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Bella Desgagnés Supply Ship (Quebec/Gulf of Saint Lawrence)

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I'm planning my first freighter adventure. My problem is I'm limited to a freighter voyage of at most 7-10 days. I know that rules out a lot of options for me. One possibility is Bella Desgagnés, which is a ship that delivers supplies and mail to various villages in Quebec up the Saint Lawrence river (see web link below). Has anybody been on this journey before? Any thoughts/comments?

 

https://www.freightercruises.com/specialty_cruises.php

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I'm planning my first freighter adventure. My problem is I'm limited to a freighter voyage of at most 7-10 days. I know that rules out a lot of options for me. One possibility is Bella Desgagnés, which is a ship that delivers supplies and mail to various villages in Quebec up the Saint Lawrence river (see web link below). Has anybody been on this journey before? Any thoughts/comments?

 

https://www.freightercruises.com/specialty_cruises.php

 

Haven't been, but not sure I'd want to. Seems much like the Alaska Marine Highway service. Certainly won't get the flavor of many ports along the way (arriving 4am, departing 6am). Also, not sure how much noise/vibration you will get when docking at 4am, and then starting cargo operations and ro/ro vehicle operations, to affect your sleep.

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Thanks for the reply! Any suggestions on what route i should take? I think going across the pacific from America to Asia will take too long for me.... perhaps going from America to Europe across the Atlantic (or vice versa) would be better??

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Can't say, really. It's been over 40 years since I worked a passenger carrying freighter. I think most of the lines that do carry pax tend to have you book longer legs than your time frame, just to make it cost effective for them. Look at Oak Hill's threads on Rickmers, and see how much their original ship was delayed, and they had to switch to another ship to make their deadline in Europe. Even NYC to the UK at the normal 14 knots the ships do these days is 9 days minimum. Maris is a good source for freighter cruising, you may want to try contacting them directly and explaining your constraints.

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There are various short freighter cruises in Europe but you'll have to read French to find out about them (site I use anyway).

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There are various short freighter cruises in Europe but you'll have to read French to find out about them (site I use anyway).

 

I wish I understood French! I also wish I had more time than most of you have!

 

At any rate; mind sharing those French site(s) so I can take a look? I know a few people that can translate it for me.

 

Thanks.

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met et voyages info

 

I see a 6 night between Fos sur Mer (huge port on the east bank of the Rhône river) to Malta.

 

5 night Dunkirk-Dunkirk with calls in the U.K., Netherlannds and Belgium 3x monthly

 

Weekly 5 night Bristl-Ireland-Denmark-Sweden

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met et voyages info

 

I see a 6 night between Fos sur Mer (huge port on the east bank of the Rhône river) to Malta.

 

5 night Dunkirk-Dunkirk with calls in the U.K., Netherlannds and Belgium 3x monthly

 

Weekly 5 night Bristl-Ireland-Denmark-Sweden

 

Thanks.... that site has lots of trips that sound interesting!

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My house overlooks a somewhat-busy shipping channel and I see all sorts of commercial vessels (container ships, bulk carriers. tankers, car carriers, etc.) Wonder how many of them will/actually take passengers but finding out is nearly impossible.

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Tankers and bulkers definitely won't take passengers, they go to terminals where access is even more restricted than other cargo ships. Ro/Ro ships might, but I haven't heard of any. Container ships are the ones these days, and only a few lines, those listed by agencies like Maris, will do so.

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Tankers and bulkers definitely won't take passengers,

 

And I guess even if one could ride on a tanker, the question is more of if one even wanted to. A friend of mine (rose to and was skipper of an APL ship at least 7 years ago- hopefully his ship wasn't reflagged since) told me he hated working on crude oil tankers due to the smell. And if the per-day rates are the same, you'll pay a lot more for a bulk carrier as I do believe the run slower than container ships?

 

Those car carriers (I think of ro-ros more of vehicular ferries) don't look very inviting as far as deck space goes (almost seems to be none). They almost look like Klingon space ships out of Star Trek.

