A few commercial shipping lines make a limited number of berths available for passengers. From the pictures available at Freighter World Cruises in Pasadena, the cabins appear to be clean and relatively spacious, with austere furnishings. Meals and soft drinks are included. The passenger must bring supplemental provisions. Some ships sell liquor by the bottle for cash once the ship is in international waters. There is no Internet access at sea.
FWC is refreshingly frank about the absence of ship-supplied diversions: “Freighters do not offer any preplanned activities such as cruise ships do and mealtimes are the only daily structure.” So no shuffleboard, no floor show, no Love Boat melodrama.
I had hoped to book one-way passage to Papeete in Tahiti, spend some time there, and fly on to Singapore. Unfortunately Joycene at FWC advised that the Tom Wörden-owned MV Cap Tapaga, which sails from California to Papeete and Samoa, only books round trips, so the South Pacific is out.
Joycene says I can get from Oakland to Singapore (via Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia) in 20 days, for about 85 Euros per day. Bailing in Hong Kong is also an option.