Freighter travel

John is keen to travel to Japan in a slightly unusual fashion and would like to know more about how to get there by freighter.

Q. John
I’m not so keen on flying but would love to visit Japan. I’ve always wanted to experience life at see and I was wondering if there are any freighters which go there which carry passengers? I’m not really interested in the typical cruise liner and think that a freighter would be a fun way to travel

A. There is a company here in Australia, Freighter Expeditions, which specialises in such travel and has a wide variety of ships and voyages.

The number of cabins on offer are limited and the routes available depend on export and import trends, so you may have to wait some time before a suitable sailing arises. However, you could sail to a nearby country, and bare the pain of a shorter flight to reach your destination.

Also, facilities onboard will be limited and the crew may not speak much English, however, the plus side is that you eat your meals with the oficers so are likely to meet a range of truly interesting people.

Yellow fever vaccinations are compulsory for all voyages and you must be between the ages of six and 80 to make the trip. If you plan on taking anything particular on board, such as a bike, you should check first for permissions.

For more information, visit

Written by Debbie McTaggart