Marine Travel


Includes – Boat, Ferry and Sailing

Boat types

Wikipedia – List of Boat types –

Marine safety

In recent times, boat accidents and ferry sinking have made a prominent showing in the news across the world. This ranges from ferry collisions in Thailand to an overcrowded ferry in the Philippines sinking. In November 2013 (as an example), an overloaded ferry carrying many tourists sank off the shores of Pattaya.

Making informed safety decisions and doing background checks on your marine travel provider can alleviate placing yourself at greater risk of potential danger. A simple Google of a providers name or searching on travel forums, can surface past users experiences and any past incidents of concern.

Marine providers must meet local legal requirements in areas such as maximum passenger numbers (no overcrowding), safety rafts and life vests to meet the passenger numbers on board and also clearly defined emergency procedures (practiced and also information visually displayed).

More tips on travelling by boat are detailed by the Australian government here:



As boat travel is not as frequent as other modes of transport, booking tickets prior to departure times is advised. In most cases where ferries are the main mode of transport (such as the Thai islands), you can book ferries via your accommodation provider in advance or even with the actual marine provider directly. What will happen is that you are given a booking confirmation and/or ticket, which you would present when boarding you designated ferry.

Before travelling, you can check out the boat/ferry providers which are available in the city/region you will be travelling to. More than often the providers have websites where their schedules are listed and route maps provided for your reference. Be aware of the last time the website has been updated and if the information if current and reliable – as schedule from 2012 may be different from the current year. If in doubt, follow-up with your accommodation provider to confirm or even approach the provider direct via email.

Like when flying, it’s best to confirm your ferry time and operation of the service one or two days prior. Inclement weather, timetable changes and technical issues can present to be an issue for boat travel.

In Asia, Nok air and also Thai Airasia currently have a booking system where you can book the ferry and flights together (in conjunction with ferry providers). This can prove to be a convenient option and by having the ferry leg provider endorsed by the airline, as it allows for greater peace of mind.

Disruptions to travel / Passenger rights

Europe Travel passenger rights – Ship –


Arriving on time.

Like other modes of transport, arrive on time or it can create major headaches for your travel plans.

When booking your marine transport, the company will advise you verbally or on the ticket when to arrive. If they do not, then you need to be proactive and ask this question of when you should be at the departing pier and also where the boat you need to take is located. Like in bus transport, the boat company won’t be sympathetic if you miss your service due to negligence on your part to check when it leaves and where to take it from. There are exceptions of course – cancellations, change of pier or change of time.


Travelling comfortably

Being comfortable by boat isn’t as much of an issue, due to greater freedom of mobility due to space on the vessel. Plus with ferry travel usually not greater than 4-5 hours and with often scenic views outside, you can simply laze about and take it all in. My advice is to bring along a fully charged music play/iPod to complement the trip and even some reading material.

More than often you end up chatting and making friends with other travellers on board. It can be a challenge for people suffering motion sickness, so it’s important that you bring along medication and as a backup also sickness bags. What also may help is to position yourself on the boat which has the most minimal movement and this would be at the centre (length and width) of the boat.


Overnight / Sleeping

If it’s an overnight ferry (like in Europe), then most likely you will have the option of a designated seat or at greater cost a cabin with bedding available. Personally, the cabin option is a preference due to security and also to get a good night’s rest. But the cost factor can prove to be a major reason why an assigned seating option is more economical. Like in train travel, (refer to train travel and sleeping) your belongings need to be in close proximity and ideally secured to ferry infrastructure and baggage locked. If travelling solo, then it’s good to think twice before sleeping in an allocated seating area, as you are your own advocate in that instance.


Boat / ferry service providers

– Private and Public Operators

Marine providers vary greatly around the world in regards to safety, vessel, and frequency of services and also price.

