From A to Z (FAQs).


The most important information from A to Z can be found here.
What can I expect on board? How is life on board? What do I need to know?


We are happy to advise and answer your questions. Call us or send us an e-mail. The contact form can be found here.
Good advice is better than a wrong impression or a bad experience. Take advantage of our travel experience.

Dogs, cats, etc. unfortunately have to stay at home. Pets are not allowed on cargo ships.

There is no special entertainment program for passengers on board.


Here you can enjoy your time on board in peace and quiet, time to finally read the book you've been wanting to read for so long. Bring your laptop with you - if you like. You will certainly take lots of photos, here you can process/archive them directly on board. Maybe you prefer to watch the work on board or the loading and unloading in the harbours. With a little empathy, you will soon have contact with the crew and/or fellow passengers and have a pleasant and interesting conversation. Besides taking pictures, binoculars give you the opportunity to spot birds, fish or other ships.


Usually you can follow the navigation on the bridge. On some ships you have access to the bridge at certain times. There may be restrictions during certain manoeuvres or certain weather conditions (e.g. fog, pilot on board). In the end, the Captain decides.


You don't have to bring sheets and towels, both are on board.
Passengers are accommodated in outdoor cabins with their own shower/toilet (unless otherwise stated).
On some ships there is even a separate living room in the owners cabin.

The captain (male/female/*) shall be the official representative of the shipping company on board. Her/his orders must be followed unconditionally.


"After God, the Captain is the most important woman/man on board" - famous saying by the crew.

Do you want to bring a car, motorbike or mobile home? At Roll-on Roll-off ships you can normally take your vehicle on board. Transportation may have to be arranged through a forwarding company. We will gladly put you in contact with a forwarding company that takes care of this kind of transport.

See Meals or Vegetarians.

The Chief is the first engineer on board. Don't confuse it with the Chief Mate, who's the first officer.

To be honest, a cargo ship is not the right place for smaller children, because it is not sufficiently equipped for small guests. That is why a minimum age is often required, which can vary from one shipping company to another. Children under the age of 3 are not accepted by any shipping company. Often the minimum age is 6 - 14 - 16 or 18 years.

You can leave tuxedos or evening dresses at home. Choose your clothes according to the areas you travel to, sporty and/or casual. Even the captain doesn't always wear his uniform. ;-)


Be equipped for all types of weather (see equipment or packing list).

They are small extra expenses on board. Drinks are available at moderate prices. Once on board there may be costs for transfer via the port and/or taxi/bus for the road to the city.

CptnZeppos is an Antwerp based Travel Agency. We let people travel on board of cargo ships.

Information about the required vaccinations can be found in the travel descriptions of the trip in question. The vaccination regulations often deviate from the usual regulations for tourists. In some countries a vaccination against yellow fever is compulsory. Other vaccinations may be recommended. Consult the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your personal doctor.

Valuable items such as photo camera, video camera, mobile phone or laptop computer as well as tobacco should be declared on a customs list prior to arrival in port or on board. A ship's officer will assist you if there are any questions.

On almost all cargo ships it is possible to bring your own bike for free. Please indicate this when booking. The passenger is responsible for transporting the bike from the port to the ship or vice versa. In some ports an extra fee is charged for transport within the port. Please pay on the spot.


The departure of a cargo ship depends on the loading/unloading and the general situation at sea and in port. This can sometimes lead to changes in the short term. Please inform us how to get to the ship via the shipping police. In the meantime, make sure you are always available. We also offer a shuttle from your front door to the ship.


Especially the container terminals are often far away from city centres. For the most important ports in Europe you will receive special port descriptions with address and parking advice. We do not monitor the parking of your car at the gatehouse, but to this day we do not have any negative experiences with this.
If you are using an airplane or train, only buy your tickets shortly before the departure of your ship, or make sure they can be changed or refunded.

This is the insurance that covers the costs of the shipping company if the ship is forced to change route, or to reach the nearest port as a result of illness or accident of the insured. The cost of the insurance is related to the size of the vessel, the route and the age of the insured. We take out the deviation insurance for you, which is included in our prices.

There's no doctor aboard cargo ships. That is why it is important to only travel in good health on board cargo ships.

