Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Airplanes, buses, boats, feet, thumbs, ...
User avatar
steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3681
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3032
x 408

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby steven » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:44 am

Thank you mondragon, really enjoyed reading your update! You have perfectly captured the experience into words!
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

Crazydre
Visa expert
Visa expert
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 10:28 pm
x 43
x 90

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Crazydre » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:39 pm

mondragon wrote:- however! this place does not sell ferry tickets. The staff there actually told me to go to 5-29-1 which is the other ticket office recommended on Caravanistan (it was my plan anyway, but microraion 7 was closer to where I stayed so I thought I'd have a look there first)
Hmm, either Things have changed since July, or the place where I got my Nakhchivan ticket was completely different. One thing's for sure: in July there was one place other than 5-29-1, and 5-29-1 did not sell tickets for the Nakhchivan.

mondragon wrote:PS: the strangest thing about this experience is the fact that no one seems to know what's going on... at any time
Same experience exactly! Even with (very) basic Kazakh knowledge, getting info took effort- only a day later did we establish that the Nakhchivan would in fact leave before the Shahdag (the one my original ticket from 5-29-1 was valid for) so I ended up cancelling it and buying a Nakhchivan ticket at the other place (wherever it was)
1 x

Crazydre
Visa expert
Visa expert
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 10:28 pm
x 43
x 90

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Crazydre » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:49 pm

BREAKING NEWS!!!

The official shipping company website now has an online booking system. It's in Azeri and English, and you can buy tickets from Baku to Turkmenbashi, and from Alat to Turkmenbashi or Aktau. Only going from Azerbaijan

A passenger ticket costs USD 60 to Turkmenbashi (both from Baku and Alat) and USD 80 from Alat to Aktau.

You pay directly online in USD

https://public.acsc.az/online/payment/index/en/

The system also confirms what I said earlier btw (and is implied in the real-time info): for pedestrians, ferries from Aktau are all supposed to go to Alat, as well as the majority from Turkmenbashi, except the ro-ro ones which all go to Baku.

For vehicles, the system only allows you to book Baku-Turkmenbashi or Alat-Aktau for some reason
Last edited by Crazydre on Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
2 x

User avatar
steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3681
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3032
x 408

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby steven » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:42 pm

That is amazing. Will have to wait for the first intrepid traveler to use the system to see what and how it works. Updated the website.
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

User avatar
Fred
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:35 am
x 2
x 8

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Fred » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:18 am

G'day folks,

My partner and I just travelled from Aktau to Baku by ferry on the 16th of Oct and here are some updates from our experience.

Azerbaijan Transit Visa and Aktau

5/Oct (Wednesday), we arrived in Aktau in Kazakhstan after a 24-hour trip from Uzbekistan. It’s also our second visit to Kazakhstan in 4 months, and we could only stay 15 days this time. The reason we visited Kazakhstan again is for the Caspian Sea crossing (Aktau - Baku) by ferry.

The first thing first. We needed an Azerbaijan visa. There’s a Azerbaijan consulate general in Aktau and you can see the exact location on https://her.is/2dlDSe6 (Lat-Lng: 43.66814,51.13304). The opening hours are between 10:00-13:00. We visited consulate for the 5-day transit visa as our top priority next day (6/Oct).

We got there easily by bus #2 (50KZT per person) plus a 5-minute walk from the last stop of bus #2. The guy at the consulate was friendly and English spoken so communication wasn’t a problem.

Then we used a shared taxi (300KZT) to go to the bank and paid USD20 per person for the transit visa. The bank accepts USD-KZT mixed if you have to like we did. Our case was the bank didn’t have small dollars for change, and we didn’t have exact USD40 for the visas.

However, 6pm on the same day, got a call from the consulate due to some document issues which meant we had to go back again the next day on Friday (7/Oct). The guy at the consulate said the normal processing time is 3-5 working days. However, for us it means 5-7 days including a weekend.

