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Need help finding ocean travel with dogs!

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by 92GTA, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. 92GTA

    92GTA Member

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    My mother and I are moving to the Caribbean and we have a problem, we both have large dogs (golden retrievers) and airlines and freighters won't accept us. The outbound US flights are A320s and 737s which won't accept dogs over 70lbs. The shipping freighters, like the one shipping our container, say that US customs of all stupid things prohibits passengers even though we did this about 20 years ago. Cruise ships even won't accept the dogs, only service animals.

    We seem to have a real problem. We need to get from Miami (or anywhere in south Florida really) to St Maarten (our destination is Anguilla).

    How/where can I find a source for vessels looking for passengers to help offset their travel expenses?

    Thanks allot, I really appreciate any help in advance! We are looking at late November.

    Alex
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Goodluck, but I really doubt that an owner would want dogs on their yacht. I would try additional freighters and shipping companies. Possibly talk to your Vet for advice, other than chartering a plane or possibly for a few service dog jacket or two. LOL
  3. 92GTA

    92GTA Member

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    Yeah the plane charters don't want pets in the cabin and they can't fit a large dog kennel in their baggage storage I'm told. The vets here are clueless lmfao, not a chance there, already tried lol. I'm sure freighters from non US destinations should be ok, IF we can find some and where they are out of, like PR. Then maybe we could fly there, maybe their US-inbound flights are larger than A320s or 737s.

    I figured the same about yacht owners not wanting dogs. I'm more thinking smaller sailing vessels. That's how we went from TCI to DR one time, it was great.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Check more charters. I believe Magellan will allow them. Also, the airlines base it on the size of the carrier. Could you come down a size?

    I'm sure you don't want to pay this, but chartering a boat would work.
  5. 92GTA

    92GTA Member

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    We haven't bought carriers yet because we were going to buy the size to work on the smallest plane but that's not even an option now. We had a travel agent spend all day calling every airline who had an outbound US flight (from anywhere!) to St Maarten, 70lbs is their limit, period :(

    Honesty I only called about 3 flight charters and even those were WAY out of our budget. So yeah, a boat charter would be astronomical for us lol. Seems most people here in the US think we are rich or something when we say we are moving to Caribbean.

    Is there no such thing as like Uber for boats?
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You indicated above the charters wouldn't do it. Now you say they're out of your budget. I wouldn't have searched to find a charter that would do it had I known that.

    Now, if it was me I'd not just leave it to the travel agent. I'd call the airlines myself. The 70 lbs could be them assuming the size of a larger carrier, although it could be them limiting what their luggage handlers have to lift. But if you spoke to them directly, you might get further insight. It looks like an airline is your only option if you're not able to pay for a charter. I know it's difficult but it would seem like you could find them a good home if you can't afford to take them.

    All size airplanes fly to San Juan but then you've still got two issues. The extra entry to handle and then the transport from there.

    You might try air cargo companies.
  7. 92GTA

    92GTA Member

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    Sorry, I should have been more precise, the air charters were both out of realistic budget and wouldn't take the dogs anyway so I gave up after calling only about 3 of them.

    Air cargo companies, now that's an interesting idea.

    Thanks, I will try the airlines again personally!
  8. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    No, There is no Uber for boats:))
    That being said, there is plenty of cargo Airlines flying from Miami to The Caribbean. (I worked for some of them in the past)
    Most of those freight carriers do pallets and or containers. Never seen a single dog strapped down to a pallet however.
    Your best bet is a pax carrier taking the dog as belly cargo, usually to SJU first, then connections to the smaller islands. (How big is a Golden Retriever anyway, not much above 70 lbs?)
    Once you are in SJU, there is several smaller charter operators flying to. ST. Maarten and the other islands.
    That being said, I would not subject my dog to the above, you did the right thing asking about Yacht Transport on this forum:)
    Come November a bunch of sailboats are heading South from Florida, some of them on a budget. Perhaps one of them sailboats would take a dog and his owner South for a grand or two, but it would be slow going and the dog would rather go Jet Blue if he had a choice:)
    No simple solution unless money is not a problem, and it usually is..
  9. 92GTA

    92GTA Member

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    I feel the same way about not wanting to subject the dogs to it. Weight, mine is 105lbs and all lean muscle (male, 2yrs). My mom's is only 77lbs and a female but almost 10 years old so the trip could be allot of stress for her.

