Civilization Wiki

BackArrowGreen Back to the list of units

Game Info[]

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 Food Food or Production 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 Gold Gold rather than being captured. When Barbarians plunder them, a second barbarian warship will be created.

Civilopedia entry[]

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 archeology 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.

Unofficial custom card[]


Custom homemade card featuring the Cargo Ship.


Civilization V Units [edit]
Civilian Archaeologist BNW-onlyCaravan BNW-onlyCargo Ship BNW-onlySettlerWork BoatWorker
Land military Anti-Aircraft GunAnti-Tank GunArcher (Atlatlist GodsKings5 clearBowman1Slinger1) • ArtilleryBazooka BNW-onlyCannonCatapult (BallistaSiege Tower BNW-only) • Cavalry (Berber Cavalry BNW-onlyComanche Riders BNW-onlyCossackHussar GodsKings5 clear) • Chariot Archer (Hand-Axe BNW-onlyHorse Archer GodsKings5 clearWar ChariotWar Elephant) • Composite Bowman GodsKings5 clearCrossbowman (Chu-Ko-NuLongbowman) • Gatling Gun GodsKings5 clearGiant Death RobotGreat War Infantry GodsKings5 clear (Foreign Legion) • Helicopter GunshipHorseman (African Forest Elephant GodsKings5 clearCataphract GodsKings5 clearCompanion Cavalry) • Infantry (Pracinha) • Knight (Camel ArcherConquistador1Keshik1Mandekalu CavalryNaresuan's Elephant) • Lancer (Hakkapeliitta GodsKings5 clearSipahiWinged Hussar BNW-only) • Landship GodsKings5 clearLongswordsman (Berserker1Samurai) • Machine Gun GodsKings5 clearMarine GodsKings5 clearMechanized InfantryModern ArmorMobile SAMMusketman (JanissaryMinutemanMusketeerTercio1) • ParatrooperPikeman (Impi BNW-onlyLandsknecht) • Rifleman (Carolean GodsKings5 clearMehal Sefari GodsKings5 clearNorwegian Ski Infantry1) • Rocket ArtilleryScout (Pathfinder BNW-only) • Spearman (Battering Ram GodsKings5 clearHopliteImmortalPictish Warrior GodsKings5 clear) • Swordsman (Kris Swordsman BNW-onlyLegionMohawk Warrior) • Tank (Panzer) • Trebuchet (Hwach'a1) • Warrior (BruteJaguarMaori Warrior1) • XCOM Squad BNW-only
Naval military BattleshipCaravel (Nau BNW-onlyTurtle Ship1) • CarrierDestroyerFrigate (Ship of the Line) • Galleass (Great Galleass BNW-only) • GalleyIroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer GodsKings5 clear (Sea Beggar GodsKings5 clear) • SubmarineTrireme (Quinquereme GodsKings5 clearDromon GodsKings5 clear)
Aircraft Atomic BombBomber (B17) • Fighter (Zero) • Great War Bomber GodsKings5 clearGuided MissileJet FighterNuclear MissileStealth BomberTriplane GodsKings5 clear
Religious Inquisitor GodsKings5 clearMissionary GodsKings5 clear
See also Great PeopleSpaceship Parts
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.