The Wikipedia pages below, details passenger ship ferry operations around the world – good to become familiar with names and as a start of checks:

For ferry/boat booking portals, operator examples and country specific travel see below:

Marine / Ferry  Links

International General

Information / Booking Portals

Boat rental / boating clubs (also booking)

  • *** Intersail Club (Linking yacht owners with guests — you can book a cabin on a shared yacht – Worldwide – The Airbnb of yachting) –
  • Providers (also booking)

    Organised tour companies – Crusing / sailing offerings

    *Refer to “Tours page”*
    – G adventures
    – Intrepid travel

    Travel agent – Crusing / sailing offerings
    *Refer to “Travel agent’ page*

    Arctic (North) Region

    Antarctic (South) Region

    One ocean expeditions (Boat – antractica) –

    Australia, Pacific and New Zealand

    Sailing / Marine Adventure Regions – Ideas

    Australia – New South Wales – Sydney Harbour
    Australia – Queensland – Frazer Island
    Australia – Queensland – Great Barrier Reef islands
    Australia – Victoria – Port Phillip Bay

    New Zealand – Bay of Islands
    New Zealand – Milford Sound
    Pacific Islands – Various (such as Palau, Mirconesia, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, French Polynesia, Cook Islands)

    Information / Booking Portals

    List of rivers of Oceania

    Rivers of Oceania (Wikipedia) –

    Ferry Providers (also booking) – Selected

    Sailing Providers (also booking) – Selected

    Go Bareboating – Boat charter Queensland–


    Sailing / Marine Adventure Regions – Ideas

    Cambodia – Cambodian islands, beaches and coast (Includes beaches of Sihanoukville and Kep plus islands of Koh Rong and Koh S’Dach archipelago – Beach Bungalows)
    Cambodia – Tonle sap
    Hong Kong – Bay and outlying islands
    India – Andaman and Nicobar islands

    Indonesia – Islands and beaches – such as Bali, Lombok, Gili, Flores islands
    Japan – Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands (25 hours southeast of Tokyo) / Okinawa and Kerama islands
    Malaysia – Malaysian Borneo islands and beaches
    Maldives – Islands and reefs

    Myanmar (Burma) Islands – Mergui archipelago
    Philippines – Various islands such as Boracay (Aklan), Palawan, Bohol, Cebu
    Singapore – Outlying offshore islands
    Thailand – Thailand islands (East) – Includes Koh Tao, Ang Thong Marine National Park Islands, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan (Beach Bungalows)
    Thailand – Thailand islands (west) – Includes Koh Lipe (Beach Bungalows)

    Vietnam – Ha long bay
    Vietnam – Southern islands (Phu Quoc, Tho Chu, Con son, Phu Quy islands)

    Information / Booking Portals

    List of rivers of Asia

    Rivers of Asia (Wikipedia) –

    Ferry Providers (also booking) – Selected

    • Lomprayah ferries – Eastern Thai islands (Off Koh Samui) and also western Thai Islands (Phuket, Trang, Koh Lipe) ferry services –

    Sailing Providers (also booking) – Selected

    Burma (Myanmar) – Sailing
    Burma Boating –
    Intrepid Travel – Mergui archipelago sailing –

    Indonesia – Sailing
    Intrepid Travel – Bali Island hopper –

    Le pirate beach club – Indonesia –

    Maldives – Sailing
    G Adventures –

    Philippines – Sailing

    Thailand – Islands sailing (East and West)
    Bus about – Thai islands (East and west) Sailing – hop on off sailing –
    Intrepid Travel – Thailand Sailing

    Yacht Week – (Andaman Sea – Organised Yacht / Sail tours – specific weeks) –


    Sailing / Marine Adventure Regions – Ideas

    Arctic Boat trip –

    Croatia – Islands, Coast and Beaches

    France – Corsica
    France – French Riviera Sailing

    Greece – Greek islands
    – Central Greek Islands / Saronic Archipelago – Kea, Poros, Hydra, Dhokos, Spetes islands
    – Cyclades islands – Ios, Mykonos, Santorini
    – Ionian
    – Dodecanese
    – North Aegean
    – Sporades
    – Crete

    Italy – Aeolian Islands, Sicily
    Italy – Capri and Naples bay islands
    Italy – Sardinia

    Portugal – Azores
    Portugal – Madeira islands

    Spain – Balearic islands and Spanish Coast
    Spain – Canary islands

    Switzerland lakes
    – Lake Geneva
    lake Biel
    Lake Thun / Brienz
    Lake Lucerne
    lake Zurich
    lake constance
    Lake Neuchatel / Morat
    lake Lugano
    Lake Halwil
    Lake Zug

