Travelling in the transition period from the COVID19 lockdown to new normal


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will not sell tickets for flights departing in the coming days, at least until Sunday. The airline’s major hub, Amsterdam Schiphol, is currently facing staff shortages subsequently causing massive delays.

We receive a lot of questions from passengers who have seen the queues at the security checkpoints and are hesitant to depart from Amsterdam Schiphol,” a spokeswoman said.

Something needs to be done, a union representing airport staffers said, if the current working conditions for airport employees do not change, a strike on 1 June is likely.




The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Considering the ship option for going between Europe and the Americas

In the first part of the Summer, there has been more travel disturbances than before Covid. In many places there have been longer lines, with some airport needing staff and having to rehire after the Covid lay-offs. A few companies have had to cancel flights due to lack of staff, while others have had strikes or economic problems that threatens them with bankruptcy. Also, fuel has gone up in price, adding to the problems.

In such a situation, it is tempting to consider what the future might bring. In Europe and Asia, people can take a train or a bus, so far at least, but what about the connection between the Americas and other continents, as it seems a land bridge between Russia and Alaska is still in the future.

Before there were planes, there were ships and there are indeed possibilities to go by ship, but it needs time since it takes longer, money, as one has to have a place to stay and food to eat during the journey, decent health, as one has to be without the risk of emergencies for the time of duration, and if one wishes to go by a sailboat a minimum of sailing skills would be a selling point to convince a small boat captain, that one can also be helpful. So while I have not tried anything with sails, I decided to share, as that may indeed become a more common way of travelling, and not only reserved for people like Greta Thunberg. See posts between here and here.
To find out where boats are going, a map like the one from Marinetraffic will do: Below the green are cargo ships, while the blue are passenger ships and the violet are pleasure craft.
Modern motorboats built of steel are independent of the winds, and can travel pretty much where they want. Therefore, if one goes on a motorboat, the journey is more predictable. Next, a blogger explains how to go find a ship:

How to Travel from Europe to America by Ship
Part 1: Europe to USA by ship
You need a ship of some sort to get from Europe to the United States without flying, Many cruise ships cross the Atlantic. However, if you avoid flying for environmental reasons, you should note that cruises and ferries cause a lot more CO2 emissions than flights.
Lots of freighters that take passengers travel from Europe to the USA. The crossing takes roughly 10-15 days. The price of the journey is around 100-150 euros per day, meals included. Here are some cargo ship routes from Europe to the United States:
Option 2: Hitching a Ride on a Sailboat from Europe to the USA
If you want to travel from Europe to America without flying, you can possibly hitch a ride on a sailboat. However, sailboats heading across the Atlantic are most likely to head towards the Caribbean instead of the United States.

It’s not easy, but you could try traveling to the Caribbean first and continue your journey to the United States with another vessel. Because of the long distances, there are very few regular ferries between the countries of the Caribbean. If you wish to travel on a ferry to the United States, you need to reach the Bahamas and take a ferry to Florida.
Option 2: Hitching a Ride on a Sailboat to the Caribbean
If you have your own seaworthy sailboat, you don’t need this guide to tell you how to get from Europe to America on a boat. Here’s information for the others who need to hitch their ride.

There are plenty of guides about boat hitchhkiking. I won’t compete with the experts: if you’re seriously planning to hitchhike a boat, continue your research after my flightless travel guide. But to help you get started, here’s a quick rundown of hitchhiking a boat across the Atlantic.

Websites such as or help you find sailboats that cross the Atlantic. You can also head to a harbour or a yacht club to use the bulletin board (been there!) and ask around. A friend of mine who hitchhiked across the Atlantic found her boat in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. She told me that boats depart from all the Canary Islands. According to her, Las Palmas is the most popular starting point, and Tenerife is a good second choice.

To reach the Canary Islands without flying, you can try to hitchhike from Spain or Portugal. You can also take a ferry from Cadiz or Huelva to Las Palmas. It takes those ferries 32-36 hours to reach their destination.

Boat hitchhiking is not as simple as hitchhiking on dry land. You’ll spend weeks on a small boat, and the captain wants you to be useful during the journey. Having sailing experience beforehand will greatly increase your chances of getting a ride. If you can’t practice with someone you know, consider taking a sailing course to learn the basics.

Crossing the Atlantic on a sailboat usually takes three to four weeks. Your timing matters a lot. According to Kitiara Pascoe, the best season to sail to the Caribbean or South America is between November and February.
If you are in Asia or wish to go there, see also How to Travel from Europe to Asia without Flying

Taking the planning one step further
I looked up "how to sail across the Atlantic" on YouTube, and found a short tutorial with explanations:
Sailing, How to cross the Atlantic, sailing routes, sailing times, sailing trade winds, distances from Chasing Latitudes. In this video, there are a few images, which are helpful to understand the concepts. Below is a selection with a few comments here and there.

Seas are easier and safer in some parts of the year, since winds and weather conditions vary:
In the Atlantic, subtropical high pressure systems generate winds:
Sailboats can make use of these winds when planning their routes. The reason why November to February is preferred are many, including that it is outside the hurricane season for this part of the Atlantic.
Below, the Trade winds are used:
And in the following, the Westerlies:
If one takes a look at the global wind patterns, there is this:
The next image describes the underlying pressure systems:
For more on the mechanics, see Pierre's book Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, 2nd Ed. though that enters into discussion of the Sun, the Earth and the electric and magnetic fields around the Sun and the Earth which one does not strictly need to understand in order to sail the Atlantic in a boat.

The video mentions ocean currents that match the winds. For a good image, one page had:
That is the theory at least, but the same page tells a story about a cargo ship that during a storm in 1992 lost 28,000 rubber ducks. The ducks dispersed and ended up all over the world, so the system is very complex.

Going back to the video, there is an image that explains why the trade winds and the westerlies tend to curve
The size of the sailboat and the selection of the crew
The video editor holds that a boat somewhere between 35 and 42 feet is good enough to have room for storage and sufficient strength to get through tough weather.

He advises prospective ocean crossers to plan the timing carefully and strongly stresses the need for captains to pick their crew wisely. Here are his words
Choose your crew, and choose your crew w i s e l y. I can not stress this enough! Novice sailors are not a good choice here, as being at sea can and does cause some to c o m p l e t e l y lose their shit in the process. That is one more headache you simply do not need.
The above serves as a word of caution to prospective travellers, who would like to become crew members.

The possibility to go by ship across the Atlantic exists. Unless you have money for an ocean cruise, you can typically choose between a cargo ship or a sailboat, but it is more costly than plane tickets are at the moment. There is science to crossing an ocean in a sailboat, and preparation, some knowledge of sailing, good health, social skills, and mental fortitude will be helpful.

As I wrote this post, I did consider if the topic was moving away from the original and a new thread should be started, but if the need arises, the post can always be moved. Somehow we are still trying to find out what the New Normal is or if it will ever come, as the government keep calling for new Covid waves while also dealing with the add-on effects and made-up complications of their own policies. We need to be prepared for a bit of everything, it seems. That is the new normal.


FOTCM Member
Next, a blogger explains how to go find a ship:

Thanks for sharing Thor. That has been something I've been meaning to look into but never really go around to it. I had no idea that boat hitchhiking was a thing. That's amazing! It appears there's this whole other ecosystem available to use and seems very little known but I can see it becoming more popular with the way air travel is going downhill.
Top Bottom