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When I began to research travel by freight boat, I was hoping it would be a cheap alternative to air travel, but it turns out you can expect to pay US$80-140 per day and voyages are often five days or even longer.

However, I'm curious whether anybody knows if there are freight boats that go between islands in the Caribbean, for example from Dominica to Martinique. If so how to you book them? Do you have to go through a travel agent? Is it cheaper than flying?

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4 Answers 4

If you are the adventurous type, head over to a harbor and just ask captains. Some will let you come aboard by working, others for a small fee. Don't be surprised if conditions will be rough though, it's not exactly a walk in the park!

The problem with freight ships is they can only have a very limited amount of people on board. Once they go over that, they need stuff like medical staff and other things that are expensive.

Another option is to go with privately owned boats, like sailboats and yachts. FindACrew is a good resource if you want to pre-arrange it, and going to larger harbors is the other obvious way to find boats that look for crew. Make sure you get along with the captain and other crew members well before going with a boat though, since sailing yachts are very confined places and any frustration is literally impossible to run away from.

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Certainly there are cargo ships with berths available in the Caribbean:

http://www.cargoshipvoyages.com/ViewAllVoyages/?regiontoshow=2

As an example. While your one is not listed specifically, I imagine a company like that would certainly have the contacts.

A friend cycled from London to NZ and had to take a cargo ship from Australia to NZ. It wasn't exactly cheap. Similarly, a friend was looking at boats from South America to NZ. Again, not cheaper than flying, but it's the experience I guess - some time chilling in nice quarters and seeing the great ocean and some of the ports they stop at!

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Trinidad has a ferry that travels between itself and its sister isle Tobago. It takes about 2 and 1/2 hours to reach the destination.

The cost of an adult, one way is about 8 U.S. dollars (TT$50.00)
The cost of a one-way flight is about 24 U.S. dollars

For information you can check the Port Authority Website

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I did a little research and it turns out the ferry between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico is run by an American freight company, Express Marine

I'm going to see if there are other ports in the Caribbean where the run freight.

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1  
CMA-CGM does trips between Dunkirk, France and a number of places in the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Pointe-à-Pitre, probably others). Looks like most berths will cost you 80-140USD a day. –  jozzas Jun 24 '11 at 5:04

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