Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

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Re: Alat -> Aktau Ferry report

Post by thepflaum »

Hello Sissi,

We did not have a booking in Aktau in advance and it is not a very touristy town either so finding a hostel was difficult, we ended up staying at a hotel for about $35 for two people. I wouldn' book in advance in case of delays on the ferry.
I can't remember the name of the place we stayed unfortunately and I'm not so sure on the options to leave the ferry terminal without a car. I'm sure during the daytime there will be bus and taxi options.
Sorry I can't be more helpful with my reply.

Best wishes,
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Post by Pflunt »

My brother and I just took this ferry 3 weeks ago with our car. Here is his detailed post of the trip.


As for the truckers, most of the one we met were just going to Kazakh. Hitchhiking may be a little tough on the Uzbek side, though i'm not too sure. There is almost nothing between the Border and Nukus. But there are apparently trains that run, I've not looked into it though.

Best of luck
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Post by Pedro »

Pflunt wrote:My brother and I just took this ferry 3 weeks ago with our car. Here is his detailed post of the trip.


As for the truckers, most of the one we met were just going to Kazakh. Hitchhiking may be a little tough on the Uzbek side, though i'm not too sure. There is almost nothing between the Border and Nukus. But there are apparently trains that run, I've not looked into it though.
Thanks mate. I hope in the summer the frequency of the boats wil be daily or at least weekly.
There is a train from Aktau to Beyneu and then Beyneu to Nukus/Urgench. The thing is that the train departing from Aktau to Beyneu is not connected to the Beyneu-Nukus one and the last one is not daily, it is just 3 or 4 times a week. Plus it is a 20 over journey and i want to avoid to stay in southwestern kazhakstan as much as possible since I will have my visa to Uzbek already and it will be counting and i will be wasting days while I could be in Uzbekistan, which is the main goal of my trip.
Hope to find some truckers driving to uzbekistan, as far as I know the only road from Aktau to Uzbek is via Beyneu, so i will be always dependent on Beyneu city.

Still very contradictory, some on that forum say is ok to buy in Baku, others say it is not, some says just Alat, others say just Baku, very confusing
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by vittorimbotti »

Hi Pedro.
You can definitely buy the tickets in Alat, I arrived from Aktau yesterday with a car.
I saw a big billboard with prices about the shipping to/from Baku (Alat) in USD.
I just came with Professor Gul (after waiting 4 days on the ferry because of the bad weather), they will give you food and if you’re lucky you’ll find some cool people travelling with you. Bring some water with you :)
Good luck!
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by bryanmkevan »

There is a hotel in Aktau with no wi-fi, tiny dirty rooms with no shower and a kind of grumpy landlady at the attached location for $8/night. I highly recommend it.

In summer, you should be fine. I'd be surprised if you didn't find other travelers there during that time as well. The only complicating factor I see would be Kazakh customs. I don't really know the procedure for the truck drivers, but you should be fine. There are also cars.

I met those officers. They told me that I needed a ticket to enter port, but I made it clear I was willing to wait for the next ship and camp out. I'm assuming you'll be fine with that as well. Just stall, be persistent, and be clear you don't want to go back to Baku. If you do have your ticket already though, it should be no problem. I don't know how people go about that in Baku, but it should work. There's a phone number or something that others have posted.

Beyneu is fine, there are plenty of people going that direction. I just went through that region a few days ago. I had to hitch for a bit in a wind that was too strong to ride, let alone walk! There are horror stories on the internet that describe Beyneu as not much more than "a town", but it's more than that, almost charming. Found a good new hotel with good wi-fi a little out of the center for about $15/night down the street from a supermarket. Hotel Arai, I think. Plenty of truckers passing through, but they have to wait for a long time at the border, while you on foot will take much less time. You will have no trouble. It's remote up there, but at worst (around Jasliq) I was still being passed by maybe 30 cars/trucks an hour.
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by Cynthia »

Hey guys,

I wrote a comprehensive guide about my Alat-Aktau crossing with info on where to buy tickets, where to catch the boat, what to expect on the ferry,... ... azakhstan/

here's a summary:

My partner and I stayed at Mr.Hostel in Baku where the girls of the reception rang daily to the ticket office. After two days we heard that there was a boat but that the tickets were sold out. So we had to wait another 5 days (September 2017). Eventually we got tired of waiting and went straight to the port in Alat, keeping in mind we would have to camp there. At first they didn't want to let us in because we didn't have tickets but we told the guards that we were sent from Baku to buy the tickets here and since we were on foot, that it would be a big hassle to return.

They let us in and first we encountered the same problem at the ticket office in the port. They sell tickets there for motorized vehicles but normally not for cyclists and foot passengers. After standing our ground, they eventually sold us a ticket. It turned out it was even cheaper ($70) to buy them at Alat than in Baku! But if you can, I think it's less discussion as a cyclist and foot passenger to buy the tickets in Baku ;)

Then we had to wait for another 2 days before the boat eventually left. It wasn't that bad, however, since there's a small shop, toilets, showers,... ANd as soon as other travelers start arriving, it becomes very fun! You just have to be patient and flexible and literally focus on the journey instead of the destination ;)
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Ferry from Baku/Alat to Aqtau

Post by Rioesmarex »

Not having much luck getting any answers from Caspian Sea Shipping Company
1) Is it still possible to buy tickets on line and trade them in for actual tickets at the port offices in either port ?
2) Two new ( real passenger ferries ), the Berkerar and sister ship seem to be making the crossing to Turkmenbashi. Are there any similar ferries making the crossing to Aqtau, or are there still only old freighters with a few cabins for passengers ?
3) Whats the latest price for the crossing with a cabin and food
4) If you can't buy on-line, is there an easier way to buy tickets instead of at the docks ..... like maybe directly in the shipping company's office in Baku city ?
5) Is it cut and dried that the ferry to Aqtau ONLY leaves from Alat, or do they also leave from Baku ? It seems like such a pain to have to buy tickets in Baku, wait for info on when the ferry is ready to leave, then rush to Alat.

