Getting the sea ferry from Baku to Aktau, Kazahstan is a really fun experience and certainly beats getting a flight over the Caspian Sea. We choose the ferry since as British cyclists we are unable to head north via Russia or South via Iran due to us being unable to get the correct visas required. (Apparently Britain and Iran are currently in talks to reopen each other's embassy so this may change in the future.)
Please note that this is all correct for he boat BARDU and we crossed on 03 September 2015.
The benefits of getting the ferry are however clear, the beautiful sunsets, the romanticism of sailing aboard a large cargo ship and the people you meet onboard. The down siýdes are that it is quite expensive, costing $110pp, there is no timetable and the port is 70km away from Baku so you will not be able to cycle and therefore hitchhike or pay $50 for a taxi. In light of all the confusion please see our short guide to purchasing a ticket and boarding the sea ferry
I hope this helps to give you an use of how to board the ferry and the headache that it can be to get everything organised. The meals on board were very good and the rooms excellent. There were no working showers but toilets and drinking water was supplied. It did get very hot due to the captain refusing to turn on the air conditioning to save money on board. The journey was a total of 36 hours and this was due to a 10 wait in Aktau for our 'slot.' We were in swimming distance from land but unable to land due to other boats having priority, so we played some more shithead and slept until we were allowed to depart. Once on land we had to scan our bags through the X-ray scanner and push our bikes past and were then stamped and have arrived in Kazahstan!! Woohoo
The next leg will see us travel through the kazah desert towards Uzbekistan with the two English lads we met on the boat. One called Cliff one called Richard!!
Tim n fin
Buy me a beer!! Thank you
This blog follows my cycle ride from Reading, Berkshire to Reading, Pennsylvania.