Freighter Cruise

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.” Psalm 107:23-24
I took a freighter cruiser, the Grimali Line’s Grande Mediterraneo, a roll-on-roll-off vehicle transporter, from Salerno (Italy) to Ashdod (Israel).

It was a very interesting experience – probably not for everybody – but was something I really enjoyed.

Freighters are working ships carrying cargo from place to place, so part of the fun is watching them do their job.

You get to meet the crew up close and spend lots of time visiting parts of the ship that you’d never seen in a normal cruise.

There were a few other passengers like me going along for the ride, and even some Italian students in a mariner school taking the trip as part of their education.

You have to be flexible in timing because the ship can be late (mine was about 4 days late) and might even change routes while you are on board (also happened to me).

But if you have time and can go with the flow it is a unique experience you’ll always remember.

We ate well and the cabins were adequate, yet Spartan.

In a fog bank.

Cost of daily travel was affordable, about the same as it would have been for daily train fare plus hotel fare for a comparable length journey on land.

It’s not for those who want everything to be in the comfort zone like on a real cruise ship, but if you enjoy the authenticity of being on a real freighter you’ll really get a kick out of this type of travel at least one time.

The Grimaldi lines obviously doesn’t make much money from the passenger side of their business, but I think they do it as an extra because – well, why not?

I think they just enjoy it also and it gives the ship’s crew something different to do and they get to meet different people while doing their main job of transporting vehicles.