After being captivated by a series of freighter videos, I checked into whether an average citizen can go for a cruise on a freighter. Here's the answer.

It Would Be A Unique Vacation Around The Great Lakes

I realize that there are great Lakes Cruises aboard the traditional cruise ships, but being on a freighter seems like an adventure more than a vacation, and the experience of a lifetime.

After viewing the videos of @freshwatermariner, a freighter crew member who posts often to TikTok, I was smitten by the beauty of the Great Lakes, at least when they're calm.

Here's my favorite of his videos, a pristine float down the St. Mary's River near the Soo Locks.

To Book A Cruise On A Freighter, You Need Some Connections And Some Luck

So as to the answer, can you book a cruise on a freighter? Well, yes and no.

There is a Freighter Travel web site to help you book on an international ocean going freighter, which is going to run you about $100 a day. (Probably more now, because, well, inflation).

The web site ActionHub says Great Lakes Freighter cruises are available, with a little luck:

Freight ships primarily exist to transport cargo around the world, but these vessels have caught the eyes of adventurous travelers. In addition to their cargo load, these ships can also carry up to 12 people, which can include luckily travelers if there’s space. You usually don’t buy a ticket for these journeys. Rather, you need to either know someone in the crew or win a ticket in a raffle.


A web site ActionHub sent me to only offered regular cruises, and not any information about any freighter cruises so my thoughts that there once was a place on that site that where you could get info that has since been removed.

Another site, has indicated that Covid has stopped all cruises through 2023, but does not specify if they can book on the inland seas of the Great Lakes.

Until I Figure It Out, I'll Just Have To Jam Out To These Videos

Ryan Miller is a crew member and pilot aboard a freighter plying the five lakes, and his videos give a view of the life from good to bad.

Here they are going under the Mighty Mac, scored by Metallica, of course..

And here's what a storm looks like on board. Yikes!!

This one is just flat out peaceful.

This is a tight squeeze.

And of course, the reality is, every once in a while, you get a storm like hits:

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