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Q: Going to Japan from Los Angeles via boat ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Going to Japan from Los Angeles via boat
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: metalfaceddoom-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Jun 2004 18:14 PDT
Expires: 07 Jul 2004 18:14 PDT
Question ID: 357886
I am planning to travel from Los Angeles, California to Japan by way
of boat.  Ideally the port of entry to Japan would be Tokyo, but any
port in Japan is acceptable.    I don't have my exact departure date
yet.  I need the following information:

1. How much does the trip cost?
2. How long will it take?
3. I also need contact information for companies or agencies that
provide this service.

How long, how much, and who to talk to!  Ideally I would like more than 1 contact.


Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 07 Jun 2004 18:45 PDT
Do you mean boat or ship?

Request for Question Clarification by omnivorous-ga on 08 Jun 2004 03:33 PDT
Metalfaceddoom --

There are options to do this aboard freighters.  Would this interest
you or are you interest in a passenger-only cruise?

Best regards,


Clarification of Question by metalfaceddoom-ga on 09 Jun 2004 17:20 PDT

Thanks for the responses.  I'm basically just looking for
transportation that is an alternative to flying.  My travel budget
would be $1000 or less.  Going aboard a freighter would be fine.  I'd
prefer not to be crew, but if I have to then I have to.  Size or shape
of the boat/ship doesn't really matter to me, I just need to get

Any other questions, please let me know.
Subject: Re: Going to Japan from Los Angeles via boat
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 10 Jun 2004 06:47 PDT
Metalfaceddoom --

There are two ways to accomplish this: 
8  one by crewing aboard a sailing yacht making the trip, though
schedules can be unpredictable that way and Japanese restrictions tend
to hold down the number of sailboats. It's also difficult to research
and establish links with sailors -- then prove that you'd be a good
*  two: by freighter

I've concentrated the choices on freighter travel, as it's much faster
and more predictable.  Not many people know that freighters have
passenger space, but many do and they can travel to some surprising
places.  A former Placement Office Director at the University of
Chicago's Graduate School of Business used to take his annual vacation
to diverse and undiscovered locations -- always by freighter.

Here are some options for you, from Freighter World Cruises, which
keeps tabs on different scheduled freighter options.  Additional
options may be possible by seeing if you could arrange connections
from Shanghai or other ports:

Lykes Line, Vancouver to Tokyo, $1,170
Lykes Line, Anchorage to Tokyo, $810
Freighter World Cruises
"The Orient/Far East"

While trips generally cost about $100 according to most sites, it
appears that the MS/MV Magdalena Olmendorff will be doing a trip from
Vancouver, WA (near Portland) to Kawasaki, Japan at the end of June
for about $50 per day:
Maris Freighter Cruises
"Tramps and Specials"

TravLtips Cruise has a number of freighters listed leaving the U.S.
for Japan, including the Reederei Laiesz Lines, which operates a fleet
of container ships going from Long Beach, CA to Tokyo for about
"From the U.S. West Coast" (April 8, 2004)

You'll see other options on the TravLtips website here:
"Freighter Directory"


There are several excellent resources for freighter trips on the
Internet and you may have to contact an agent to find more variety in
freighter travel. lists the three agents mentioned above, as well as
freighter travel agents in Canada and Europe:

The website is an excellent website for information
on freighter travel.  So too is Judd Spittler's website:
"Freight Bum -- Admiral Judd's Adventure on the High Seas" (April 12, 2003)

Google search strategy:
freighters + passengers
freighters + cruises

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Going to Japan from Los Angeles via boat
From: pwfisher-ga on 08 Jun 2004 00:59 PDT
Very few cruises go from Los Angeles to Tokyo, and you're talking
something like the better part of $10,000 for a luxurious monthlong
trip.  You will not have much choice in departure dates.

If you want to sail to Japan, you will have to find a boat headed
there.  Willing to be crew?  That's probably the way to do it.
"Being distant from the popular cruising routes, not many cruising
yachts visit Japan"
"their weather...does not encourage cruising, for a cruise often turns
into a battle against wind and current."

The most feasible route may be California->South
Pacific/Australia->East Asia, Japan.

No easy answer, here.  I'd say hit your local library, talk to experienced sailers.

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