Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

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morganhenryevans
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:04 am
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by morganhenryevans »

Hi, we just crossed the Caspian Sea. It was straight forward but lots of waiting. We stayed in Baku for a couple of nights and phoned the Alat port number +994 55 999 91 24. They can't always answer and it wasn't easy to grasp if a boat was definitely leaving. We had had a period of bad weather prior to us arriving in Baku and we could see on the ASCO last status of ships (https://ships.asco.az/en) that for a while everything was at anchor. We then saw that the Azerbijan ship on Marine Traffic (https://www.marinetraffic.com/) was in Kuryk and started to head back to Alat. So we decided to just head to the port. We took two buses from Baku town centre (the 125 (0.4₼ per person using the BakiKart) and then the 195 (1₼ per person cash)). It took a couple of hours but we left at around 10am and arrived just after 12pm and was relatively easy. Lots of chat with locals. We planned to get off at the bus stop: Kotal qәsəbəsi 2. But the whole bus told us we should get off a bit further on. It wasn't clear how to easily cross the main road at the point they dropped us so we were going to walk on the slip road that goes under the main road to the port, luckily a passing taxi heading to the port gave us a lift for free. We had planned, if there was no boat that day, to head to the hotel in the Alat and had contacted them on the number on google map and they responded with availability/price via WhatsApp.

We arrived at the port and met some Canadian bikepackers and at the gates of the port is the ticket office and waiting room. We paid the standard $70 each for a shared 4 person cabin. We were told there were no 2 person cabins. We had dollars with us and the bank (where you pay for the ticket once the ticket office has given you an invoice) is opposite the ticket office and will exchange money. We changed our left over Manat back to USD but we should have waited as we then went to the restaurant/market a short walk from the waiting room and had an evening meal which they would have preferred we had paid in Manat though they eventually accepted $5 each for a meal and drink. We saw the boat arrive on Marine Traffic at around 5pm and we finally boarded at 1am. There was some delay/confusion about stamping our passports out of Azerbijan but it eventually got done. Foot/bike passengers boarded last. We were allocated cabins. Mixed sex couples were given their own cabin, another couple of bike packers from France had turned up as well as a French guy travelling on his own. We shared the cabin with the French guy who could speak Azerbijani and Russian which was so useful! The cabin was comfortable with good mattresses and shower. We left port at around 3.30am. Food was three times a day (on Kazakh time) and edible but we were glad we had taken some fresh fruit with us. There isn't much space outside the cabin. A few sofas outside the dining hall (which is closed outwith meals) and only a bit of the deck was accessible. We did a lot of napping.

We arrived in Kuryk around 1am. We were asked to leave the cabin around an hour before that. We congregated outside the dining hall with the truck drivers and the Kazakh officials came on board with their dog and we got our passports back and had a temperature check. Foot/bike passengers got off fairly early (not quite first). Some of the crew were trainees and keen to chat in English, fewer of the truckers spoke English. We were picked up in a van on the other side and taken through immigration and final checks and the van driver organised a taxi for three of us to go straight to Aktau, for 20,000₸ which was probably over priced but we were too tired to haggle. We arrived in Aktau around 4.30am and collapsed in a hotel.

Great experience!
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Lagerfeld
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2023 11:18 am
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Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by Lagerfeld »

Hi, morgan, thank you very much for your detailed information.
Do you know something when, what time AZ will be open the land borders?
I want to go by my camper to AZ, than by ferry boat to KZ.

Thank's a lot, Tony.
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