Depending on your trip you will need different documents, such as passport, visa, return tickets, etc. The required documents can be found in the corresponding travel description. Passengers are responsible for obtaining and completing the required documents. Please contact the relevant embassies or consulates and always indicate the way you want to travel: by freighter. We are happy to provide you with information. Please note that our information is valid for EU members and Swiss citizens, members of other countries must contact their embassy or consulate regarding the relevant regulations.


On the ships 220 Volt AC and Benelux type sockets are the norm.

The timetable of cargo vessels depends primarily on the needs of commercial shipping and is subject to temporary fluctuations. We will be in close contact with you shortly before embarkation. That is why it is essential for you to inform us how to contact you, preferably by mobile phone (leave it on).

These fees apply to the activities of the agencies, mainly in southern European and non-European ports, but also to special places of embarkation or disembarkation, such as Kiel-Canal. The agents are mainly concerned with compliance with entry and exit regulations in the ports concerned. In case of embarkation, you will also receive information about times, locations, etc. via the agents.


In addition to these costs, which we have to pay for you to the agencies and authorities, in some ports there may be costs for transport from the port to the ship and vice versa. Please pay these costs directly on the spot. If these costs are taken care of by the agencies/authorities, the costs are often more than twice the amount. Even if, for example, you are taken to a doctor by an employee of an agency, please pay on the spot.

The themes of energy efficiency and environmental protection are becoming increasingly important. That is why the use of heavy oil is fortunately coming to an end. The shipping companies are using two different ways to reduce the percentage of sulphur to almost zero: installing treatment plants (so-called scrubbers), switching to marine diesel or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

In general, on your freighter journey you will need to bring the following with you: all travel documents specified by us (in particular ticket / travel contract), travel passport, maritime police document, visa and return tickets, vaccination documents if applicable, travel insurance documents, medication, anti-slip shoes, slippers for the cabin, small amounts of local currency for the bus or taxi.
In addition: sunglasses, spare glasses, binoculars, sunscreen...


Not only do we occasionally have female captains, all of our passengers find fellow passengers and crew members to be respectful, friendly and helpful.

For shipping companies, their cargo always has the highest priority on board. Usually neither the shipping company nor we know what is in the containers.


Bring only light hand luggage. You should be able to bring your own luggage on board safely. If necessary, ask the crew on the gangway to help you with your luggage. The gangway can be 20 m or longer and can move a little - so be careful.


On cargo ship journeys, there is no doctor on board. Passengers must be able to walk without restrictions. Certain disabilities do not allow travel for security reasons.


There is a pharmacy on every ship. Bring enough medication with you that you have to rely on personally and count on a few extra days.


(see Travel insurance)


On each ship there are washing machines and dryers, which can also be used by the passengers. Ask the captain or the steward about the washing and drying times.

Visiting the bridge, talking to the crew, time and rest for yourself, reading books, listening to music, sunbathing and, if available, using the sauna, gym and swimming pool. Watching the loading and unloading from a safe location. Also interesting visits to cities where the ship calls are the usual leisure activities during a cargo ship journey.

Usually the very large cargo ships have an elevator. When the ship tilts more than 15% it is placed out of action and you have to take the stairs. That is why good health is important.

Each person is generally allowed to carry a maximum of 125 kg of luggage. Please note: Please note that your luggage must be brought aboard the ship via a steep gangway. Your luggage must be stored seaworthy in your cabin. The crew will be happy to help you with this. Instead of large suitcases, we recommend that you use bags, duffle bags or similar, which are easier to stow in the cabin.


A forwarding agency can take care of larger transports.


Three hot meals are included in the travel price. Passengers eat together with the officers in the officer's mess.
On most ships the following times apply:


07.30h - 08.30h   Breakfast
10:00                    Tea time
11.30h - 12.30h      Lunch
15.00                     Coffee time
17.30h - 18.30h      Dinner


Important tip: ask the steward or one of the officers for their place in the mess. Every officer has his place where he always sits and it would be embarrassing if you chose the captain's place


Cargo ships require a travel passport, an identity card is usually not sufficient, even within Europe. The travel passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the journey, for some countries even 12 months. For some countries a visa is required.

