Cheap trucker cruise ship from Italy to BCN


May 6, 2011
Current Location
Oakland, United States
I haven´t seen anything about this posted in English-language resources online, so I though I´d share...

You can take a big boat from Rome (Grimaldi Lines, 40E) or Genoa (70E?) to Barcelona. Hitching sucks in short days and shitty weather this time of year, the boat lets you take way more baggage (including knives and other possible check-in contraband) without the baggage fees of discount airlines, and the winter price is available at no notice (cheaper than paying train and no-notice airfare). It´s way more comfortable than 20 hrs of FlixBus or BlaBlaCar. You might be able to sneak on board, too, with a trucker or just walking past the guy at the boat entrance, who didn´t seem too into checking ID´s and tickets--the ferry has few walk-on passengers.

The ferry was designed to be a functional alternative to conventional cruises in the mid-nineties, so all the luxuries were brought on board--disco, spa, massages, bars, cafes, pool, observation decks. After RyanAir etc took the budget European transit market, most of the passengers are truck drivers looking to skip expensive tolls through three countries. You are on a fancy truck driver cruise ship crossing the Mediterranean, and it´s a fun 21 hrs.

Don´t bother paying for a cabin or even a reclining seat, the "sleepers´room" has so much space to spread out on the seats. Despite the "no camping" signs everywhere, we saw a girl and her St Bernard (no service tags visible) doing a hippie hot mess by the stairwell. Overall, staff seemed super-chill about everything. The faucets claim to not be potable, so if you don´t want to buy water, bring lots of agua. They really do mean for you to check in more than an hour early and the port check-in is not so pedestrian-friendly.
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