Caspian Sea Ferry Q&A [archive]

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Re: Turkmenbashi-Baku ferry update

Postby steven » Thu Dec 25, 2014 5:38 am

Very interesting!
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JoyBijna
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Re: Turkmenbashi-Baku ferry update

Postby JoyBijna » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:28 pm

anyone wrote:Just did the crossing on the Akademik Topchubashov (or something like that). $90 for the ticket, $15 for the cabin. Have small-denomination notes, as they don't have much change.

The crossing took 24 hours (no waiting time), and the ferry goes to Alat now. Customs and immigration took another 2 hours. Apparently this change happened about 6 months ago. The port is in the middle of nowhere. There are taxis that will take dollars -- $50 to Baku, and there was also a minibus. There is nowhere to change money, and no ATMs. The good news is there's supposed to be a real passenger ferry service starting in early 2015, and hopefully that one will go right to Baku.


oppsite direction: from Baku to Turkmenbashi, is that going from Alat?
you have any idea?
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Re: Turkmenbashi-Baku ferry update

Postby steven » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:42 am

I am going to check with the people in Azerbaijan if it runs from Alat both ways...

Bedankt voor de update!
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Re: Turkmenbashi-Baku ferry update

Postby JoyBijna » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:29 pm

steven wrote:I am going to check with the people in Azerbaijan if it runs from Alat both ways...

Bedankt voor de update!

Denk je wel, Steven :p
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ian432
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Ferry updates in Baku/Alat port

Postby ian432 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:15 pm

Well, arrived in Aktau tonight from Baku. Ferry lady said we were lucky as no more ships for 10 days. Rumours everywhere.
Not much joy with websites re train tickets, can't even get a timetable. Knowing which day the train goes to almaty would be a start.
latest plan is to physically rock up at the station in the morning and take it from there. Story so far? See www.traintriptothailandblog.WordPress.com
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becycling
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Re: Kazakhstan trains from Aktau or Aytrau to Shymkent

Postby becycling » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:21 am

The story about the ferry to Aktau is getting more and more complicated.

Ferries with trucks leave from the same port as before. Ferries with trains instead leave from Alat, 70 km from Baku. The procedure is always the same, you call in the morning, if there is a boat you go to the office, buy the ticket and go to Alat to catch the ferry. We are by bike and you can understand this is a pretty big problem.

They say that usually the frequency is two boats with trains and one boat with trucks. Anyway, maybe in winter there are less boats. We arrived in Baku the 21st and only one boat left (the one which ian catched! We couldn't because waiting for visas). We are considering the plane, 180$ vs. 110$, but it's faaar mor convenient for many reasons (1 hour vs. 30 hours, no useless waiting in the ports, and when you buy the ticket you are sure it leaves)! The only drawback is packing the bicycles (and of course, if you have a car it's not an option).

The ticket office changed location. It's not anymore the one showed in the article on the website. We've been struggling two days around there looking for it, but the building where it was has been demolished. The new office is now at the port where the ferries leave (in Baku), but be careful because this is subject to change soon. They told us that it is a temporary location, and maybe because of the European Olympics in May they could move everything to Alat. All the ferries will leave from there and also the ticket office will be moved. These are just rumors, but be aware the situation is evolving fast.

Anyway, I guess we are off topic here, maybe it's better opening a new thread.
I'll keep you updated.

Hope this is useful
Cheers
Daniele
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Re: Ferry updates in Baku/Alat port

Postby steven » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:40 am

Thank you very much, I could not understand much of it seeing it from a distance. Will update soon.

Take the plane is my advice. I know it sucks, but you can keep waiting for a very long time for your boat in Baku, and I know it is not cheap either to stay there.

PS: WTF are European Olympics? They just keep inventing this stuff no one has ever heard of for countries like this.
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Update on the ferry Baku-Aktau

Postby SophiaNike » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:59 pm

Due to the upcoming European games the old Seaport is under construction and the office to buy the tickets (kassa) has been moved to a different part of town (and will be probably be moved again, but who knows) and when you are on your own speaking no word of Russian it can be rather difficult to get any information about the ferry at all.

How to get information:
-get help from an Azeri/Russian speaker. People there are really helpful, just contact anybody from Couchsurfing and the person will be glad to help you and will be a really good friend during your time in the city
-let your new friend call the lady selling the tickets. Her name is Amina (+994 50 420 09 05) and she will probably tell you to call her every day for an update at 11 in the morning. At the moment one ticket is 110 Dollars
-in case she stops working there or changes her number, take your Azeri friend to the old Seaport (Bakı Dəniz Vağzalı), the workers there have all the contact information you need

Once you know there is a ferry going you should leave immediately to buy a ticket (unless Amina tells you otherwise-leave at least one hour before the time she gave you), traffic might be bad.

How to get to the new office:
-go again to the old Seaport. In the front of this building take the bus 175 or 46 or 2 or 19
-tell the driver to drop you off before the station of Nagila Cafe, near Prichal. He should stop at a blue
sign at the beginning of a road leading towards the sea
-follow this road until you get to a big iron gate with anchors. The office is in the house on the right side before the gate, behind an old, grey door

The place where the ferry is leaving has been transferred to the International Sea Trade Port in Alat, which is about 80 km in the opposite direction.
How to get there:
-catch a bus out towards the Bibi-Heybat mosque and watch out for an elongated roundabout with lots of buses parked up on the other side of the road
-change buses there and take the 195 to Alat
-in Alat there should be buses going to the port (or in worst case a taxi-it is only a short distance)

Before you board the ferry make sure to buy water, food and toilet paper. There is food on the ferry, but its kind of expensive (Baku prices....they only take Manat). Also bring your sleeping bag, its getting really cold at night and the cabin is not the cleanest place on earth :D
The ride takes about 30 hours plus 2 hours custom. Should you arrive (like us) in the middle of the night, there are no taxis or buses going, in the city there is no Hostel or Couchsurfing and the Hotels are terrible overpriced...let the adventure beginn! Just one advice: don't camp in Kazhakstan in the winter at the side of the road :lol:

Good luck!!
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Re: Update on the ferry Baku-Aktau

Postby steven » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:13 am

thanks, I moved this topic to "other transport".
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Re: Ferry updates in Baku/Alat port

Postby becycling » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:50 pm

As promised I keep you updated about our story..

Vika told us in the morning that the boat was leaving in the evening from Alat. So we had to run to the ticket office in Baku (located in the north port of Baku, NOT in the old port) and then we had no choice than catch a taxi to go to Alat in the afternoon. I don't remember the number to call the taxi, but it was the official Baku's taxi service. We asked for a big van to put our bikes (they sent a huge truck) and we paid 50 manat. Unfortunately we had no choice, cycling 70 km in the afternoon was too risky, we were afraid to lose the boat!

Anyway, when we arrived at the port we discovered that the boat was stuck in the sea because of the wind and we have been waiting 24 hours in the port! Luckily they allowed us to cook our food, and they let us sleep in a small guard's booth. Around the port there is NOTHING, because it is outside the city of Alat. When we could finally get on board of our boat, we have been sailing for about 20 hours, and then waiting again a couple of days before reaching Aktau, again because of the wind. At the end the whole trip took almost 4 days!!

If you go for the boat, get ready, because it's absolutely unpredictable! The other option is flying.

Hope this helps,
Daniele

P.s. Steven, I think you should point out on the website the new temporary location of the ticket office. The old location is now demolished!
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