Merchant Voyages are Voyages issued by the Merchant Alliance. There are three types of Merchant Voyages: Trade Good Commissions and Cargo Runs are available at all Ranks, while Lost Shipments are unlocked at Rank 25. These should not be confused with the Merchant Quests found from a Message in a Bottle or from Tattered Parchments inside Barrels.
Trade Good Commission
Trade Good Voyages generally require the player to source and deliver specific trade goods to a specific Outpost in a set amount of time. Meeting the Voyage deadline can be tracked by using a Pocket Watch. These Voyages can be purchased at any Senior Trader. Merchant Voyage Commissioned Trade Goods can either be Animals or Gunpowder Barrels. Animals, such as Chicken, Pigs or Snakes, need to be caught in specific Cages that are provided by the Senior Trader when the Voyage is active. The Animals can be found on different Islands. Note that these Animals need to be defended from enemies and in the case of Pigs, fed with Fruit. Different coloured animals fetch different rewards, with Golden Animals being the most valuable. Every Large Island usually houses two of the three Animal species, with Small Islands having just one type of Animal.
Gunpowder Barrels will not be provided by Traders and have to be sourced either from Fortresses or if lucky, from Islands, but be careful as these can explode upon contact with any Weapons or Fire and can even be used against you to blow up your ship.
Note that running out of time on a Trade Good Voyage will still count for the completion of the Voyage for Merchant Alliance Commendations.
Cargo Runs require the player to pick up a certain number of Cargo Crates from a NPC at a Seapost, Outpost or Large Island and deliver them to another NPC on a different island. These Voyages themselves have no time limit; however, once the Cargo is picked up, not only does it need to be delivered by a set deadline (again use a Pocket Watch to keep track of time), but it also needs to be kept in mint condition. All the Cargo Crates from a single Voyage need to be taken to the same place.
Different Cargo gets spoiled by different conditions and needs to be treated with care: a Crate of Plants needs to be watered or kept in water, a Crate of Rum Bottles will crack and start to break when dropped, damaged or handled carelessly and a Crate of Luxurious Cloth needs to be kept dry.
The worse the condition of the Cargo, the less a player gets paid. Some Commendations related to Cargo Crates only count if the items are sold intact and not damaged.
Lost Shipments are unlocked at Rank 25, similar to Wayfinder Voyages and Ghost Fleet Voyages. The crew with the voyage will be given a Trade Route Map charting the route taken by a lost Merchant galleon. The objective of the mission is to follow the path, retracing the lost ship's journey. Along the way, crews will find modified Barrels of Plenty a couple of Trade Good Crates, normal barrels, and a Merchant Barrel among the normal barrels that contains a clue. In one of these sites, there will be a Captain's Key floating in the waves, which will unlock the Captain's Quarters onboard the sunken ship. Near the trade shipment's calculated destination, there will be a shipwreck with an intact (immobile and neutral) skeleton cradling a Trade Manifest, which is the main objective of the quest, and similar to Vault Keys, will end the voyage once grabbed. Finding a Captain's Key, Manifest, or Clue will give Emissary Reputation if sailing as a Merchant Alliance Emissary.
Devil's Roar Voyages
As with other Trading Companies, there are more difficult, yet lucrative Merchant Voyages available for purchase from the Senior Trader at Morrow's Peak Outpost in The Devil's Roar. The Merchant Alliance only provides Cargo Run Voyages that send the player to fetch and deliver Devil's Roar versions of Cargo Crates that are even less durable than their regular counterparts, but are also worth twice the Gold.