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

Direct Ferries – –
Ferry to –

Boat rental / boating clubs (also booking)

Providers (also booking)


Hotel and Accommodation provider – Cwned yachts and sailing offerings
– Accommodation providers (especially luxury accommodation providers often have their solely owned yachts and boating craft as floating hotels to use and book.

Notable providers:
– Ritz Carlton

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

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 –
– 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.

Amras cruises –

      • Avalon Waterways

Aurora expeditions –

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.

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