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  #1  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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Cruise and ship 2 motorcycles

Has anyone gone on a cruise and shipped their bikes with them? I have been investigating this and have a email ready to send. Its attached for your comments. Am I barking up a wrong tree and would others be interested in the same?

Regards Mark

Hi,

I talked to a reservation consultant with your company and explained that I would like to ship 2 motorcycles along with us on one of your cruises. To give you a little history and an understanding of my request, I would like to give you a brief explanation.

My son and I are planning a trans-America motorcycle journey from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia Argentina. In the process of planning this trip, I became aware of the need to transport our motorcycles around the Darien Gap in Panama as the Trans-American highway is interrupted. While there are ways to ship our motorcycles around this area, the shipping means can be precarious. It would be my preference, as well as many others in similar circumstances, to accompany our motorcycles instead of traveling separately from their shipments. As I prepare for this trip, it becomes apparent that Adventure Motorcyclists and their journeys are much more common than I had been aware. It appears to me that safe, reliable transport of our motorcycles and persons could be a substantial and lucrative opportunity for your company.

In 2008, my wife and I took a cruise with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines on "Freedom of the Seas" in which we brought our motorcycle on board (along with 36 other motorcyclists) and rode with ETA Motorcycle Cruises. We disembarked and embarked at every stop and rode numerous Caribbean Islands. There were some logistics to this, but ETA was able to organize 37 motorcycles for loading, offloading and storage on the ship. The relationship between ETA and Royal Caribean has proven successful. It appears there is a successful model to work from.

Attached are some links to motorcycle tour companies that could use your services and can give you an idea of future possibilities and volumes.

motorcyclecruise2010
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/
Globebusters.com | Home
Motorcycle Tours - Europe
[url=http://www.edelweissbike.com/]Motorcycle Tours

These are just a sample of motorcycle tour companies, with a quick 15 minute search on the internet. You will notice that most rent motorcycles. I am pretty sure that given the chance for safe, reliable and economical transport of their rides, many people from around the world would jump at the chance to sail with you, having their beloved motorcycles on board. I know, I would.

Please take this suggestion seriously. This appears to be a win, win opportunity for everyone.

Looking forward to your response.

If there is any way I can help further please feel free to contact me.

Yours truly, Mark

Last edited by mjredl; 1 Jun 2010 at 01:29. Reason: Not all was posted the first time
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  #2  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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Interesting. Please post when you get a reply.
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  #3  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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Cruise and ride

It's a great idea and I wondered why cruise line don't do this other than maybe there has not been much interest.
I didn't know there was a line that did this.

Thanks for initiating this. I am interested in what you get back from them.
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  #4  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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Keeping an eye on this for our next trip

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  #5  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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Sam Manicom did this from S. Africa to Argentina. Read Distant Suns. He took two bikes as luggage ... no extra charge.

Cruises out of the US to the Caribbean and S. America are super cheap. No idea if they would take bikes but my in laws have done dozens of cruises ... never, ever a limit on amount of luggage.

Good luck. Let us know how things go.
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  #6  
Old 22 Jul 2010
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Just a quick note about the progress of using cruise ships to transport our bikes.
We have had automated responses from the cruise ship lines and everyone that replied has been very polite, but not interested in the idea.

We are now looking into shipping the bikes via cargo ship and meeting them in Chile.

Mark
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Old 6 Aug 2010
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Dam! This was starting to look good.
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  #8  
Old 6 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjredl View Post
Just a quick note about the progress of using cruise ships to transport our bikes.
We have had automated responses from the cruise ship lines and everyone that replied has been very polite, but not interested in the idea.

We are now looking into shipping the bikes via cargo ship and meeting them in Chile.

Mark
A) Why Chile and not Ecuador or Columbia ?
b) Why not fly them like a lot (including globebusters) ?
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  #9  
Old 6 Aug 2010
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Hi Bruce,

Good questions.
Based on what I have gathered, Chile has the largest international ports and is the most economical to ship to. Also Martina and Enzo from Valpo have assisted numerous people with shipping their bikes to and from, so we have help from friends that know what going on. While Ecuador and Peru have good ports, due to smaller volumes, it takes longer to fill a container to deliver to these ports, which means our bikes will be in transit longer.

Flying them from Vancouver takes about 4-6 days based on what I have learnt, but is about $1500 and a little more hassle because they are considered dangerous cargo due to the fuel tank. If one does not have the time to wait for sea cargo transport, flying is a good option.

Other considerations why I have chose to start our trip in Chile is the weather, learning Spanish and arriving in Ushuaia when the cruise-ship season to Antarctica begins.
-If we were to ride south from Vancouver, we would be riding through the rainy season in Central America, but if we return in March, we would be in the dry season.
-I would rather deal with corrupt border crossings in Central America after learning spanish for many months, rather than while being totally illiterate (which I would be at the beginning of the trip).
-I have read that last minute bookings to Antarctica can be economical if space is available. It is most likely that space would be available at the beginning of the season.

I hope you can appreciate my reasonings. I booked our flights to Santiago last night to arrive on October 5, 2010, so there is no turning back. The bike shipment will be confirmed after we get back from the meeting in Nakusp.

Looking forward to meeting many interesting bikers.