    Turkey – Islands and coast

    Information / Booking Portals

    Brittany Ferries –

    List of rivers of Europe

    Rivers of Europe (Wikipedia) –

    Ferry Providers (also booking) – Selected

      Denmark / Norway / Sweden – Fjord Line
      Denmark / Germany – Scandlines
      Denmark / Ireland / Great Britain / Netherlands – Stena Line –

      Finland / Germany / Sweden / – Finnlines,
      Finland / Sweden / Estonia / Latvia – Tallink Silja Oy,
      Finland / Sweden / Estonia – Viking Line

      Ireland / Great Britain / France – Irish Ferries

      Greece / Italy – Superfast Ferries –
      Greece / Italy – Minoan Lines,
      Italy / Greece / Spain – Grimaldi Lines,
      Greece – Blue Star Ferries

    • Spain / Morocco – Balearia –
    • Sweden – Destination Gotland

    Sailing Providers (also booking) – Selected

    Le boat (Self guided and driving boat holidays in Europe – Including canal and river) –

    Croatia – Croatian islands and beaches sailing
    Bus About – (Island hopper – hop on off) –
    Contiki Croatia Sailing tours –
    G Adventures – Croatia Sailing tours –
    Intrepid – Croatia Sailing –

    Med Experience – Croatia (Yachting)
    Medsailor (Sailing tours in Croatia, Greece and Turkey) –
    On the go Tours – (Island hopper – hop on off) –
    Sail Croatia –

    Topdeck – Adriatic Sunsets –
    Topdeck – Croatian Riviera –
    Topdeck – Dubrovnik Dreams -
    Yacht Week – (Croatian Islands and Coast – Organised Yacht / Sail tours – specific weeks) – and Ultra Croatia Music Festival combined tour –

    France Sailing
    Intrepid Travel – French Riviera Sailing

    Greece – Greek islands and beaches sailing
    Busabout (Greek islands hop on off sailing) –
    Contiki – Greek cruises and sailing –

    G Adventures –
    Intrepid Travel – Cyclades islands –
    Intrepid Travel – Santorini and Mykonos –

    Medexperience –
    On the go tours –
    Topdeck –
    Yacht Week (Central Greek Islands / Saronic Archipelago – Kea, Poros, Hydra, Dhokos, Spetes islands – Organised Yacht / Sail tours – specific weeks) –

    Italy Sailing
    Intrepid Travel – Amalfi Coast Sailing Adventure –
    Intrepid Travel – Bay of Naples and Amalfi sailing –
    Yacht Week (Aeolian Islands, Sicily – Organised Yacht / Sail tours – specific weeks) –

    Spain – Spanish islands and beaches sailing
    Busabout – Balaeric Island Hopping (Ibiza)-

    Turkey – Turkish islands and beaches sailing
    Busabout – Turkish Sailing –
    Contiki – Turkish coast and islands sailing –

    G Adventures – Turkish coast and islands sailing –
    On the go tours –
    Top Deck –
    Yacht Week – (Turkish Islands and Coast – Organised Yacht / Sail tours – specific weeks) –

    Americas (North, Central and South) and Caribbean

    Sailing / Marine Adventure Regions – Ideas

    Antarctic boat trip

    Belize – Belize islands and reefs
    Bolivia – Lake Titicaca
    Brazil – Amazon River
    Brazil – Rio De Janiero – Guanabara Bay and coastline

    Canada – British Columbia islands and coast
    Caribbean Islands – Various (Includes – Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Bermuda)
    Chile – Easter Island
    Colombia – San Andres islands
    Costa Rica – Beaches and coast
    Cuba – Islands, coast and beaches
    Ecuador – Galapagos islands

    Honduras – bay of islands
    Mexico – Gulf of California / Baja California
    Mexico – Yucatan islands and coast
    Panama – Panama canal
    Panama – Panama islands – including the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, San Blas Islands, Gulf of Chiriqui Islands, Archipelago Las Perlas

    United States – Alaskan Islands and Coast
    United States – East Coast (Including Maine, Rhode Island and New York islands)
    United States – Florida keys
    United States – Great Lakes (such as Lake Michigan)
    United States – Gulf of Mexico
    United States – Hawaiian islands
    United States – Mississippi River

