WADE'S WORLD: Stowaway for an exotic cruise

Hitching a ride on a cargo ship like this would make an interesting alternative to a cruise

Hitching a ride on a cargo ship like this would make an interesting alternative to a cruise

First published in News

THE news that an area of Maesglas is set to share a £2m lottery prize launched the usual speculation here about what you would do if the lotto god smiled on you.

One of the most common answers to the perpetual question ‘What would you do with it?’ is ‘Go on holiday’.

Where would you go if you scooped the jackpot?

There’s one trip that I’d want to do. I feel it’s a terrible injustice that I live in a time where if you want to travel abroad, the chances are you must fly. Until relatively recently, if you went overseas, you did just that – travelled overseas – by boat.

You’d board a ship in a bustling port and depending on how far you went, you’d disembark six weeks later, having leisurely crossed the equator, eaten countless hearty meals and made some new friends.

I’m not talking about a cruise. I can’t say that appeals much to be honest. I like to be going somewhere when I travel, the journey should be part of the holiday, not all of it.

It’s still possible to do that, but now your only option is to hitch a ride on a cargo ship.

What sounds intriguing about this is that unlike a cruise ship, it doesn’t call at tourist hotspots. Instead, you’d visit ports untouched by hordes of day-trippers poised to be fleeced.

Just as cargo crosses the world, so there are choices aplenty for the bold stowaway.

How’s this for an exotic itinerary?

The Hamburg Süd line offers trips from the German port, calling at Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and the less well-known Zarate and Paranagua.

To capture some of the adventure of sailing to little-known corners of the globe, there is one journey I’d love to make. The RMS St Helena carries mail to that British island – a speck in the South Atlantic without an airfield.

It takes passengers as well as post and used to sail from Cardiff, but now goes from Cape Town to St Helena and then to the equally isolated British outpost of Ascension Island.

It would be a tour redolent of a time when slowly criss-crossing the ocean was a fact of life for travellers.

And this is why a holiday like this would need something you can’t win with a ticket and a pound stake. Time, and a lot of it.

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