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Freighter Travel Basics



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If youre new to freighters, you might imagine the insides to be dirty, greasy, cramped, and utilitarian to the extreme.  In reality, a modern freighter is typically clean, comfortable and spacious, and even includes a few creature comforts.  Many freighters have pools.  Some have saunas, gym facilities or even a small bar.

Port workers in Rio Haina gather near the stern of the Katrin S prior to the start of their shift.

The exterior of a freighter is often kept fairly clean, but there may be winches and other machinery with exposed grease, and areas where the continuous spray of saltwater creates areas of exposed rust.  For this reason, people dress very casually on board.

Many freighters have more cabin-space than necessary to accommodate their officers and crew, so some carry passengers.  Many of the officers and crew enjoy having passengers aboard, as it adds variety to the shipboard routine.  Of course, carrying passengers also provides extra revenue for the ship lines.  Freighter passengers typically dine with the officers, and usually sleep in a cabin designed for an officer.  Food onboard is typically good, though not gourmet class.

There are seldom any extra crewmembers on board to cater to freighter passengers.  The passengers are generally expected to entertain themselves, and to use their own judgment in conducting themselves aboard the ship.  With that said, I found the officers and crew of the ship I was on to be very friendly and helpful whenever I had any questions, and very sincere in sharing their personal opinions about life at sea, the ship, and even other officers and crewmembers.  Sextant (section-end indicator)

Continue to the next section of Freighter Bum: Cruising FAQ.



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