This past Splurge Saturday we looked at one low-carbon way to get to Australia from the United States to take advantage of Callicoma Hill’s offer of free board for carbon-neutral travelers: Hitching a ride on a globe-crossing luxury sailboat charter. It would take you 11 months and $66,000, but you’d get there with a cleaner, greener conscience! Here’s a sailing and biking option that’s a little faster and a little cheaper.
Get theeself to Miami. Remember, you need to convert a diesel vehicle to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO) to have a cabon-neutral drive. (The conversion will set you back $1000, but the WVO will be free if you can wheedle your way into restaurant-manager’s green hearts along the way.) Estimate three days, depending on where you’re driving from.
Next, charter this sailboat (a monohull with solar panels!) to Barbados for around $340 a day for four guests. ($85 per person, per night.) Estimate seven days.
Then treat yourself to a tall-ship cruise on Star Clippers’s Transatlantic crossing, from Barbados to Rome. The trip lasts 21 nights, starting at $3,135 for double occupancy. ($75 per person, per night.)
Once you get to Rome, bike to the eastern coastal town of Brindisi along the ancient Via Appia Antica like this guy did back in 2005. (He was planning another go at it this spring, but postponed the trip for financial reasons.) He estimates it will cost you around $800 for lodging and food and take you seven to 10 days.
Charter a sail boat to go from Brindisi to Patra, Pick a boat, any boat, from a sailing charter service like this one. Estimate 2 days and $700 for eight guests. ($88 per person, per night.)
Get back on that two-wheeler and pedal your way from Patras to Athens. Let’s say it will take you seven days and cost $1000. This is pure speculation. You can make it cheaper (and burn off all that fantastic Greek food faster) if you biked the whole 215km in two and a half days like this “Crazy Guy on a Bike.”
Treat yourself again to a tall-ship cruise. Star Clippers’s Indian Ocean crossing goes from Athens to Phuket, Thailand. It takes 37 nights, and prices start at $4705 for double occupancy. ($64 per person, per night.)
Charter a sailboat in Phuket. Estimate 20 days of sailing to reach Syndey. This is going to cost you: The crewed charters start at $932 for four guests per day ($233 per person, per night). Hopefully, you'll be able to find a better deal.
Now that you’ve landed in Sydney, you’re a 185 km bike ride away from Callicoma Hill. Take your time getting there; estimate five days and $500. Now all you’ve got to do is hope Callicoma Hill’s managers will forgive you the minimal carbon offset by sailboats and put you up for free!
Total Cost: $12,674 per person ($113 per person, per night – within Green Postcards range!)
Total Time: 112 days (about 3 months and three weeks)
The moral of the story is traveling long distances across the globe in a low-carbon way is going to take serious time. It’s much faster to jump on a fuel-chugging jet. Until better options are available, travel close to home, offset the plane trips you do have to take, and be willing to commit to slow travel.---