Caspian sea ferry

caspian sea ferry

The Nakchivan, on his way to Aktau

There are 2 routes over the Caspian Sea that take passengers on board; both are cargo ships that run without a set timetable. One connects Baku in Azerbaijan to Aktau in Kazakhstan, the other runs between Baku and Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan. This means there is no passenger ferry service over the Caspian Sea to Iran or to Russia.

Some boats, but not all, have recently started arriving and departing in Alat, 70 km north of Baku, instead of in Baku.

Although some people say it is easy to take the ferry, the rules change all the time and it usually comes with a fair bit of uncertainty and confusion. Make sure you budget enough extra days and are flexible with your schedule, so taking the ferry can become a fun and rewarding experience instead of a nerve-wrecking one.

Timetable
Tickets and prices
Your vehicle on the ferry
Azerbaijan ports: Baku & Alat
Aktau port
Turkmenbashi port
The journey

Why (not) take the ferry?

To finish off this long article, a little overview:

Plus

  • no airplanes involved
  • a unique traveling experience
  • beautiful scenery and sunsets

Minus

  • could be expensive when traveling by car
  • possibly a lot of frustration and lost time, especially on the Baku-Aktau line
  • optional germs

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