10/Oct, the 3rd day (5th day including weekend) after we re-submitted the travel documents, no call from the consulate. 11/Oct, the 4th day, still no call, so I called but unfortunate the visas were not ready. 12/Oct, the 5th day, we simply visited the consulate in person at 10am without waiting for the call, and got our visa at 10:30am.

Aktau - Baku Ferry Ticket

After we received the transit visa, we immediately travelled by bus #2 again to the ferry management office located at 5-29-1 (https://her.is/2ebgt1g, Lat-Lng 43.63681,51.15779) to collect more information regarding the Aktau - Baku ferry. We actually came to the office before, but they didn’t really want to talk much when we don’t have the Azerbaijan visa. However they did mention “ferry goes to Baku everyday”. See “Other Travellers’ Experiences” below.

We needed to be in hurry because the day we got the visas was our 10th day (Friday) in Kazakhstan, and if unluckily we missed the day, we would need to wait another 1 weekend until Monday as the ferry management office doesn’t open on weekends. And if there’s no ferry leaving next week, we might be in a risk of overstaying in Kazakhstan. That’s why the best scenario was to leave immediately if we could.

We arrived at the ferry office at 11am, but the staff said it’s too early so no ferry information yet, and they said we could come back around 2pm again. We went to a Turkish Cafe some hundred metres north of the ferry office and hung around there with free WiFi.

We went back to the ferry office at 2pm but still no info. And we were told to come back again at 4pm.

We got excellent news at 4pm! There’s a ferry called “Azerbaijan” leaving for Baku tonight so we should arrive at the seaport at 8pm. The fare was 26,560KZT (USD80) per person, and can be paid by credit/debit card.

In the past 10 days in Aktau, we met/heard a few backpackers who were asked by the ferry management office to fetch ferry information/confirmation from the seaport so the office could sell them the tickets, which didn’t happen to us. According to observation in the past 10 days, my guess is, they probably went to the office too early like 9 or 10am so no info yet. If they could hold and wait until around 3-4pm, before the office is closed at 6pm, they probably wouldn’t have to visit the seaport. But I agree that the office could simply call like they did for us. See "Other Travellers’ Experiences” below.

Long wait at Aktau Seaport


We travelled from the hostel located in the northern Aktau to the port by taxi (2,000KZT) and arrived on time at 8pm. We were told to wait in a small room next to the car park. No one really knew the exact time we could board, so the only thing we could do was waiting. There’s a cafe nearby opens late til midnight which provides free WiFi and power. We instead chose to wait and chat with a Azeri family who travelled back to Uzbekistan for a wedding.

6am on 15/Oct, after 10 hours of waiting, we were finally told to get our luggage ready for boarding. 6:30am, we boarded onto “Azerbaijan” - the cargo ship leaving for Baku, or Alat.

Aktau - Baku/Alat Cargo Ship

At the ferry office, no one really knew the destination: Baku or Alat, or whether 3 meals are included or not. In the end, 3 meals as well as drinking water were both included. A passenger cabin with a window (sea view), clean bed covers, sheets and blankets were also provided. We also got one additional blanket for each cause it’s was windy and cold during the journey.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served at the dining room at 9am, 12:30pm and 8pm respectively. But a friendly cabin crew would come and knock the door when the food’s ready.

From Internet, it sounds like it's a less-travelled route. However, there were actually another 13 passengers on the same ferry with us: 3 Azerbaijanis, 5 from Georgia, 3 Russians and 1 from the Netherlands, a girl riding her motorbike from Australia to the Netherlands. Follow her on Facebook @chickonthechookchaser.

Alat - Baku

Our "ferry” docked in Alat instead Baku in the end. It’s a new port about 75 kilometres south of Baku. There’s an ATM at the port which dispenses Azerbaijani manats as well as US dollars. We hired a taxi to take us to the #195 bus stop on the main road for 3 manats. Later, 2 friendly Azeris offered at the bus stop to take both of us to Baku for 7 manats. The Alat-Baku trip took us approx 45 minutes.