Mark
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Old 6 Aug 2010
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Couple of quick notes: surface shipments often go awry, so have a backup plan in case your bikes end up shipping via Korea and Singapore (as happened to someone nameless I met in Buenos Aires--his bike arrived a month or more later than had been promised).

There are definite advantages to not speaking Spanish when dealing with corrupt cops.

The likelihood of finding cheap cruises to Antarctica at a given moment in the season is not very predictable. I used Alicia Petiet, who is Google-able as well as being in the Lonely Planet. She's solid, responsive and reliable (and English-speaking).

See you in Nakusp!

Mark
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Old 6 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by mjredl View Post
Other considerations why I have chose to start our trip in Chile is the weather, learning Spanish and arriving in Ushuaia when the cruise-ship season to Antarctica begins.
-If we were to ride south from Vancouver, we would be riding through the rainy season in Central America, but if we return in March, we would be in the dry season.

-I have read that last minute bookings to Antarctica can be economical if space is available. It is most likely that space would be available at the beginning of the season.
I hope you can appreciate my reasonings. I booked our flights to Santiago last night to arrive on October 5, 2010, so there is no turning back. The bike shipment will be confirmed after we get back from the meeting in Nakusp. Looking forward to meeting many interesting bikers.

Mark
Very cool plan Mark.
I've heard of a few travelers getting on board ships to fill empty berths. You won't be alone trying to do this. If you have time to hang out you could get lucky and you'll have time to learn how things work. Certainly worth a try.

I've made nine crossings of the Drake, worked at Palmer station back when the US program was based out of Usuhaia. Now its based in Punta Arenas.

But if you really want to see the beauty of the Antarctic ... get up in the air. I flew with Aerofuerza Argentina and BAS (British Antarctic Survey) Simply amazing from the air. November is the perfect time in Ushuaia and best weather for Antarctic. Good luck snagging a spot! Do It!

Central America in March can be HOT. But its hot all the time ... so no worries. May/June are the hottest actually, November probably the coolest. Chilean Spanish is a bit weird. I have trouble understanding them, but I suck. (Soy Caballo)

I do better with the Argies cause I spent years with them.
Have a great trip.
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Old 7 Aug 2010
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Actually it was not at all difficult to find steeply discounted berths on Antarctic trips this year. We had about 10 on our boat out of a hundred or so paying passengers, including two who had arrived in Ushuaia, seen notes around town, and were on board and sailing that very evening. I emailed Alicia about a week out of Ushuaia and had my choice of boats.

No guarantees it will be this easy next season. There are rumors that some of the boats are being moved elsewhere due to the tourism slump. But at least this particular year, it was far from a case of "if you hang around long enough you might get lucky."

Mark
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  #13  
Old 7 Aug 2010
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November cruise on the Stahlratte

Hi Mark and others,
For a possible mini-version of a cruise with bikes you might want to consider a proposal by Captain of the Stahlratte to sail from Panama to Cuba and Jamaica to Colombia/Panama, tentatively commencing in November. I have discussed this with him somewhat, hoping to just get my bike transported from Panama to Cuba so I can do more than 3 weeks biking there (incredible motorcycling country) and then on to Jamaica. His concept is cruise/stay-on-the-boat deal but I am trying to negotiate better price which reflects time NOT spent on the boat but roaming on my own and finding my own digs onland. Re Cuba portion the boat would enter CUba at Cienfuegos and then depart from Santiago de Cuba little over 3 weeks later...I would go solo for that time, ditto for Jamaica though shorter time. It all comes down to what price can be negotiated, and presumably if there are other people like me out there.
Stahlratte gets pretty good reviews for its Panama to Colombia shuttles, and many bikers have shipped with them including you, right Mark?
Americans can visit Cuba by way of other country such as Panama no problem (they do not stamp your passport in Cuba, to make it easier for you).
I suspect we could put together a hell of a bike cruise if there is enough interest. Stahlratte is a big steel boat with tonnes of capacity, and I understand that the Captain (Ludwig is the name if my memory serves me well) is a reasonable character.
Cheers
Larry larrynunavut at hotmail dot com
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  #14  
Old 7 Aug 2010
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Hi Larry,

Yah, I took the Stahlratte from Colombia to Panama. Big, comfortable, friendly, reliable. The Cuba trip looks to me like a good way to get to Cuba with a bike....but I think there's lots of work and little bike touring in my immediate financial future. Still, I can report that it's a good boat and that Ludvig and crew are good people....and even if the loading and unloading of bikes is a bit hair-raising, this is probably even more true on smaller boats.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 7 Aug 2010
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the info and support. I am aware of using english to talk to corrupt cops, but having an idea of what they are saying may give me a slight advantage. And like all shipments, I am aware they can go awry, so I would just have to take more time learning spanish and visiting Santiago and Valpo by bus, I guess... Antarctica by air sounds like a great idea if a berth can't be secured in a reasonable amount of time.

I actually considered riding Cuba and have an email to the Cuban consulate about what docs are needed to accommodate this. No word so far. I have already booked my flight to Santiago so this cruise crossing would have to be done on the way back. If this works for you Larry, let me know and we can work on this idea together, if you like. Just contacted Captain Ludwig about transport back to Panama yesterday and February looks like the time for me.

Thanks again for the great ideas and info.

Mark
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