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I would like to book a ship from France to US, hopefully Louisiana or Texas in the Spring. My fiancé has a health condition that prohibits air flight and I want to get him here as soon as possible to get him ready for surgery. How can I do this?

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    Scam alert. If you have not spent extensive amounts of time for real in person with this fiance, and most communications have been written/text and not voice or video, I would take an extremely skeptical view toward whether this is real. Foreign scammers are really, really, really good at this - do not underestimate them. Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 5:15
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    @Simd, if you read my answer you can see I assume it can be a real situation with people who know each other well. But we have seen so many scams that we feel it is essential to warn about it. Asking for proof the person you are communicating with cost (almost) no money and little time. Being taken in by a scammer can cost huge amounts of money and cause a lot of distress. I know OP is in the US, fiancé is likely in France, no nationalities known for either, those are also not important.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 9:56
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    You do realise that France has excellent hospital facilities? If your fiancé was to deteriorate in the middle of the Atlantic, then I doubt he would survive the journey. If they have proper health insurance, then the insurer would opt to pay for surgery in France rather than transport the person across the pond. Lastly, I doubt if shipping company would want to transport him on a 2 week journey if the person was that ill as their own insurance would not cover any issues. Lastly, there are special aircraft which can transport ill people which are pressurised above what they would normally be.
    – Bib
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 13:06
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    And if they don't have proper health insurance, they'd be better off paying for the work in France or Spain, which are vastly cheaper than the US, like 1/3 to 1/20 the price, which handily pays for the travel and lodging. It's called "medical tourism". At the very least, hire your own US doctor to consult with your fiancé, not least because the doctor will be a lie detector. Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 17:28
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    @Pilcrow If it is legitimate then OP knows it's legitimate, I would not distrust someone I know deeply enough to marry just because of warnings online. If it isn't, romance scams are so prevalent and devastating to the victims and cost more loss monetary wise than any other types of scams in U.S. and Canada that I think it is more beneficial to post warnings than to simply ignore the usual warning signs present here: overseas, some kind of illness, excuses for not travelling to meet. And as you can see below, people are not just saying it is a scam but also answering in case it is legitimate.
    – xngtng
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 18:24

3 Answers 3

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You can take a trans-Atlantic cruise, or charter your own yacht/hitch a ride on a cargo ship. There are many cruises, but they may be slower and not necessarily convenient location or time-wise (here's an example from Barcelona to New York). There's still a Trans-Atlantic passenger line from Southampton to New York, AFAIK that's the last one remaining.

You'll need to talk to private yacht owners or cargo shipping companies to arrange passage not on a generally available ticket. There are some potential websites which can facilitate that (example).


This, of course, under the assumption that the fiance actually exists, you've met them, know them personally, and trust them to be who they say they are. Most of the times "internet fiance" would be a scam.

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    There are sites where you can book on a cargo ship, almost cruise prices but other options for times.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 18:57
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    @Willeke want to add a link?
    – littleadv
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 18:59
  • No, as I do not know the sites but when you google 'cargo ship travel' or cargo ship cruise' you find them.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 19:01
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    @littleadv Something akin to CMA CGM offering (not affiliated) but still that would arrive to 5k€ Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 19:01
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    I don't think cruise ships or cargo will allow passengers with severe health issues to come aboard, or probably with a accompanying nurse or medical person. (insurance issues)
    – Max
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 0:11
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While there are general answers to your question (in addition to travel on freighters, there are cruise lines crossing the Atlantic), would any of them be safe for somebody with the health condition to allude to? And there are few medical procedures which are available in the US, yet unavailable in Europe.

I agree with littleadv, this smells of a romance scam.

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    Some medical procedures are approved in the USA and not in Europe, it's usually rare and mostly for rare and experimental procedures.
    – Max
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 0:09
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Lets assume you have checked the person is really your fiancé and has indeed a health condition that prevents flying and is in need of surgery.

The next items on this list all have to been done, possibly some will require answers from others but the best way is likely to start them all as soon as you can.

  • Consult with their current doctors what travel restrictions there are.
  • Ask about surgery prognoses in their current location and near other locations like the next few countries.
  • Inquire about the cost of treatment in both current location and near other locations and the US.
  • Contact their health insurance whether they prefer to pay for the surgery and care around it in the US or where the patient is now.
  • Contact your chosen transport company, which can be a cruise line, the cross Atlantic line ship company, a cargo company with passenger accommodation or an airline, whether they will take a passenger with these health conditions.

After you have gotten a few or all answers, contact your fiancé and ask them, pointing out advantages, disadvantages and costs.

It may well turn out that surgery in the US is not the only or even the best option.

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