Cargo ship travel - things you should know

Travelling by cargo ship is a fascinating way to see the world. You'll need to keep in mind the few tips below though - most importantly - book early!


  • Many ships only have 2 to 4 cabins so you will usually need to book up to 6 months in advance to get the trip that you want in the month that you want to depart in.
  • The ships are working vessels so you will be mixing with the Captain & crew.
  • There are 2 shipping companies that currently call into Australia with departures every month to Asia. From Asua you can pick up a different ship to the USA, Central America & Europe. Alternatively you could fly to Asia or Europe and join ships there.
  • You can do segments, one way or round trips (depending on the journey).
  • Prices include meals, accommodation & port fees.
  • You must be under 77 or 80 (depending on the shipping line) to do a cargo ship cruise.

Click here to find out how to book


On your journey…

  • We recommend you arrive to at your destination of embarkation a couple of days early to get in touch with the port agent to double check exactly when the ship is arriving. They will advise you of when to join the ship and they will arrange for immigration to stamp your passport.  You will always join the ship in daylight hours.
  • You will be issued with a photo security ID card when on the ship to get through gates at wharfs.
  • The Captain will normally take passports when you board so he can show immigration staff when they board the ship on arrival at port.
  • You must have travel insurance with evacuation cover.  
  • Take a pair shoes to wear whilst on deck and leave them at the door to your cabin as they ask you not to walk on the carpet - your shoes might have soot on them.
  • If you do not want to take books & DVDs home with you then leave them on board for the next person.


Click here to read handy tips & recommendations for cargo ship cruises from our clients.