Life on Freighters

Life aboard a freighter is, well different. A ship, like an office or factory, has its own rhythms, customs and life style. Unless you have been to sea it is almost impossible to appreciate just how different it is from anything you may ever have experienced. Freighters come in all sizes from the small "coasters", that carry a just a few containers in a limited area, to those capable of carrying over 6,000 T.E.U., that is 6,000 20'containers, on long haul voyages. The ship pictured below is about 63,000 d.w.t. and carries about 4,500 containers.

ship in profile

Below is a shot of a general cargo vessel. This type of ship carries what is known as general cargo, or break bulk cargo, such as rolls of cable, steel, and other cargo too large to fit in a container. She would also carry  smaller crated items. I would guess that this ship is about 12-14,000 d.w.t. One advantage of booking a voyage on a general cargo vessel is that port times are much longer. A container ship may be in port for a day or less, while this type of vessel may be in port for several days. The problem is that there just aren't that many general cargo ships available to passengers.

small freighter