Like the messages I left on the guestbook on “Azerbaijan”, the cargo ship, we are satisfied with the trip. Even lots of uncertainties needed to be sorted out, but the unique experience of Caspian Sea crossing by a cargo ship is absolutely worth it!


Other travellers’s experiences


2 Japanese, travelled between the seaport and the ferry management office, and finally got ferry tickets on 10/Oct. Later, waited at the seaport for 24 hours for boarding. 3 meals included.

1 Aussie, got the ferry ticket easily from the ferry office on 13/Oct afternoon, and waited 8 hours at the seaport before boarding.

1 German and 1 Maltese, got a ferry ticket on 12/Oct but their ferry actually departed from Aktau at 4pm on 14/Oct. 3 meals included.

@chickonthechookchaser, had to travel between the management office and the port to get her ferry ticket, waited 15 hours at the seaport, from 3pm to 6am next day.

Original post and photos: http://www.cyaontheroad.com/post/151926 ... n-by-ferry
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cyaontheroad/
Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cyaontheroad
3 x
See ya on the road - http://www.cyaontheroad.com

User avatar
steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3681
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3032
x 408

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby steven » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:48 pm

Thanks for the report, Fred!

Fred wrote:
From Internet, it sounds like it's a less-travelled route. However, there were actually another 13 passengers on the same ferry with us: 3 Azerbaijanis, 5 from Georgia, 3 Russians and 1 from the Netherlands.



True. The Caspian Sea Ferry page has been the most-visited page on Caravanistan for years.
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

Linda
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 3:02 am
x 2

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Linda » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:42 am

Hey there!
We are planning to take the ferry from Aktau to Baku with a car in December. Does anybody know if the ferries run in the winter? Is it more likely that there will be long delays due to bad weather? We are applying for our visas and need to make sure that it's even possible to take a ferry in the winter.
Thanks!
0 x

User avatar
steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3681
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3032
x 408

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby steven » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:05 pm

Hi Linda. Yes, it runs in winter. Not a meteorologist so do not want to make weather predictions.
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

Linda
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 3:02 am
x 2

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby Linda » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:02 pm

Hey Steven, thanks a lot!
0 x

pembrc
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:24 pm
x 4

Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Postby pembrc » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:46 pm

November 2016 update: Baku to Aktau
Spoke to Vika on phone (same no. as previous posts) and in person at kassa at baku old port (gps 40.374336,49.864372 ), from where I also bought my ticket. I was in Baku area for 4days(bike repairs and sightseeing) and ferries seemed to be going from Baku (from one of the 2 ports in baku) to Aktau most days (for passengers/cyclists at least), however the day I wanted to go (today) only from the new Alat (Baku International sea terminal) port. Ticket from Alat to Aktau 70usd or 117manat, including bed and food on the 'Azerbaijan'.

A surprisingly smooth and simple procedure, thanks to lots of helpful info on this website, thanks Steven and Saule!
4 x


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
  • Caspian Sea Ferry Q&A [archive]
    by Jeremyreed » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:39 pm » in Other transport
    23
    5872
    by steven View the latest post
    Mon May 18, 2015 11:54 am
  • Caspian sea ferry - begin June
    by Hinta » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:43 pm » in Other destinations
    0
    386
    by Hinta View the latest post
    Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:43 pm
  • Iran to UAE by Ferry: Q&A and updates
    by funkyboots » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:58 pm » in Other transport
    11
    11059
    by georgestravelsasia View the latest post
    Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:01 pm
  • Caspian Seal
    by jjc » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:05 am » in Outdoor adventures
    1
    1459
    by steven View the latest post
    Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:41 am
  • Caspian sea alternative
    by Macharousse » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:56 am » in Roads, borders and security updates
    4
    329
    by mazeno View the latest post
    Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:46 am

Return to “Other transport”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest