From A – Z

What can I expect on board? How will I live on board a freighter vessel? What do I need to know?
You will find the most important information under Characteristics of freighter voyages..




We gladly advise you and answer your questions. Please call us or send an email or fax.
Good advice is better than a wrong impression or a bad experience. We have made a lot of freighter voyages ourselves. Please profit from our travel experience.

On most ships it is possible to bring your own bicycle. Please indicate, if you are interested to take your bicycle on board.

The cabins are outer cabins equipped with separate shower and toilets.

The captain the is the responsible on bard and the official representative of the shipping company. His orders are to be obeyed.

Car transport
Transport of cars, motorbikes and caravans is possible. Cars etc. are transported inside a container, this will be organized by freight forwarding companies.

Cargo has always highest priority aboard. Crew and shipping company usually do not know what is inside the containers.
Charges for embarkment and disembarkment
These charges incur for the activity of agencies in south European and non European harbours. The agents especially deal with the compliance of entry and exit regulations in the particular harbours. In case of embarkment or disembarkment you will also get information about demurrage, mooring areas, etc. through the agencies.

The Chief is the first engineer on board. Please do not confound with the the Chief Mate, who is the first officer.

There is no equipment adequate for Children aboard. Therefore, most shipping companies require a minimum age (e.g. 6 years).

You can wear casual clothes. Please think of weather in the region, you will travel to.

The currencies aboard are Euros and US Dollars. Checks, EC cash or credit cards are not accepted.

Foreign currencies, photo equipment and objects of value etc. must be declared on a so-called customs list at arrival in the port. Please ask aboard.

The departure of the ships depends on the loading and the general situation in the harbours, this can lead sometimes lead to alterations at short notice. Please inform us about the means fo transport and time of your departure to reach the ship and be available in the meantime.
Some container terminals can best be reached by car. The embarkment spots are sometimes quite far off. We will gladly advise you how you can reach different harbours. Parking your car near the gatehouse is not being watched, but until today we have not had negative comments.

Deviation Insurance
This insurance coffers the charges of the shipping company, if the ship is forced to change it’s route, in order to reach the nearest harbour, due to an illness or accident of the insured. The charges are related to the size of the ship, the route and the age of the insured.

You are required to have different documents depending on the choice of your voyage, e.g. passport, visa, return tickets, etc. Therefore, please also check the indications under Particularities of freighter voyages. You will be able to find the documents required for your voyage according to our knowledge in the relevant travel descriptions. The passengers are responsible to provide and complete the necessary documents themselves. Please contact the relevant embassies, i.e. consulates and always indicate your means of entry: per freighter voyage. Please note, that our information is valid for EU members and Swiss citizens, members of other countries have to contact their embassies or consulates regarding the relevant regulations.

Domestic pets
Dogs, cats, etc. must stay at home. Pets are not permitted on cargo ships.

Electricity aboard has German standard, alternating current of 220 Volts.

The timetable of cargo ships primarily depends on the requirements of the trade shipping and is subject to temporal fluctuation. We are in close contact with you shortly before embarkment. Therefore, it is essential for you to inform us, how we can contact you (also per mobile phone).

Energy efficiency
The topic of energy efficiency and protection of the environment is necessarily more and more important. The inland navigation and sea shipping is also aware of this. The future will bring engines consuming less energy and fewer sulphuric emissions. However, the ship is still by far the means of transport with the lowest energy consumption per ton being transported and distance in kilometres / sea miles.

Generally you should have the following for your freighter voyage: all travel documents issued by our agency (especially ticket / travel contract), passport, i.e. visa and return tickets, possibly vaccination card, documents of your travel health insurance, medicine, skid-proof shoes, slippers for the cabin, small amounts of the local currency for the bus or taxi.

You are free to take pictures on board the ship as you wish, provided that you are not in the way of the crew when they are at work. However, there are harbours and passages with restrictions (e.g. the Suez Canal). Please ask the captain. We would be happy, if we could dispose of some of your best pictures after your return.

Freighter voyages can only be made in a good healthy condition, as there is no doctor on board.

You can use ship’s washing machine and dryer. Please ask the captain or the Steward for detergent and washing times.

Being on the bridge, having conversations with the crew and lots of time and tranquillity for yourself to read a book or listen to music, or going on shore are the usual leisure possibilities during a freighter voyage.

Each person is allowed luggage up to 125 kg. Please generally note: Your entire luggage must be transported on board the steep gangway of the ship and be stowed in a seaworthy manner in your cabin. The crew will be glad to help. Larger parts like packing boxes, etc. have to be transported via a forwarding agency.

You will get 3 warm meals aboard, served in the Officer’s mess.

Rough sea
When you store your luggage in the cabin, please think of fixing everything well. During rough sea, please only use the stairs aboard. Please use solid, anti-slipping shoes. Please ask your doctor for medicine against sea sickness

Routes can change, ports might be cancelled, everything depends on cargo.

Captain and Security officer will give you security instructions and show you how to use life jackets and show you your life boat. Please head the instructions of the ship management and take care.

Shipping company
We are working with different shipping companies, mostly German companies, which use different Terms and Conditions. We act as agents for the shipping companies.

Soft drinks, wine, beer, spirits and cigarettes can be purchased from the captain or steward against cash payment. The store generally has opening hours, please inform yourself on board. On some ships, the store does not sell alcoholics.

Swimming pool
If there is a pool aboard, it will be filled with sea water. Therefore, pools will only be filled if water temperature and quality are good.

Telephone, Email, Internet
Mobile phones only work near the coast. Satellite telephones and computers are dedicated to the work aboard. Usually, you can Email short messages via a crew computer. Phone calls can be effected with the captain’s help by way of satellite. The resulting costs have to be paid by the passenger. Usually, there is no internet access aboard.

It is up to you paying some tip or not. The captain may advice you how to distribute the tip. You can also leave a DVD aboard or bring an actual newspaper aboard for the crew.

Please find information on the required vaccinations in the travel descriptions of the relevant trip. Please also contact your GP, or the public health department regarding the regulations or recommendations for vaccination.
See Yellow fever.

Working on board
Sometimes we are being asked, whether it is possible to work on board the ship to pay the voyage. However, this is not possible on the ships procured by us.

Yellow fever
This vaccination is mandatory for many countries like Brasil, Panama, China, the Suez Canal, etc. on entering with a freighter. Please check before booking, whether or not you will receive it. Older passengers with previous diseases are sometimes denied the vaccination. Medical neccessity and practical implementation in the relevant location can be different, in many cases an exception will not be accepted. Vaccination is mandatory especially for trips to South America – passengers not vaccinated will not be transported.

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Current news

Available on short notice:

IFR 054, IFR 102, IFR 125, IFR 605, IFR 719