Wouldn’t it be lovely to go away on a trip to some idyllic island location, far away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday? I think most of us dream of doing that at least once in a lifetime. Perhaps the dream of an island getaway is fueled by the media images imprinted in our minds by shows like the TV series “Love Boat” of the 70s and 80s, or more recent fare like “Pirates of the Caribbean.” But then, such cruises have been popular going back into the 19th century. In any case, an island cruise is seen by many to be the quintessence of a relaxing vacation.
What many people do not know is that there are alternatives to taking a traditional cruise ship. These options, known as alternative cruises, involve passage on the kind of ship that is not commonly used in tourism.
One example of an alternative cruise is the increasingly popular freight cruise vacation. As the name implies, this is a cruise package that will have you staying on board a commercial freighter. Although that may not sound very appealing to you, it is actually better than it may seem. On a freight cruise vacation, you will enjoy the kind of deluxe accommodations that are generally provided to the ship’s officers. Of course, the surroundings will still be a little different, and you may not find the same entertainment options available on a cruise liner. But if you can live without shipboard bingo and buffets, then you really won’t be missing much.
After all, what really matters on a cruise is the destination. And if your dream is to travel to faraway islands, then a cargo vessel can take you there as well as any luxury liner. In fact, an alternative cruise usually makes stops at alternative ports of call that traditional cruises do not visit. That can be especially appealing to the traveler who wants to get off the beaten path–or sea route–and explore places that are not yet too inundated by Western tourists.
So go ahead, find the adventurer that lurks inside of you and “stow away” on a ship voyage to some enchanted isle. The romance of the great age of exploration lives on up to this day.