    Information / Booking Portals

    List of rivers of the Americas

    Rivers of the Americas (Wikipedia) –

    Ferry Providers (also booking) – Selected

    Sailing Providers (also booking) – Selected

    British Virgin Islands Sailing
    Intrepid Travel –
    Yacht Week – (British Virgin Islands – Organised Yacht / Sail tours – specific weeks) –

    Cuba Sailing
    G Adventures – Cuba Sailing –
    Intrepid Travel – Cuba Sailing Adventure –

    Galapagos Islands Sailing
    Contiki –
    G Adventures –
    Intrepid Travel –

    Africa / Middle East

    Sailing / Marine Adventure Regions – Ideas

    Egypt – Nile River
    Egypt- Suez canal
    Jordan – Dead Sea

    Mauritius – Islands
    Seychelles – Islands
    Tanzania – Zanzibar island

    Information / Booking Portals

    List of rivers of Africa / Middle East

    Rivers of Africa / Middle east (Wikipedia) –

    Ferry Providers (also booking) – Selected

    Sailing Providers (also booking) – Selected


    Marine Tracking (Live Worldwide) Tools

    Marine Traffic (Worldwide marine tracking) –
    Shipfinder (Worldwide marine tracking) –


    What about cruising?

    You may have noticed I haven’t covered cruising to great detail. Due to personal preferences, I don’t have a preference for cruising. The reasoning behind this is the cringe worthy aspect of the ship being a floating asylum where passengers are herded on and off destination calling places the vessel like cattle. Not to mention the cases when someone gets sick and compromises the whole vessel population.

    In my view you miss out on all the authentic aspects of travel, as it is pretty much travelling like you are home in comfort – which defeats the purpose of travel really. Plus when you make landfall at each destination, you are constrained by time and also there’s a strong disconnect with the locals. It’s just not my cup of tea – but each to their own. Maybe if ever venture on a cruising adventure, you never know I may change my tune.

    Nether-the-less, here is a link to the Wikipedia list of worldwide shipping and river cruising lines:

    The world’s largest cruise ships (Wikipedia) –’s_largest_cruise_ships

    Wikipedia – List of cruise ships –
    Wikipedia – Cruise ship –

    Types of Cruises:

    – Cruise – music festival on the cruise – with musical acts and performers.

    Notable cruise booking agency / cruise operators:
    – Acqua expeditions – Luxury river cruises –
    – APT
    – Carnival
    – Celestyal Cruises
    – Cruise co
    – Evergreen
    – Lindblad expeditions
    – Holland America
    – MSC Cruises
    – Oceania
    – P & O
    – Princess
    – Royal Caribbean
    – Scenic
    – Seabourn
    – Star Cruises
    – Tauck
    – Travelmarvel
    – TUI Group : TUI Cruises, Thomson cruises, Hapag lloyd cruises
    – Uni world
    – Viking

    – worldwide river cruising holidays exclusively to Australian and New Zealand travellers. Note: Many European river cruise vessels are owned by Amawaterways company on behalf of APT.

    Azamara cruises

      • Disney

    Infinity Cruising

    • Holland America
    • Norwegian cruise line
    • Oceania Cruises

    Pandaw cruising (Asian rover cruising)-

      • Seabourn
      • Silversea

    Tauck River cruising

    Other notable cruising information and cruise portal websites include:

    Cruiseco (Cruising agency) –
    Cruise Critic (Online cruise reviews and portal) –

    Cruise Guru (Cruising booking portal) –

    Infinity holidays – Cruise (Booking agency) –
    Imagine cruising – booking (By Emirates airlines) –


    Links last checked : / /2015

    Important Disclaimer

    Any advice and recommendations given on this website are as a general and informal guide only, taken from practical experience of the owner of this website.

    Any hyperlinks on this website that take you to third-party websites are provided for your reference and convenience only, and do not imply an endorsement of the material on the third-party sites or any association with the owners or operators of those sites.This website does not control any of these third-party sites and is not responsible for their content. You access and use the third-party websites at your own risk.

    Copyright Information

    © Anthony Warren and ‘Life Through the Lens’ 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthony Warren and the ‘Life Through the Lens’ Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

    Creative Commons Licence

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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