Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

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Crazydre
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Crazydre » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:28 am

Like many people in these countries not very used to foreigners, they're likely to assume any non-CIS national Needs a visa for Kazakhstan.

Print out this page - at the bottom you'll see a list of the Western nationalities (the bold text) that can visit without a visa for max 15 days http://mfa.kz/index.php/ru/kuku1uk14uu14

Btw, Keep in mind that the Ferry to Aktau is said to only leave from Alat. There seems to be no buses to the port itself, but from the İçәri şәhәr Metro Station, you can take bus 6 (costs AZN 0.20) to Sәbail Rayon Dövlәt Yol Polisi İdarәsi, then bus 195 (costs AZN 0.80) to Alat (get off at the roundabout after the Alat Train Station) and then take a taxi (costs AZN 5) to the port
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Tramper
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Tramper » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:52 pm

I took the ferry from Aktau to Alat and was pleasantly surprised. I went to the Ferry Management Office as shown on Caravanistan and got a ticket for 80 dollars. You can pay by card or cash. They didn't accept dollars, so better bring the daily equivalent in Tenge. Ferry left the same day. At the port you pay for your vehicle and they tell you when the ship will arrive, but this is flexible. Even when it arrives you need to wait a long time before you can actually board, unless you are by foot. First all the cargo is unloaded, then you and your vehicle enter. I had to wait for about 7 hours, so better bring some entertainment. There is a café next to the customs building with WiFi, coffee and a hot meal.
The ferry I had (Barda) was quite comfy and the crew incredibly friendly and hospitable. The purchased ticket includes a room. Mine was a twin, but had no roommate. I received three proper meals a day, meaning my overly prepared rations where still untouched when I got to Alat. Do bring water. Also, no corruption and no bribes were paid. Just 80 dollars for the ticket and 137 dollars for my motorcycle (27 in Aktau, 110 in Alat).
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roro
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby roro » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:28 am

Hi,

You wrote: "The ferry I had (Barda) was quite comfy" , does it means it was also clean (especially bathroom and toilets)?

RR.
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Tramper
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Tramper » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:32 pm

Clean enough, each cabin had a private bathroom and it was... normal. Nothing weird or special
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roro
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby roro » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:52 am

Thanks a lot for your quick reply,
I'm disabled, with a wheelchair, so I need to know if there is a lift from the garage to upper decks where are the cabins.
Do you remember?
RR.
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Tramper
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Tramper » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:18 am

Unfortunately, there was no elevator. Only a few small staircases leading to the upper deck. However, this could be different on another ship
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roro
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby roro » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:23 am

So bad....Thanks for your reply!
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Crazydre
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Crazydre » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:37 pm

Went on the Nakhchivan from Aktau to Alat.

The 5-29-1 and 7-21-1 Offices are NOT interchangable - they sell tickets for different ships. For example, tickets for the Shahdag are sold at 5-29-1, and tickets for Nakhchivan at 7-21-1. The 7-21-1 also does not Charge any $25 commission fee.

The only sensible place to hang out while waiting is the Turkish Restaurant called Liman cafe (staff is trilingual in Kazakh, Turkish and Russian). It has Western-world Quality Wifi and great Food. I even got some for free (soup, bread, and water) once they realised I was short on cash after having lost my wallet with 40 euros and 10500 tenge in the taxi I took from Beyneu (I got the wallet back with only 500 tenge in it, though with my bank Card and national identity Card intact, which was much more important)

The customs house itself, contrary to the website's suggestions, doesn't have Wifi

If you want to Change your ticket to another ship, you can do so at the port with a Lady called Natalie, provided the tickets for both the old and new ship are sold at the same Office. Otherwise you have to cancel it (which, at the 5-29-1 Office, means a refund minus a 5000-tenge Charge) and buy the new tickets separately.

And yes, they use the daily equivalent in tenge, according to this Website http://www.nationalbank.kz/?furl=cursFull&switch=eng

Originally the Nakhchivan was supposed to leave Aktau on 23 July at 05:30, but we boarded on 25 July at 11:00 and departed at 17:00 - arriving in Alat at 19:00 the next day.

No such Thing as bribing the staff - automatically got a cabin as well as bulgur and yoghurt for free, even though my Azeri is extremely limited (it is Azeri that the staff speaks, since all passenger ferries on the Caspian are Azeri)

When Boarding the ship a man shouted at me to give him my ticket and passport on the car deck (where I boarded in Aktau). On Arrival in Alat, we waited at the Exit and an official came Holding a plastic bag with our passports in it. We were all taken by him to a small passport control house where we stood outside takking turns getting inside to get photographed and stamped in by a guy who looked just like a fat Mr. Bean xD
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roro
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby roro » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:51 am

Hi Crazydre,

And what about cleanness in the cabins and accessibility (lifts?).

RR.
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Crazydre
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Crazydre » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:17 am

No lifts, and the stairs are quite challenging I'm afraid (and I only had a Laptop bag with me on this 2-week trip).

Cabins were clean, the pillows not that clean (mediocre is a suitable word), but it's not a health hazard.
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