Cargo Ship (Civ5)

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Game InfoEdit

Sea trading unit.

  • Actions:
    • Establish Trade Route (Route must run over water from one coastal city to another.)
    • Change Home City (After selecting a coastal city and waiting a turn, allows different trade routes to be made.)


The Cargo Ship is one of the available trading units in the game, along with the Caravan, and is dedicated to sea trade. It may only be built and based in coastal cities. It is used to establish a Trade Route over the sea to other coastal cities. Cargo Ships have double the reach of a Caravan when it comes to range for the possible Trade Routes. Cargo Ships can transport 20xFood5 Food or 20xProduction5 Production between coastal cities of an empire and also automatically carry religious pressure. They move 4 tiles at the start of each turn.

They can only be built (or purchased) if there is a free Trade Route slot available.

Cargo Ships are considered civilian units and may cross tiles controlled by another civilization, even without Open Borders. Like a Caravan, if an enemy raids a Trade Route, the Cargo Ship is destroyed and yields 20xGold5 Gold rather than being captured. When Barbarians plunder them, a second barbarian warship will be created.

Historical InfoEdit

Cargo ships are those designed to transport goods and freight across water. The earliest records of commerce mention the shipping of trade goods over water, and archaeology shows evidence of sea-going cargo ships in the Mediterranean and Red seas by the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. As longer voyages of trade were undertaken, cargo ship design was constantly revised; by the 1500s the Portuguese nau and Spanish galleon were the queens of international maritime trade. With the dawn of the industrial age, speed became ever more a consideration, culminating with the clipper ships of the late 1800s. Today, dozens of specialized cargo ships ply the oceans, ranging from container ships to bulk carriers to massive oil tankers.


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