahern’s site includes a large collection of information, links, and personal experiences related to freighter travel.  This is a “must visit” site.

FreighterTrips.Com.  This site was launched in April of 2004 with the goal of becoming an internet-based community for freighter travel enthusiasts.  The most potentially valuable parts of the site are the forum and the collection of narratives from other freighter cruise passengers.

Notes on a Caribbean Voyage by Container Ship.  Surprisingly, I found another site describing a trip aboard the Katrin S.  Allan Brockway’s voyage aboard the ship occurred about a year later than mine, but he managed to publish his site at least a year before I did.  It is interesting that due to the regular rotation of crews on and off ships, I was unable to recognize a single crewmember from my voyage while studying the site.

Freighter Cruise Travel Agencies:

Freighter World Cruises.  This is the agency through which I booked my trip on the Katrin S.  I would recommend them to anyone interested in making a reservation.  (Based in the US.)

TravLtips.  A US-based freighter travel agency.

Maris Freighter Cruises.  A US-based freighter travel agency.

The Cruise People Ltd.  A freighter travel agency operating from offices in both Toronto and London.

A la Carte Freighter Travel.  A freighter travel agency based in Montreal.

Webcams and Virtual Reality Tours:

Panama Canal – Miraflores Webcam.  This is one of the most popular webcams on the internet.  Watch as ships of all types pass through the Panama Canal’s Miraflores locks.  The camera direction and zoom setting is changed from time to time, which provides a good overall view of the area.

P&O Virtual Reality Ship’s Tour.  A collection of 360 degree panoramas taken at various locations aboard the Nedlloyd “Hong Kong”, a very large container vessel.

Maersk Sealand “Virtual Vessel Tour”.  A collection of 360 degree panoramas taken at various locations aboard Maersk Sealand’s “Regina Maersk”, one of the world’s largest container vessels.  Because of the way that their website is designed, you need to start at the Maersk Sealand homepage.  Next click on the “About Us” link, followed by the “Gallery” link, and then the “Virtual Reality Tour” link.

Other Websites:  This is the host site for "Freighter Bum". is the web services organization created to showcase the special projects and adventures undertaken by Judd Spittler.

Reederei-Schepers.  "Schepers" is the owner and operator of the Katrin S. and a number of other vessels.  Their website has detailed information on their ships as well as other company information.

Volkswerft Stralsund GmbH.  Visit the website of the shipyard where the Katrin S. was built.  The site includes photos of the shipyard, as well as some of the ships the yard has produced.


Freighter Captain, by Max Hardberger.  A story of the adventures aboard the “MV Erika”, a small freighter traveling through the Caribbean.  Captain Hardberger and his crew face a non-stop battle against the predators and parasites of the Caribbean, including bandits in Jamaica, violent stowaways in the Dominican Republic, and warring gangs in Haiti.  A disclaimer at the beginning of this book describes it as being a work of fiction, but I believe the story to be more truth than fiction.  I couldn’t put this book down.  Available from Bluewater Books & Charts.

Looking for a Ship, by John A. McPhee.  This book documents a trip aboard one of the last American merchant ships.  The author accompanies a friend as he travels aboard the SS Stella Lykes to South America.  This book gives an idea of what life as a merchant marine is like.  It has been a while since I read this book, and I can’t remember many details, but I remember that I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I have since read other excellent works about different topics by the same author.  Available from Barnes & Noble.

Steaming to Bamboola: The World of a Tramp Freighter, by Christopher Buckley.  This book is the authors first hand story of his time on a commercial steamer, with typhoons, cargoes, smuggling, mid-ocean burials, rescues, stowaways, hard places, hard drinking & hard romance.  I enjoyed reading this book, but if forced to choose only one book between this book and McPhee’s, I would probably recommend McPhee’s.  This book is out of print, but used copies are often available through

Deadweight: Owning the Ocean Freighter, by Max Hardberger.  Technically this is an educational book regarding the “tramp shipping” industry.  In reality, the book is filled with a number of very interesting stories to illustrate his points. Hardberger has an interesting disclaimer to the book: “At the insistence of my attorneys, I hereby state that all incidents and characters represented in this work are entirely fictional, and bear no resemblance to any actual incidents or persons, living or dead.”  That is an interesting disclaimer for a book filled with photographs… of incidents and characters.  I would recommend reading “Freighter Captain” first.  If you like that book, I think you would also enjoy this one.  Available from Bluewater Books & Charts.

American Merchant Seaman’s Manual, edited by William B. Hayler.  This is a textbook written to provide crewmembers the required knowledge to work on a freighter.  This is pretty hard-core stuff, but for someone obsessed on freighters, this book is a good choice.  Available from Bluewater Books & Charts.

Merchant Marine Officer’s Handbook, edited by William B Hayler.  This is another hard-core textbook.  This one was written for those preparing to be freighter officers.  Like the previous book, this is not casual reading.  Available from Bluewater Books & Charts.

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