Booking passage on freighters that have ports of call around the Mediterranean

TRAVEL Q&A

August 29, 1993|By New York Times News Service

Q: I have seen very little information about freighters that call at ports in Portugal, Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean countries. Can you help?

A: The leading specialist in the freighter field -- it acts as exclusive passenger agent in North America for 14 lines -- is Freighter World Cruises of Pasadena, Calif.

For a $33 annual subscription fee it will send you Freighter Space Advisory, a twice-a-month update of what ships are going where and what the trip will cost. If a subscription seems more than you need, the company will, of course, simply put you on a ship of your choice.

To the part of the world you are interested in, the company confirms that the options are limited. Among the lines it represents, the choice comes down to three: Mediterranean Great Lakes Lines, Mineral Shipping and Containerships Reederi.

* Mediterranean Great Lakes operates the Montreal Adventurer round trip from Montreal to the Mediterranean. The ship's usual ports of call are Salerno, Livorno and Genoa in Italy, Valencia and Cadiz in Spain and Lisbon, Portugal. The ship carries four passengers (age limit 82) and has an owner's and a commodore's cabin, each with two rooms and one bed in each room. The cabins are described as spacious. Passengers have a private dining room but share a lounge and bar with the officers, who, like the crew, are Croatian. The trip lasts 28 days.

Rates are $2,670 per person, double or single, for the owner's cabin and $2,620 per person, double or single, for the commodore's cabin. The one-way rate for Montreal to any of the ports of call is $1,500.

* Since December 1987 Mineral Shipping has been using one or both of the sister ships Julia and Clary on a so-called tramp-Mediterranean itinerary. Ports visited often include Genoa, Civitavecchia, Ancona and Nonfalcone in Italy and Porto Vesme, Sardinia.

Each ship carries 12 passengers, also with an age limit of 82. Passengers usually board in Savannah, Ga., and return to an East Coast port such as Newark, Wilmington, Del., or Wilmington, S.C. The voyage is scheduled to last 70 days and one-way bookings are not generally accepted. Fares are $5,775 a person in double occupancy and $6,300 for a single.

* Containerships Reederi operates a year-round service on the Sea Breeze from the East Coast to India. One port of call is Algeciras, Spain, and that leg of the trip can be booked at a rate of $105 a day in single occupancy and $100 a person in double. It takes 10 days from Port Elizabeth, N.J. The whole trip lasts 56 days and costs from $5,200 a person. Departures from Charleston are on Sept. 21 and Nov. 16; the passenger age limit is 79.

Information: Freighter World Cruises, 180 South Lake Ave., Pasadena, Calif. 91101; (818) 449-3106.

Q: We plan to travel in Italy and have heard of a medical facility in Rome in which the physicians received their postgraduate training in the United States. Is there such a place?

A: There is no medical institute in Rome where all the physicians have had postgraduate training in the United States, but because such training is so highly regarded a number of hospitals there will almost certainly have one or more doctors on their staffs with American experience.

The closest to what you have in mind is probably the three-year-old Rome American Hospital, in the Tor Sapienza suburb.

The hospital, at 69 Via Emilio Longoni, (06) 22551, has a medical staff of Americans and bilingual Europeans. Of the 200 or so doctors with privileges at the hospital, many have postgraduate training in the United States or other European countries.

DTC It is open to anyone who can pay in cash or with health insurance. American patients can make payment with Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Another choice might be the Salvator Mundi International Hospital, in central Rome at 67 Viale Delle Mura Gianicolensi; (06) 588961.

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