The ferry between Bandar Abbas in Iran and Sharjah in UAE is both a cargo and a passenger ferry, operated by Valfajre-8 (Valfajr) shipping. It takes about 12 hours. For drivers, this ferry comes recommended as sailings are more regular and staff is rumoured to be more professional. Updates and questions collected here.
Timetables & prices
- Bandar Abbas-Sharjah: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 22:00
- Sharjah-Bandar Abbas: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9PM
Around the 21st march (Nowruz) not all boats are running.
Note on timetables: Timetables change very often, so check with travel agents for the latest info. Updates welcome in the forum. Timetable has last been updated March 2017.
A passenger ticket costs around 300 dirham or $80-90 (November 2015- March 2018). If you bring a car, it seems the price for the passenger ticket ranges from 50$ to 100$. The difference could be just commission from the shipping agent. Perhaps haggling could work. Definitely with the car, if you have time, haggling has been proven to work.
If you are coming without a car: there is 75 kg of luggage included in the ticket price. This includes a bicycle if you have one.
There is an additional 35 dirham to be paid at Port Khalid/Sharjah UAE immigration service on exit so don’t spend all your money before leaving.
Bring your passport. Buying a ticket before arriving to Bandar Abbas or UAE has been proven a big hassle for many. If you are not under a deadline and are not traveling in high season, just buy it just before you leave, it should not have filled up.
Go directly to the Valfajr office inside the South Seas Shipping Company building 27°09.925’N 56°13.763’E. Take a left on the second floor, then it is the second to last office on your left. You get the option to pay for your vehicle in Bandar Abbas (in rials) or on arrival in UAE (in dirham). If you do not have a car or motorbike, you can also go to Bala Parvaz Travel Agency on Imam Khomeini Street.
If coming by car or motorbike, you can pre-arrange your travel details with Mr. Zarei +989175079270 who will assist you with the tickets and paperwork once you arrive. It is recommended to arrive to Bander Abbas one day before intended departure specially if you are travelling with a vehicle.
Al Hili Marine Services is recommended, especially for drivers (see below). Address: Al Khan Road, Sharjah Ground Floor, Al Ikhias Tower, PO Box 27522, Sharjah (GPS: 25.329202, 55.367520 or 25°19’45.1″N 55°22’03.1″E, directions), Tel: +97165288575 or 04-2236060 Fax: +97165288574, [email protected]
Al Rais in Sharjah is another option. Address: Ground Floor Shaikha hamda Bldg., Al Zahra St.
In Dubai, you can contact Al Rais Travel (Tel 042352352) – Address (moved further up the street in 2017): SHK Latifa building, Baniyas Street (exactly opposite the Sabkha Abra station in Deira where small boats cross the Dubai Creek). [email protected], 04-2236060 – Nearest metro station: Baniyas Square.
Or you can contact the shipping company Valfajre-8 directly in Dubai – Phone: 00971 4 3525000.
Another address for Al Rais might be: Mina Road, Bur-Dubai, ART Tower Building Tel: + 971 4 393 3333, [email protected], 09:00 – 18:00 / Sunday – Thursday
Most tour agencies in Iran offer the service of booking for you if you want to book in advance.
On the boat: for passengers without vehicle
For some reason you are supposed to check in 3-4 hours in advance, way in advance of sailing. The summer is busiest, and the ferry can be booked out in advance. In other times, you will have a row of 4 seats to yourself, to stretch out and sleep. Earplugs and an eye mask are a help if you plan to sleep… there are films playing and bright strip lighting. The prayer rooms are also a good place to sleep.
Airco points to 18 degrees, so bring a blanket. Dinner (rice and meat) and breakfast (flat bread, cheese spread, jam & tea) are provided free of charge and there are drinking water dispensers. A small shop opens before dinner and breakfast, you can pay in rials.
With the car or motorbike
Depending on the size and weight of your vehicle we estimate the following total prices in 2015: 250-400$ for a motorbike, 500-800$ for a car.
From Bandar Abbas
On the day of sailing, you need to be in Bahonar port at 8-9am already in order to do all the paperwork. Bring enough food; there is a canteen on the second floor of one of the customs buildings that serves lunch, though.
At the port, you need to visit lots of different little offices for different documents, definitely more than 10, it will take hours. The offices close after lunch, so it pays to start early, but brace yourself for a long, boring wait after the paper run.
On the ferry, you can sneak back into your car to sleep more comfortably.
In Sharjah, you can take out money from the ATM in the immigration building if you have not payed for the car transport yet. Getting out of customs will take around 4 hours.
Al Hili Marine Services (see address above) can organise everything. They are very efficient. Take enough cash, as they do not accept payment by credit card.
Learn more about Sharjah port – Ferry Marshall in Sharjah is Mr Raju, cellphone # 0503078536.
On the ferry, you can sneak back into your car to sleep more comfortably. When entering Iran, make sure you are doing it outside of a public holiday or Ramadan (offices close early), to ease your journey. Once in Bandar Abbas, you can get a taxi driver hanging around the port to be your fixer for around 50$, all document handling is in Persian, it will be money well-spent. Expect it to take 4-5 hours.