    Thanks for the tips!
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Contact the American Kennel Club (AKC). Show dogs are transported all around the world with no problems. Some are huge. This is everyday business for them.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's an excellent idea. Horses are transported all over the world as well, so a dog shouldn't be a problem.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are quite a few deaths of pets each year when traveling by air. I don't know if the rate is any greater than deaths of passengers however. In an average year, around 30 die, 20 are injured and 1 or 2 is lost when flying them on commercial US airlines. Delta flies far more pets than the others so has the most deaths. Those numbers are quite low when you consider about 2 million pets fly per year. I suspect human passengers don't do any better.

    Here is a somewhat out of date table of airlines pet offerings. You didn't say what airlines you were talking to.

    http://www.petflight.com/airlines

    Note that Pet Airways is no longer in business. There are also some breeds the airlines will not fly, including any short snouted breed like bulldogs. In one period in which 122 dogs died, 25 were English Bulldogs, 11 Pugs, 7 Golden Retrievers, 7 Labradors, 6 French Bulldogs.

    At some point you will have to ask yourself if this trip is in the best interest of your dogs.
  13. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    Try American Airlines... dog kennel limit sizes are limited to what they can get through the cargo hold door. 100 lbs kennel and dog. They also ship air cargo animals. They fly into Julianna in St. Maarten... where I think you said you are moving to.
    https://www.aacargo.com/index.html

    Make sure the dogs are comfortable and use to the kennel if shipped either way.

    Some comments: I don't see any problems with chartered business jets or larger turboprop you should be able to get them taken that way but it is expensive up to several thousands of US dollars an hour and out of your price range. Charter prices, what they will do and details are variable.

    My now very elderly mother used to travel with her dogs, always Samoyed so similar in size to yours. The last ones were breed to large size as she liked them bigger... 80 lbs to 100 lbs the last was 95 lbs. Mom flew first class ticket commercial until the security check thing came in... one time with that experience and she was then only charter or private... I think on commercial as time went on some mainly economy airlines reduced or eliminated the practice. She is too old for dogs anymore and won't have one.

    Her last one loved to fly, ride in golf carts, cars, boats jet ski, snow machine, helicopter I cannot count the how many times on helicopter... never got sea sick... but I suppose when he was about 4 months and first went on the boarding platform and jumped off... only to discover the water was deep... whatever if it moved and people could do it he loved it. He liked to be right upfront seeing what he could... the one time I took him in the helicopter without mom on board (setting in the back with him)... I put him in the back... well at takeoff he came up into the 'co pilot' seat, and after a little jostling of the aircraft on his first coming up front, he sit there like he was in charge. But otherwise he was very well minded and trained, I just did not realize he was not used to being by himself in the back and wanted to be up with you.
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Another option would be to contact FedEx and DHL, and ask about their live cargo policies and prices.
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Another option. D-O-D.

    Dawgs on a Diet.

    Maybe a shave also; got be several pounds of hair coat.

    Took some weight off of our security kat;
    Razor back putty kat 037.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    rcrapps, What did you do to that poor cat. Reminds me of the year my old Golden's shedding drove me nuts and I shaved him all but his chest and head. He looked like a lion, and hid from embarrassment. My wife nearly killed me. Seriously though, even in Florida (in fact especially in Florida), they need the fur. It's insullation in winter and air conditioning in summer by trapping air under the coat. Also have to be concerned about sunburn. They don't know to stay out of the sun.
    When I moved to Florida I did have to put my dogs on a diet, as Florida is the only place I've ever lived where those condo associations all seem to have a 25 lb limit on dogs. My wife is Itallian and feels a personal failure if any creature in the house doesn't carry a few extra pounds. Mangja!
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    As you can see, Tiger is alive, healthy, well fed and has his coat back already for the winter. When his hair is short he loves to be rubbed all over and sports the moniker of rare suede razorback putty kat, and is proud of if.

    kat2.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You should get that pet spray paint they sell at the pet stores, then you can paint some black tiger stripes on him :D
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Don't know how to type it but if you remember your Whinny da Poo bear, The kat introduces him self as;
    T I double G, er.

    When he was younger, his belly did not drag so low and he had some stripes.

    Josie's father named him when he was just a big foot lil kitten near 10 years ago.

    He is still the Sargent at arms and lead security agent.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015