From October to November 2019 I travelled from England to New Zealand to join a family reunion in the South Island. This blog series details my thinking, decisions and then the stages of the actual trip. It took much more money, probably more emissions, and a lot more time than flying. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures, perhaps reading some of the account, and researching your own train/ferry/ship journey!
Find a CNN article recounting the story of a young man who took twenty-four trains from UK to Ningbo. What was he doing? I only took six! As a sidebar of the article, you will also find a comparison of carbon efficiency in some of the biggest airlines.
Blog Series MENU
Part I: Is there any other way to get from UK to the Antipodes without flying? Why not fly?
Part II: Should you book your freighter cruise first?
Part III: What reasoning to avoid flying? What is the English environmental movment? What do Totnes, Transition Town and Extinction Rebellion have in common?
Part IV: Is Real Russia a good support system for ticketing and visas? How far should I plan ahead?
Part V: What’s the best way to organise Visas?
Part VI – What do Science, Politics and Spirituality have to do with travel?
Stage One – ferry from Harwich to Hoek of Holland and visiting Rotterdam
Stage Two – train to Germany and exploring Hamburg harbour
Stage Three – train to Berlin to visit memorials and consider humanity
Stage Four – train to Warsaw and considering a different kind of memorial
Stage Five – overnight train from Warsaw to Moscow
Stage Six – visiting Moscow to marvel at metro stations
Stage Seven – multi-page post TransSiberian – TransMongolian Railway from Moscow to Beijing
Stage Eight – visiting Beijing and the Great Wall of China
Stage Nine – out of China: trains to Ningbo, Fuzhou and Pingtan and ferry to Taiwan
Stage Ten – train travel through Taipei, Tainan and, finally to Kaohsiung, the largest port in Taiwan
Stage Eleven – Two weeks shipping with CMA CGM Coral from Taiwan to New Zealand
An amazing journey thrillingly told. Thank you. Did you come to any conclusions about the comparative environmental costs of travelling by train and sea, and by air?
Dear Sally, Thank you for your generous comments. I am so glad you enjoyed it. In conclusion, the best I can offer is that I understand air travel is by far the biggest emitter of nasties. If we want to reduce our carbon exhausts, we have to stay close to the ground. I didn’t do any sums. I could see the dirty smoke stacks on the ships and ferries. The train engines were diesel. I smelled coal all the way on the Trans Siberian Express. I planted some trees. Sadly, now many folk are vaccinated, the planes are back in the skies. Perhaps some travellers are offsetting their journey but the gases will still be released. I am planning my next sea voyage – keep your eye on this blog for further details soon!
What an amazing journey Victoria. I want to follow on your steps. Merry merry Christmas in NZ!
Thank you, Carine, so long as all our footsteps take us where we want to go!
Just love the visuals, Victoria! Glad you made it safely.
Thank you, Sue. Grateful you could be part of the journey!
Thank you, Louise! Now for the full story … !!
Nicely done edit, schmick production