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28 Days Later
September 23, 2010 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Justin and Stephanie are travelling from Philadelphia to Auckland on the Cap Cleveland, a 220m long container ship.

They're through the Panama Canal, crossed the equator and are now cruising at 18 knots on the final (and longest) leg to New Zealand. (Live tracking here)

They've seen Cuba, had a barbecue on board and steered the ship.

But the best thing? Updating their blogs from the middle of the ocean.

Fancy making your own trip? Details here on how (and why) they did it.
posted by jontyjago (17 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
For others wondering about the cost:
28 day voyage, €115 per person per day = €3,220.00 (or $4,288.72) each
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:59 AM on September 23, 2010


Dorothy Gambrell of Cat And Girl did this a while back - this is the end of the trip, hit previously to read more.
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 AM on September 23, 2010


Hey! This is cool to see on the blue...Justin is a good friend (we were buddies in grad school). I've been jealously following along since he hatched this crazy plan.
posted by griffey at 8:10 AM on September 23, 2010


Contrast with DFW's account of his own high-seas adventures in the essay "Shipping Out."1

1aka "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"
posted by swift at 8:10 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd always thought, if I ever moved back home, that I'd rather travel to the west coast by container ship, then uhaul everything back to the midwest myself. Among other things, trying to move ten years of my life home in two or three bags is a bit constricting. The real bonus, though, would be having time to decompress. Going from 10 years in Japan to everyday life in the midwest, having only a cramped flight in between, probably wouldn't help with the nagging feeling I'd made a mistake, and should flee back to where I was comfortable.

I imagine having a week at sea to think and relax, plus a couple days driving home would help smooth the transition. Also, I hate flying these days.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:12 AM on September 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wish there were temp agencies that gave you a job on a container ship instead of having to pay. I like the idea of not flying, but it's a lot of time to commit. Guess it'd be nice to write a novel or something though.
posted by glip at 8:17 AM on September 23, 2010


I work in international shipping - have even had shipments on the Cap Cleveland - and so I've sent this post to my coworkers, and now we're all geeking out over the pictures and things. Very cool.
posted by alynnk at 8:22 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


John McPhee in 1990. Richard Pollak just after 9/11.
posted by djb at 8:23 AM on September 23, 2010


Griffey - nice! Small world! I came across this a week or so ago, a link to the satellite internet entry. The technology doesn't interest me so much, but I've always loved the idea of travelling like this, so I read a bit more and got hooked.
posted by jontyjago at 8:23 AM on September 23, 2010


"...We could have certainly gotten to New Zealand much faster and cheaper if we flew..."
The "cheaper" point surprised the hell out of me, for some reason. I guess I'd just assumed taking a slow boat would have been cheaper. But, I suppose they do have to feed you for almost a month.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:28 AM on September 23, 2010


I have an acquittance that travels between Hong Kong and Vancouver like this yearly. His most sage advice on the topic; If you have to ask why, you should fly.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:34 AM on September 23, 2010


How much does it cost to send a full-size container that distance?
posted by smackfu at 8:45 AM on September 23, 2010


This is great. I've always wanted to travel via cargo ship and this is the first good account I've read. It is I believe the only way to travel by ship across the Pacific. The Atlantic has one cruise ship with regular service: QE2.
posted by stbalbach at 10:07 AM on September 23, 2010


How much does it cost to send a full-size container that distance?

Low cost International shipment services to New Zealand = $10/sqft

40' Dry Freight Container = 2,376 cu. ft.

Full container USA to Aukland = $23,760 (prices variable)
posted by stbalbach at 10:14 AM on September 23, 2010


I wish there were temp agencies that gave you a job on a container ship instead of having to pay. I like the idea of not flying, but it's a lot of time to commit. Guess it'd be nice to write a novel or something though.
posted by glip at 8:17 AM on September 23 [+] [!]


Food writer MFK Fisher would use cargo ships to travel between the US and France with her children as part of their summer holidays. I think it because it was cheap - but also it slowed things down to a civilized rhythm.
posted by helmutdog at 12:15 PM on September 23, 2010


I traveled French Polynesia via cargo vessel. Definitely the way to go, and in some places (The Marquesas), it's the only way to go.
posted by Brittanie at 12:30 PM on September 23, 2010


Full container USA to Aukland = $23,760 (prices variable)

Yeah, if you book an entire container in tiny 10 cuft increments. The actual rate is more like $4,000 - $5,000.
posted by atrazine at 3:27 PM on September 23, 2010


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