Caspian sea ferry

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.

New ferry Turkmenbashi to Baku and Olya

Berkarar cabinThere is a new boat in town, it’s called the Berkarar. It seems to operate under the same conditions as other boats (see more on that below), meaning no timetable and same confusing way to buy tickets. Maybe not! We don’t have enough info yet, really. But it is more set up for passengers. We only have one report so far, here is what we know:

It’s a fast ferry which can probably cross Baku – Turkmenbashi in 8 to 10 hours, but you should still budget 1-2 days as loading on and off can take ages. Ferry is tourist class, just wait until or if the 2 bars, buffet and shops open. The kids playroom is equipped so bring your children. Beds are great, good ship bathrooms with hot water showers. They even have lounges and large flat screen TVs with hundreds of useless channels, so bring some USB movies for the Turkish drivers.

What about the route to Olya? The Berkarar seems to be going there, but we are in doubt when it comes to the details. Find out more on the Berkarar and its sister ship the Bagtiyar, to arrive summer 2015 (that’s now).

More updates welcome.

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:


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


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

Comments are closed. All updates and questions on the Caspian Sea ferry go in this forum topic.