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parabellum
17th May 2012, 03:58
It can still be done and there are agencies who will arrange it*.

I'm planning Melbourne - Singapore sometime, about 18 days. Hoping to be on a ship with an English speaking bridge crew.

Just wondering if anyone here has already done this, any 'Dos' and 'Don'ts' etc. Any shipping lines to be avoided? Any useful information or anecdotes very welcome.

Mrs P. not interested in sea travel so will follow on by air and we meet in Singapore

*Absolutely no aviation content!

Metro man
17th May 2012, 06:29
Have a look at these.

The Internet Guide to Freighter Travel :: WELCOME (http://seaplus.com/mainmenu.php)

Freighter Expeditions - unique cruising adventures (http://www.freighterexpeditions.com.au/)

Amazon.com: Around the World by Freighter (9781412032278): Bob Hartley: Books

Tableview
17th May 2012, 06:53
These people may be able to help you, they are in the UK but would have access to global information.

The Cruise People Ltd, 88 York Street, London W1H 1QT, England
The Cruise People Ltd [Europe] (http://www.cruisepeople.co.uk)

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7723 2450
Telefax: +44 (0)20 7723 2486
UK Freephone 0800 526 313
E-Mail: [email protected]

Wonderworld
17th May 2012, 13:10
Check freighterexpeditions.com.au

Lots of info there.

parabellum
17th May 2012, 23:37
Thank you all, much appreciated, plenty of material there.

Was also hoping for some PPRuNers first hand experiences as well!

cavortingcheetah
18th May 2012, 00:13
A German friend of mine does it all the time. He speaks fluent English and so is not fussed much on which line he travels. He loves it and goes AWOL two or three times a year, generally from Bremen, leaving his wife at home. Being single, bi lingual and a hearty fellow he gets on well with all manner of crews and enjoys harbour sports with them as well. A perk which his wife probably suspects but being a woman sensible to the superior needs of man chooses to ignore. I would recommend the German ships from what I have been told and feel sure that since the Germans are an educated and civilised race of people, you'll have no difficulty communicating with the bridge officers in English.

Newforest2
18th May 2012, 06:16
Did a week long trip a few years ago, Rotterdam to Ireland and return. Polish Captain who swore profusely, Russian first officer who refused to speak to us and a Filipino crew. Spent most of the time on the bridge, steered the ship, sounded the horn and generally had a good time. Can be boring at times so take some books. Food was good and we ate with the Captain every day. You get plenty of exercise walking round the deck and climbing up and down the accommodation steps. Would deftinitely do it again.

oxenos
18th May 2012, 08:20
Did you get to do any rowing?

Fareastdriver
18th May 2012, 09:16
I once did a similar thing to Newforest2. The horn was great fun, telling other ships what you were doing. You sounded it twice before turning right.--

Or was it the other way round?

yotty
19th May 2012, 21:59
I did NZ and back in the noughties. These weren't a bad outfit. Destinations and Prices | Strand Voyages on Container Ships | Strand Travel (http://www.strandtravelltd.co.uk/voyages/destinations-and-prices/)

gileraguy
20th May 2012, 23:24
Beware the Golden Rivet!

Rossian
21st May 2012, 07:44
....do modern freight ships ever stop anywhere interesting for more than a few hours?
A friend's son became a deck officer having heard of his Dad's tales of stopovers in furrin parts, Bugis St in Singapore and other such salubrious spots. After a couple of years of 10/12 hour port stops to unload / load containers he gave it up to become an air trafficker.

O tempora, o mores.

The Ancient Mariner

tony draper
21st May 2012, 07:53
Tiz called Tanker Blues,Tankers rarely lurk about in port for more than 12 hours,ergo serious cabin fever can ensue,once in port in Brazil for seven days because there was a revolution or summat going on,we thought christmas had come.
On was skint after two days though.:(

parabellum
23rd May 2012, 00:49
Thanks again to all who have contributed and I am following up all links but this trip of mine is probably three or four years away. At the moment there are no schedules Melbourne-Singapore, 18 days, only via Auckland, 49 days!

As a lad I was brought up mid way between Portsmouth and Southampton, in the fifties, so for me it was either the merchant navy, 1st choice, or the Royal Navy but even with a few 'O' levels I couldn't get a place in the Navigation School in Southampton, competition was fierce, parents wouldn't sign the papers to let me go as a junior deck hand and I really didn't fancy the RN. Now I just want the experience of being at sea, as an observer, for a few weeks to satisfy my childhood craving. Not too worried about going ashore along the way. Watching all the ships come down Southampton Water going to far off places, (it was all published in the local rag), got in my blood! Eventually flying took care of the travel bug.

Capt Claret
23rd May 2012, 08:35
Mrs C, married to her worst nightmare - a pilot, hates flying with a passion. Back in the late 70's, she and her then husband travelled through Asia, Europe & the UK, over some three or four years. To avoid flying to Asia from Darwin, they travelled on a freighter of some sort, to Singapore.

After a collision at sea, near Singapore, they had to abandon ship.

I hate the sea more than she hates the air, this'll save me from ever being sunk!