27. kesä, 2018

Crossing the Atlantic, onboard a cargo ship

We are onboard a cargo ship called “Atlantic Sea”, chugging our way through the waves of the North Atlantic. We’ve been living on this gigantic ship for a week already, sharing it with only the crew and three other passengers. We’re in the middle of the ocean and right now and there’s absolutely no land in sight. 

 

The Atlantic Sea is the world’s largest con-ro vessel, and it transports both cargo containers and vehicles. We felt a little apprehensive before stepping onboard, since we had been told several times not to expect a cruise, but to prepare ourselves for pretty basic facilities.
Our days onboard have, however, been lovely and chilled out and we have received VIP treatment throughout our stay. Meals are served three times a day and the sauna is on every night. The ship’s captain has given us a tour of the whole ship, including the command deck and the engine room. We also took part in an interesting evacuation practice, during which we learned to get the life jackets and suits on as quickly as possible. The procedure definitely added to our sense of security. We will, after all, be sailing over the historic site where the infamous Titanic sank. One of the highlights so far, has been access to the car deck, where we saw Epeli strapped and sealed safely for the journey.


Our cabin is spacious enough and has a window. We’ve spent time there reading paperbacks, writing our book and sorting through the overload of photo files on the laptop. We’ve also made use of the ship’s gym, having become very familiar with the treadmill, rowing machine and exercise bike there. Every now and then we’ve also got out on the deck for some fresh air. Our favourite pass time has, of course, been exchanging travel stories and experiences with the other passengers.

The sea stayed pretty calm for the first few days, but there have been times when eight-metre waves have crashed against the vessel, causing it to sway from side to side, making it hard to manoeuvre corridors and stairways. The thing that really knocked me sideways, though, was finding out that unlike originally planned, the ship would now not be going to Liverpool, but to Hamburg and Antwerp first! The extra week of travel to us, means losing the money for our pricey hotel booking and even more upsettingly, missing a date with our family members who have traveled to the Isle of Man, so we could all spend time together with family there. I miss them a lot! It seems that anything really is possible at sea!


On the other hand, we have gained seven extra days of travel time, and the harbours of Hamburg and Antwerp add a bit of extra flair to our journey at sea, which is starting to feel a lot more like a cruise! And despite the hiccup, we are getting closer to Liverpool as well as home, slowly but surely!