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And I guess even if one could ride on a tanker, the question is more of if one even wanted to. A friend of mine (rose to and was skipper of an APL ship at least 7 years ago- hopefully his ship wasn't reflagged since) told me he hated working on crude oil tankers due to the smell. And if the per-day rates are the same, you'll pay a lot more for a bulk carrier as I do believe the run slower than container ships?

 

Those car carriers (I think of ro-ros more of vehicular ferries) don't look very inviting as far as deck space goes (almost seems to be none). They almost look like Klingon space ships out of Star Trek.

 

He must have worked tankers many years ago. All tankers are inerted these days for safety. The tank vents are sealed, and the atmosphere on top of the cargo is a combustion gas with less than 5% oxygen, which precludes ignition or explosion. Used to be that tankers and bulkers were really slow compared to container ships, but with the cost of fuel these days, the container and Ro/Ro ships have slowed down, and tankers/bulkers do about 14 knots, and container ships do about 14-16 knots. Tankers and bulkers also don't work fixed schedules, since their dock facilities are more limited and in demand, so you frequently spend time at anchor waiting on berth availability.

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Thanks Didn't know about the inert gasses but that makes sense. So the tankers are less smelly and greasy these days?

 

He must have worked tankers many years ago.

 

Must have been up until the very early '90s, which is when he left Anacortes to move to where I was at the time. Never told me he worked on the oil tankers but it'd make sense that he did if he lived in Anacortes. And it'd also make sense as he told a few of his friends that he knew Joseph Hazelwood.

 

Yes, the bulk carrier schedule uncertainty would be a difficult one to plan to catch ta ride on. I see enough of them moored in anchorages in my area. Even seen container ships and RoRos moored for up to a couple of days.

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Yes, even with an immaculate engine room, there is more oil aroma there than out on deck. Been carrying crude for several years now, only get a whiff when they are making up/breaking the hose/arm connections at the terminal. Actually, inert gas systems have been required for large tankers since the 70's.

 

And the oil companies monitor our operations closely, so a tanker like mine will have a total "loss of containment" (oil spill to deck) of a few liters/year.

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It has been many years since I made a one week trip from Montreal to Gaspe on the M.V. North Gaspe, but the ports are probably the same, with daylight arrials and a few hours to walk around the fishing villages along the Saint Lawrence River. The accommodations were basic, but the trip was interesting, and I had a French speaking priest at a roommate. It was an interesting cultural experience for me, and I have been sailing ever since.

 

I'm planning my first freighter adventure. My problem is I'm limited to a freighter voyage of at most 7-10 days. I know that rules out a lot of options for me. One possibility is Bella Desgagnés, which is a ship that delivers supplies and mail to various villages in Quebec up the Saint Lawrence river (see web link below). Has anybody been on this journey before? Any thoughts/comments?

 

https://www.freightercruises.com/specialty_cruises.php

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I'm planning my first freighter adventure. My problem is I'm limited to a freighter voyage of at most 7-10 days. I know that rules out a lot of options for me. One possibility is Bella Desgagnés, which is a ship that delivers supplies and mail to various villages in Quebec up the Saint Lawrence river (see web link below). Has anybody been on this journey before? Any thoughts/comments?.....

 

Hello: just back from a trip on the Bella - we took the round-trip Rimouski - Blanc Sablon and back. Very interesting trip, many tours - you do have time for tours in most harbours since you hit each twice on a round-trip - or you can make it part of a Maritimes trip by taking your car along and changing over to the NFLD ferry at Blanc Sablon and carry on from there.

Food is excellent if you book a cabin + meals - three choices each serving and fresh fish you see being brought aboard. Freight comes first - it's a real working boat! I tried to review on Tripadvisor, but they have no category for this type of vessel, and I find the same here: if the ship is not in the index, you can't do a review.

Edited by amphitryon

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