Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by DamiaanReijnaers »

colinr wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2023 1:42 pm
DamiaanReijnaers wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2023 6:36 am
Hi all,

I am currently in Baku, aiming to board a ferry from Alat to Kuryk soon.

However, unexpectedly, ACSO told me that all passenger services have stopped due to Azerbaijan's land borders being closed. Even when exiting the country by sea, they told me that a 'special permission' is required from

Anyone with a recent trip report for the same journey?
I was able to buy a ticket at the asco ticket office in Alat without a problem today and they didn‘t mention anything about the passenger service being stopped. I will probably board the ferry sometime in the next two days. From who/where did you get that information?
I got the information from ASCO customer service (through their website) and they confirmed even when stating multiple times that my question was referring to exiting Azerbaijan (not entering).

I can now also confirm the above two trip report. Successfully crossed the Caspian from Alat to Kuryk 3rd of August - 6th of August (ship got stuck due to a storm for a few days); three meals were offered per day on multiple ships. All was in line with the above trip reports. If useful for any people, I could still write a more extended trip report later on (currently don't have much time/internet).
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by IronChris »

...anyone trying to get a ferry for the vehicle in Kuryk to Baku on Monday? We could share the beautiful experience at the port. :mrgreen:
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by Jdm817 »

American. I crossed on the 12 or so of August from Alat to Kurik. Notes below:

Waited in Baku for 3 days as they told the people via telephone that 'there's a ferry today, but passengers are not allowed' - which seems to be some method of covering their asses. The correct thing to do is to show up anyway.

The mythical Ilgar had made it seem all so easy when I asked him from afar, but when I asked him up close if passengers were allowed he said no, not until October - unclear what the deal is. When I went to the window a few times, fearing they had forgotten me, they seemed to check a Whatsapp screen on their computer for updates. This may be connected to Ilgar/that phone number.

There wasn't another ferry for two days after that, according to the phone. On day 3 I was told (by the hostel who made the phone call) there would be a ferry around 1pm.

I got there at 1pm, was told the next ferry was in the morning. The waiting room is comfortable, especially if you have a sleeping bag. Good AC. Shout out to the Turkmenistani gentleman who tolerated my Russian for the next 30 hours as we discussed everything under the sun.

The ASCO website told me a couple of ferries left during the time I was sitting there. I have no idea if it's true but would say that their ferry departure page is not a reliable indicator of when a ferry is leaving, or at least not one that they let you board. I suspect they may not let tourists on the old ones anymore.

The cafe has some stuff but limited hours. Bring snacks!

Eventually they came and got me, took me in a bus to the ferry, and passport control. Save a copy of your e-visa of applicable, may make things easier. I didn't have mine but we worked it out.

On board was fine. The host ladies run a tight ship. Meals were decent and regular. Collection of Ukrainian truckers were friendly. We arrived at 7am and then sat waiting to dock until after dinner.

My passport didn't scan on the first go. Kazakhs asked if it was fake, told me it wasn't me, asked for other ID, didn't like my NYS driver's license, it was a whole thing. Brought me to the bigger customs gate and the passport scanned. The lady I had originally interacted with told me to come around back to collect my passport. In the back the final boss stood there intimidatingly telling me it wasn't my passport and then that I would be deported. Didn't give an opportunity for a bribe, so I don't think it was that. I told him to arrest me and call the embassy if he had to. I had enjoyed the boat but no way was I getting back on. Eventually he flipped through my passport again and I started matching photos on my phone to passport stamps and dates to prove myself real. He gave in. I think when an American shows up at the cargo port in the middle of the night speaking Russian it's hell on their nerves. This chapter was hell on my nerves.

Stayed at the port hotel which was fine. Got totally G'd up on the taxi to Aktau, for 20k. The hotel desk guy told me this was the price, and I still don't believe him, but there was no one to hitch with and no other way to get a cab that I could figure out.

Good luck! And let me know if you have any insight to the several mysteries here in.
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by Woody »

Hello everyone,

we took the ferry at the beginning of September from Alat (Baku) to Kuryk (Aqtau). First we tried to contact ASCO via Telephone, we asked at the reception of our Hotel, if they can call them and ask when the next ferry departs. Meanwhile we successfully booked online tickets for 70 US$ per Person, just passengers, no car, motorbike, bike or whatsoever ( We also sent a message via WhatsApp, but never got an answer (Telephone numbers are in this thread). Next day the hotel again tried to reach them but no one picked up. So we took a bolt (about 30 manat) to the port in Alat. There was an English speaking guy, he gave us the tickets and told us to be back at 8pm. Side note: we saw our WhatsApp Message on the computer screen, but we didn’t asked why they didn’t answer.
We also got the invitation to stay at one of the port-workers house, but since our luggage was back at the hotel, we needed to take a taxi from Alat to Baku. It was of course more expensive than the Bolt and we did a bad job at bargaining, so we paid 50 manat.

At 19:30 we again took a bolt to Alat. We got some cancellations, since it was Friday night and no one wanted to do the trip to Alat. The poor driver who didn’t cancel was very upset but drove us to Alat anyway.

We arrived a little bit late at 20:30. They scanned our luggage and showed us the way to the waiting room. Two other backpackers were already waiting there. Bring water and some snacks, at the evening there is nothing open, no shops, nothing. After one hour someone showed up and asked us to follow him. With a minibus we were brought to a container for checking luggage (x ray) and the passports and (!) the Azerbaidschan eVisa. We got our stamp and could enter the ship (the Azerbaijan) at about 23:00. We were the first ones entering the ship, the lorries and their drivers weren’t on the ship yet. Since we were four tourists we got a 4 person cabin with 2x2 bunks and a toilet with shower. The cabin was quite good. The ferry departed about 2am.
Breakfast is at 7:30, lunch at 11:30, tea at 15:30 and dinner 19:30. The food was okay, just don’t expect at four course meal. Again, bring some water and snacks.
The sea was calm and quiet as well as she ship. Surprisingly you would almost not hear the ship’s engine.

We arrived the port of Kuryk after about 25 hours. At 4 am someone knocked at the cabin doors and we had to get our things together and put off the bed linen. Customs and immigration took almost 2,5 hours. First there were some problems with my German passport, after scanning it 3 or 4 times it did work. We left the ferry same time with the trucks at about 6:30 am.

They asked us to call a taxi, which should cost 60US$. Kuryk is about 90 kilometers away from Aktau, but still 60$ seems way too much. One of the two other backpackers asked someone in a car if he could take us with him, and so we landed in Aktau at about 9:00.

We were very lucky, that we got the ferry that day. One day later there was a big storm and we probably couldn’t have left the port. Also there was no other ship in the port of Kuryk when we arrived, so the port was not blocked and we wouldn’t need to wait.

So, everything went very smooth and easy.
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by serialchiller »

Tried in October to get on the ferry Kuryk (Aktau) to Alat (Baku).

No chance.
Land/sea exit from Azerbaijan yes, but NO entry.
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by SimonL »

Hey !
I’m arriving tomorrow in Baku to take the ferry in Alat. Is anyone else in the area and would know when will the next ferry leave ?
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by serialchiller »

Alat-Kuryk Ferry schedule:

There is no fixed schedule, but this this website of the ASCO (the Azeri ferry company servicing Kuryk-Alat) shows the status and location of all their ships:
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Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by Lagerfeld »

Any good news about the Caspian ferry from AZ to KZ ?
My latest information is that AZ will oprn the land borders after 01 January 2024 - is this still the current date ?
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by liberspirita »

Anything pretended by AZ authorities can't be reliable.
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