Nowadays the ships have satellite telephones and e-mail. Generally the means of communication are reserved for the crew and can only be used by the passengers after arranging them and for short and important messages. The resulting costs have to be paid directly on board. On the larger ships there is usually internet access for the passengers and crew to send and receive e-mail. Inform yourself on board about the use and costs. Be prepared to be accessible on board only to a limited extent. By the way: mobile phones only have reception near the coast.

You are free to take pictures aboard the cargo ship, provided you do not obstruct the crew and the captain gives you permission. However, there are ports and passages with restrictions (e.g. the Suez Canal). Always ask the Captain or Chief Mate for permission. We would appreciate it if we could have some of your best photographs available after your return.

On the trips to East Asia, the Gulf of Aden has to be crossed. Some passengers ask about the danger of pirates in this area. Therefore, the following information:
the cargo ships of the companies with which CptnZeppos cooperates either travel in a convoy accompanied by a military ship, or have a security service on board, or use other protective means to ensure the safety of the crew and passengers.


The routes taken by cargo ships depend on the cargo. Changes of routes, including leaving certain ports, are possible. The focus is on experiencing modern shipping.


When you are installed in your cabin, take into account the movement of the sea when unpacking. Store your personal belongings in the cabin and bathroom in a suitable way. If there is heavy movement of the sea, do not use an outside staircase. Comfortable shoes are a must on board.


For most people, seasickness disappears quickly, if you suffer from it at all. Consult us, your pharmacist and/or doctor.

We work together with various shipping companies that make it possible to take passengers on their cargo ships. For this purpose we act as a travel agent. You conclude the contracts with the shipping companies. The various shipping companies each have their own conditions.

On board is a small variety of items for daily needs (such as soap, toothpaste, wine, beer and tobacco). They can be purchased from the captain or the steward for cash. On more and more ships alcohol is not allowed. We mention it in the itinerary. The shop generally has fixed opening hours, ask for it on board.

Smoking is allowed on most ships. Please adapt to the customs on board. Each ship has its own rules. Even if there is enough water to put out the fire: smoking is not allowed in the cabin. In the harbours, smoking is not allowed on deck and in the harbour. Never throw burning cigarettes overboard! They can be blown back onto the ship by the wind.

On larger ships there is often a steward who cleans your cabin and answers your questions.

On most larger ships there is a small swimming pool (indoors or outdoors). It is filled with seawater. Therefore the water temperature and quality must be good. They are usually not filled close to the coast.


It is up to you to give tips, for example for the Chef and/or the steward. However, it is not expected. In consultation with the captain you can, where allowed, for example for a barbecue, buy a crate of beer or invite your 'travel guide' to a restaurant. The crew will also be pleased if you leave an interesting (multilingual) DVD on board. Current newspapers/magazines are also popular. Belgian chocolate, Antwerp hands...

Travel insurance to cover medical expenses upon return (emergency flight) and limited liability insurance (the regular limited liability insurance is sufficient) is compulsory.
In addition, travel cancellation insurance is recommended.
We offer these insurances individually or as a package.


Information about the required vaccinations can be found in the travel descriptions of the trip in question. The vaccination regulations often deviate from the usual regulations for tourists. In some countries a vaccination against yellow fever is compulsory. Other vaccinations may be recommended. Consult the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your personal doctor.

Meals are the same for captain, crew and passengers.
The chef cannot take special wishes into account. Vegan meals or special dishes for people with intolerances are not available on board. Vegetarians may ask the Chef to omit the meat or fish, if possible. Sometimes the Chef may try to accommodate special requests, but do not expect this.

If a visa is required, this is stated in the travel descriptions.
Even if you're not planning on disembarking.
Visa regulations may change at any time.


Sometimes we are asked if it is possible to work on board to pay for the trip. On the ships we work with, however, this is not possible due to labour legislation and insurance. Nowadays there is also no demand for untrained employees anymore.


This vaccination is compulsory for many countries such as Brazil, Panama, China, the Suez Canal, etc. Older passengers or passengers with previous illnesses are sometimes refused the vaccination. In many cases an exemption is not accepted. Passengers who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed on board.


aan boord.

Je verhaal begint met ons te vertellen op welke zee of oceaan je tijd wil spenderen en wanneer je jouw avontuur wil starten.