When we tell people we are travelling by freighter, nearly all ask three questions.

1.     Why travel by freighter?

2.     How did you find out about freighter travel?

3.     How much does it cost?

When we first started to plan our trip the general idea was first and foremost a cruise from England to New Zealand, through the Mediterranean. The cruise was to be in this direction so as we would arrive at this end relaxed, rather than stressed from a long air trip, as would be the case with a cruise in the other direction. At this stage there was no thought given to our means of travel or route to England.

We spent a considerable time going through brochures for various shipping lines and checking what options were available on the Internet and couldnÕt really find just what we were looking for. My preference was for travel through the Mediterranean Sea and practically all the cruise ships go in the opposite direction (Returning to England through the Mediterranean Sea). Although we arenÕt, as ÔKiwiÕsÕ used toÔTippingÕ. We realized, of course, that it is a necessary evil when travelling overseas. Companies like P&O are pushing for a gratuity of £3.50. per person per day, this equates to approximately NZ$10.50 each, or an extra $21 per day for two of us. About $750 extra on a long trip of around 35 days. This would make a big difference to the advertised fare.

After much discussion without travel agent he came up with the suggestion of travelling by freighter. He arranged this through a travel agent in Nappier NZ who specializes in freighter travel . The rest of the trip is structured around the expected sailing date. So we decided to fly to England, through the USwith  a stopover in Los Angeles and a side trip to Ireland so see a friend living there.

With all the decisions made, all that needs to be done now is make the bookings, pack our bags and go. Our research on the Internet has stressed the need to prepare well and make sure we have packed every thing we will need as once we are on the ship it may not be available to purchase on board, we are travelling on a freighter NOT a cruise liner.