Thanks for any updated input

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Ferry from Baku/Alat update april 12th, 2018

Post by Rioesmarex »

I finally received an answer from Caspian Shipping company about ferry from Baku/Alat to Aqtau
I am showing the whole thread of the conversations so it will make sense and note the name and e-mail of the sender .... he replied, where others didn't. Hope this helps fellow travellers .... David

Mehriban Qoldsmit <[email protected]>
To [email protected]
CC [email protected]
Today at 12:49 AM

Dear David,

Ferries go from Alat -Aktau every 2-3 days but due to the changing weather conditions we can’t give you exact schedule.

We have a ticket sales office at Baku Seaport (close to Autograph hotel) where you can purchase ticket for cash or pay on line with card on our site .(online is payment only so you should get the departure date from ticket sales office, you can contact our cashier Vika at number +99455 2665354). The cost of ticket/person is $80 including meals. Ferry departs from Alat port. Once you know the departure date you should go to Alat port 2-3 hours before the departure (please confirm with Vika).


Mehriban Goldsmith

Commercial department


Here is my question:

Dave & Bev <[email protected]>

To [email protected]

Apr 4 at 10:51 PM

Good morning Yuliya,

I read on a post that you have ferry service from Aqtau to Alat, so I assume you must also have service returning from Alat to Aqtau.

The post said that the cost could be paid with visa card at your office in Aqtau, but do you also have an office in Alat where I could buy the ticket and pay with visa card ?

How often do your ferries go from Alat to Aqtau ?

Can I wait in Alat for the ferry to depart or must I wait in Baku ?

How much would the ferry cost for my wife and i in a sleeping cabin with meals ?

Thank you for your reply


Yulia replied and gave me the address for Mehriban in Baku ... see above
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by cazvegi »

my partner and I are cycle touring from Scotland to China, possible beyond at the moment. We have been using these forums to navigate complicated border crossings/visas etc. We crossed the Caspian Sea from Alat to Aktau last week. We were worried about how complicated it would be, but actually it was very straight forward. This is what we did:
Used the Caspian Sea Shipping Company website to pay for tickets (use the link on the correct page on this website)
Printed off payment confirmation
Cycled to Alat Port
When asked at security whether we had tickets, showed them our payment confirmation. Explained that we had a tent and were happy to sleep in the terminal. They let us in.
Went to shipping company office and gave them our payment confirmation, explained again that we were willing to camp in the terminal. he put us in the queue for a ticket.
There was no ferry that day, but one was expected to leave the next day. The terminal has an ATM, a shop with basic groceries, a cafe, a toilet and a shower. It is very friendly. We camped opposite the ticket office so that they didn't forget about us. The next day we went to the office first thing and was told that the ferry would probably load that afternoon, which it did. It sailed at 10pm. We arrived 24 hours later.
One thing worth noting for anyone like me. I am a vegan. Since I don't speak Azeri or Kazak I took the precaution of taking food onto the ferry. My partner was happy to eat around the chicken on the plate, but it's worth thinking about for any strict veggie/vegans out there. :D
Here is a link to our blog ...
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Re: Caspian sea ferry updates & questions

Post by SteveL »

We're four cyclists and we bought our tickets to Aqtau at the port in Alat. We called daily until we were told a ferry was leaving and headed straight to the port. They attempted to send us back to Baku, but eventually gave up and sold us tickets, paid for in USD. After being allowed into the port, go to the building marked 'cashier' next to the police shack. Given that they tried to send us back, I'd assume at some point in the future they will either let you buy the ticket without trying to send you back or start refusing to sell tickets at the port. Seems like they haven't made a clear decision yet. It's worth noting that at the port we were issued a 'cargo' ticket, which was really confusing for the ticket checker on the boat because our names were listed as the cargo. Also, as a group of 4 we requested a 4 person cabin ($70 pr person) and were told there were no 4 person cabins on the boat. We paid for 2 person cabins ($80 per person). Once on the ship we were given a 4 person cabin..

*They checked our registration slips and asked us about it again a few hours later to be sure they checked.*

Edit: We just finished the journey, food was good, bathrooms awful. Women can try asking for a key from the housekeeping so they can at least lock the stall door (unisex bathrooms..). Customs was very confusing. We left our panniers on deck (no access to the bikes at this point) and were driven to passport control. After getting stamped into the country, we walked back to the ferry with the passengers who had cars or trucks, to get our bikes and bag's. The soldiers and crew were confused, but understood the word 'baggage' and let us back on deck to get it. Once off the ferry, we were thoroughly searched, sent to customs and eventually released. In total it took about 2 hours. It was confusing, but not overly difficult.

In Aktau we stayed at hotel Koktem. It's near the beach, not far from the center. Price was 10000 (~$30usd) tenge for a double room for 4 people. Don't let the exterior scare you away, it's nice inside. It's clean, they have parking and you can bring your bike inside.
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