It never really occurred to me there are alternative ways of transport to go on a holiday. I always thought it was car, train or airplane. DFDS contacted Vetexbart and me to check out their way of slow travel, and I was sold immediately. Not only is it better for the environment, there are also a lot of benefits for you personally.
1. Smooth sailing with little stress
Rushing through airport security, getting your bags checked-in, or having to find a reasonably priced gas-station for your empty tank. It’s all so stressful. By going with a freighter you can skip all those annoyances. Upon arriving you get a tour around the ship and you are free to do whatever you like. No tolls, border controls or flat tires.
2. The food is better than on airplanes
Let’s face it, there is never a good meal to be found on an airplane, unless you pay for a business-class ticket. On a ship you get the food the crew gets too. You might not do any heavy lifting, but with these meals you feel like you could. Meals with all parts of the nutrient-triangle present, well spiced and full of energy for you to use upon arrival.
3. You can walk around
Oh god, you can walk around! You can walk to the kitchen to get a drink, walk on deck to get a view or walk through the hallways to get some exercise.
Okay, maybe you can do the same distance in a tenth of the time by airplane. But for me, being able to walk around and stretch my legs beats only being in the air for two hours. Even by car you stop every two hours to stretch your legs for just ten minutes, which is never enough.
4. Time to rest and get fit
Rushing to the airport, rushing to the gate, then rushing to the city-centre. It’s all so tiring. By going with a freight-ship, the travel will take a bit longer, but you have time to get some extra sleep, plan out your trip a bit more and just enjoy your time being away from everything. Sleeping in without feeling guilty about wasting time is the best!
5. It will give you new experiences
Let’s be honest, how often have you done this? Afterwards, you actually have a story to tell. You will also get to know a bit about life at sea. How do they go about things? Silly things like how you think about curtains or a refrigerator will be changed forever.
6. Bring your own car
You can go on a road trip without having to do a two-day sprint with your car before starting the actual road trip. For an extra fee, you can bring your car on the ship. If you are attached to that piece of metal (like I am), it might be more interesting than renting a car.
7. It’s good for the environment
I already mentioned it before. Taking a freighter is part of the slow travel concept. The ship is going from A to B to bring containers anyway, so you can join them without feeling guilty about the pollution you’re causing. Flying or taking the car is an extra emission nature has to compensate for. You save at least one empty tank with your car and skip all those dreaded traffic jams too!
8. Time to talk to each other
I went with my buddy Bart. But whoever you take with you: family, friends, lover, …. It’s fun to just talk again. You can’t really do that on an airplane with the engine blaring next to you. Or in a car where you are desperately trying to find out which exit you missed on the highway. It’s fun to reconnect again without being bothered by social media or other external impulses.
9. Time to read that one book you need to finish
You’ll have a, pun incoming, sea of time. Finally, you can read up on those magazines (I was three months behind on my subscription of Future Music Mag), read a book, write blog posts (like I wrote this one). All the things you want to do, but can’t because daily life and internet keep distracting you.
Would you like taking a freight-ship to Gothenburg (or Brevik) too? Find more information on the DFDS website.
Have you ever traveled by freighter? If so, which route did you take and how did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!