Sending a m/c unaccompanied across Caspian Sea (E - W) Kazakhstan - Azerbaijan 10/22

Self-driving the Silk Road.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 01, 2022 7:46 am
x 2

Sending a m/c unaccompanied across Caspian Sea (E - W) Kazakhstan - Azerbaijan 10/22

Post by Chrisuk »

INFO POST: *Sending a motorcycle unaccompanied across the Caspian Sea (East to West) from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan Oct 2022*

As Azerbaijan land and sea borders are closed for entry to tourists, Turkmenistan is closed, Iran is giving some people cold feet, and Russia might not be your thing either, then sending your bike to Central Asia and riding back might be for you. My bike was stuck in Kyrgyzstan since September 2019, so in September/October this year I repatriated it. I met Emre en route doing something similar.

It is possible for you to fly from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan and put your bike on a ferry and then ride out to Georgia.


Depending on if there are 1000s of Russian draft dodger waiting for flights from Aktau to “anywhere, but back to the Motherland”, you might want to consider buying you air-ticket from Aktau to Baku a couple of weeks in advance. I had to wait about 10 days in Aktau before my flight left. I had purchased the first available ticket when I arrived. (I flew Buta Airways). In “normal” times you can get an air ticket for tomorrow.

I needed an e-visa for Azerbaijan. I travelled on a German passport

Useful general info on ferries, like location of ticket office and ferry tracking website details:

Elgar. Asco ferry company local guy: +7 707 292 9955

The vehicle ferry goes from Kuryk/KZ to Alat/AZ

We needed a power of attorney for Elgar (He’ll give you a template) to roll the bikes onto the ferry. This was necessary as ferry departure timings are weather dependent and my flight ended up leaving before the ferry did (strong winds for 3 or 4 days. All ships were at anchor). If you’re able to roll the bike onto the ferry yourself, you won’t need this.

At Kuryk (we rode there 80km south from Aktau to Kuryk, left the bikes in the port and took a taxi back to Aktau at the end)

2 steps:

1. At far end, before last barrier you need to get written permission from the harbour authority (left door on white building) to enter the port with your vehicle. All the truck drivers do the same. (They give you a piece of paper that ends up with about a dozen stamps from a motley crew of people). This took forever… Bureaucracy/incompetence/flatulence by clown at the desk?

2. Once in the port (enter at different barrier, not the one at the harbour authority), ride through to the carpark. Do all the customs paperwork, like discharging the TIP etc. in the big shiny new glass building. Some genuine fees need paying (there’s a bank where you pay and the teller stamps your piece of paper too. If you get receipts, it’s legitimate).

Exit harbour and take taxi back to Aktau. Elgar can arrange you a taxi.

Buy ferry ticket (online) for bike and give it to Elgar when you meet him to give him the POA and original of bike docs (Or a notarised copy thereof in Cyrillic/Russian). He needs payment for his service and some more as a “cadeau” for the harbour uniformed people to not search your luggage or whatever.

Total cost at Aktau including ferry ticket about 250usd (receipts for about 180usd, the rest Elgar wages and Schmiergeld), excluding taxi

At Alat (Take a taxi from Baku. It’s about 90km south) a day or 2 after the ferry has docked/unloaded

2 steps:

1. Get permission to enter port on left side before barrier

2. Do Azeri bike temporary import procedure on the other side of the barrier at small building on the left: All very chilled and quick.

Our bikes were on the other side of the barrier waiting for us. All the paperwork, including originals of vehicle of bike docs (We had given them to Elgar in Aktau) that we completed in Kuryk was given back to us here.

We didn’t leave the keys with the bikes. The luggage was soft, so could have been opened, but wasn’t. We had wrapped the bags with kitchen cling film to make them less inviting to tamper with. The bikes get pushed/rolled onto and off the ferry.

Neither bike was damaged and we got them back in the same condition as we left them. Both bikes are 2.000usd pre scratched 650cc dualsports (Suzuki Freewind and Honda XR650L). I don’t know how I would have felt leaving them if they were 20.000usd, all the gear, no idea Eurobombers… In retrospect I would have. But before?! We didn’t have a choice, as we didn’t want/ couldn’t ride via Russia

Total cost at Alat about 25usd (all with receipts)

The next day, I rode from Baku via a night stop at Ganja to the Georgia border and on to Tbilisi. (Fuel is cheaper in AZ, so fill up here before crossing). Leaving AZ and entering GE was a perfectly pleasant and professional experience, especially in comparison to dealing with the jerks manning the 2 Kazakh frontier posts (UZ to KZ and at Kuryk port)

No guarantees implied or given that this information is up to date in 2023.


PS. It's also possible to do the above with your car. A Russian "self mobiliser out of the Motherland" also transported his car like we did our bikes. He was at Kuryk and Alat ports when we did our process, his car was on our ferry and Emre saw him cross the Azerbaijan to Georgia land border with his wife and young child too. No idea on car prices!
2 x

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post