Due to evolution and subsequent popularity of air travel and the tendency of a human being to always being in a hurry and wanting to be there very fast, makes me to believed convincingly those factors that led to unpopularity and the gradual demise of sea travel, besides the high-cost associated with sea travel. Whereas, in the olden days travelling from West Africa to Europe by sea used to be a normal system of getting to Europe, nowadays things has changed, travelling overland and by sea are not really common, however I’m delighted to tell you that it is possible to travel from West Africa to Europe by sea if the will is there.
Few years back, a guy wanted to travel to Europe on a short-term visa, having obtained Schengen visa he realised that due to not booking in advance, most budget flights were fully booked and top flights tickets were on the high side during the summer months, moreover, he knew he didn’t have many places to visit in Europe despite having enough time for vacation. He researched how to make European country at a low-cost, he was advised to try the sea travel. Three weeks later he called from Amsterdam excited that he made it, using sea transport.
TRAVEL FROM WEST AFRICA TO EUROPE BY SEA
Reasons why people may choose to travel from West Africa to Europe by sea.
1. You can negotiate the transport cost
2. It is very exciting
3. It is a new experience.
1. You can negotiate the transport cost
For anyone on low-budget, the reasonable way to cut costs is to go by sea. Due to the facts that it’s not a regular means of transport, it’s possible to search and arrange for transport accommodation from cargo ship coming to West Africa with goods and returning lightweight. There are several cargoes – shipping companies along the West African coast with a few numbers of cabins for public passengers.
It’s pertinent to note that whether a Cargo ship has one or hundreds of passengers on board it will sail, using the same amount of fuel and time because Cargo is their main business for sailing, adding few passengers doesn’t disturb the voyage.
As a paying passenger shipping line will accommodate you in their guest cabins which enables you access to the general area of the ship. Most global shipping lines does that often time.
For passengers looking for cheaper ways of going by ship, some shipping line used to offer ad hoc jobs along the way, therefore your travel will be less expensive if you are engaged in little work to keep time going. However, things have changed considerably, the era of getting jobs on a ship has gone due to abuse by passengers, therefore if they offer to take you along, negotiate and be ready to finance your voyage.
TRAVEL FROM WEST AFRICA TO EUROPE BY SEA – IS IT EXPENSIVE?
Realistically, travelling by ship is much more expensive than air travel nowadays, due to the number of days you’re spending on board. On average by prepare to spend about 16 days travelling from West Africa to Europe by sea. Furthermore, be ready to pay a minimum of 82 USD per day unless you can make special arrangements to reduce the total costs.
DO WE HAVE OCEAN LINERS THAT TRAVEL FROM WEST AFRICA TO EUROPE.
Sadly, they’re very scarce, unless by special arrangements with cargo ships. It’s doubtful if there are Ocean liners that travel from West Africa to Europe. Currently, it is in South Africa that you have Cruise ship or Cargo ships taking passengers going to Europe frequently.
Over there, there are companies that you can book your sea travel without stress.
However, if you’re returning to West Africa there is shipping line ready to accommodate you to West Africa, especially taken you to Tema in Ghana.
If your intention is to travel by ship, all you need to do is to get in touch with a shipping agent in any of West African seaports, be it Lagos, Cotonou, Accra or Monrovia. You’re free to join from any of those ports, as long as you do it within the official framework. Avoid illegality as much as possible. Never attempt to be a stowaway.
Travelling by sea within 16 days you will be surprised to find yourself in one of those popular European Port, be it Antwep, Belgium, Rotherham in the Netherlands or Hamburg in Germany.
TRAVEL FROM WEST AFRICA TO EUROPE – HOW TO PROCESS DEPARTURE
Please note that all seaports in West Africa countries have immigration offices and provide the same immigration facilities and services as you have at any international airport. Most Sea Ports have departure and arrival stamps at their disposal which must be appended as the need arises.
For a potential traveller, be it touring, holiday, studies or business visa, these are the steps to take if you intend to travel from West Africa to Europe by sea:
1. Get your visa
2. Ensure your passport is valid for the period you intend to stay.
3. Get a valid health certificate.
4. It is compulsory to obtain health insurance coverage.
5. Get a police clearance certificate.
6. Ensure you have a basic travelling allowance.
7. Search for immigration office within the port complex and ensure you get a departure stamp in your international passport.
TRAVELLING BY SEA IS VERY EXCITING
Unlike air travel, where you’re in the sky you cannot feel it and you cannot see the ground, a very terrifying situation often time. Going by sea is lively and very exciting, you move around without horrible seat belts or very tight spaces. You have all the time in the world to see and feel your surroundings. Go to the restaurant or disco hall while travelling. Go to the cabin and sleep all day while the ship is sailings.
You’re sure of meeting and chatting with fellow passengers and crews at a relax atmosphere, besides good plates of seafood, the chef is always ready to please a guest passenger with assorted drinks. And you spend your days as you pleased. Taking photos is fun, and relaxing outside the cabins are part of daily activities while on board.
When talking about travelling by sea I know exactly what I’m talking about because as a student in Greece in the 70/80s, I used to travel by sea between Athens and most of the Greek islands, such as Crete, Rhodes, Xos, Corfu, Zakynthos, etcetera.
IT IS A NEW EXPERIENCE
Travelling by sea is an entirely new experience for most people, regardless of the cost, you’re bound to experience something new. Embarkation and disembarkation in different countries, sea waves, sea lives and seeing the crowd and port activities in different countries/territories along the way are unexplainable feelings you got which definitely make sea travel unique and incomparable.
NO LONGER AT EASE
Nowadays, travelling from West Africa to Europe is no longer an easy task because most shipping lines are refusing to carry passengers despite having empty cabins. Because, most of them are afraid of lawsuits, exorbitant insurance premiums and above all unnecessary immigration harassments.
Despite the aforementioned bottlenecks, if it is your desire to travel by sea, ensure you make enquiries and approach experience agents at any of West African seaports, you will find a shipping company that will be ready to take you along on negotiation and at a reasonable cost.
That’s all for now on Travel from West Africa to Europe by sea.
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