For some unknown reason we were unable to find concrete information about how to go about getting the all important ticket to cross the Caspian from Baku. This page highlights how we went about it, where to find the locations that we mention, and some photos to help you along the way.
1. Staying at the Caspian Sea Hostel in Baku gave us access to a lady who knows the lady at the all important ticket office…
a. She is the daughter of the owner and can speak a little English;
b. She will call the lady at the ticket office and let you know the status of the ships. The status is essentially binary… there is a ship today, or there is not a ship today (that is about as much information as you will get);
c. Be patient, if she says there is no ship then hang tight and hassle her on the morrow;
d.If she says there is a ship then go to number 3;
2. Because we were not 100% sure of what was going on we also obtained the phone number for the ticket office and then took that to the Four Seasons Hotel and asked the concierge there to call and double confirm what we had been told. They are super nice and were more than happy to help. They speak excellent English;
3. We went to the ticket office at the main ferry terminal, however they had no idea what we were talking about to start with (they speak Azeri and very broken English at best) and it took a lot of toing-and-froing and elevated levels of stress to get someone to eventually suggest that we needed to go out of town to an unknown door and see a lady about a ticket…
a. The ticket office resides slightly out of the main centre of Baku. We just showed a taxi driver a map and he drove us there and back for about £5;
b. If the ticket lady is not at the office just wait, she will turn up (ask around if you are nervous)
4. Once we had the all important ticket ($110USD for each ticket) we needed to make our way to the ship, which when we were there was not in Baku…
a. The departure terminal is about 70km from Baku and because our ship was leaving immediately we needed to get a taxi, which we did from outside the Four Seasons. The taxi took around 45 minutes and cost 50 Manat.
1. The above could all change in the blink of an eye, so it is best to double check the latest information, but this should give you a good starting point;
2. Take enough food and water on the boat for at least two (possibly three) days. We did not have enough but got lucky in that the cook sold us some food (when the officers were not looking).
The following map highlights the locations described above:
View Cargo ship from Baku in a larger map
The Caspian Sea Hostel – where you will find the lady who knows the lady;
The Four Seasons Hotel – where you can use the concierge to double-check what you have been told (speak excellent English);
The Baku Ferry Terminal – where you DON’T want to go to get your ticket;
The Ticket Office – where you want to go to get your ticket;
The Ferry Terminal – where you will need to go to catch the boat (double check this with the ticket lady as it may change).
Please let us know if you find this useful by commenting on the page, similarly, if information here is out-of-date please let us know and we will do our best to update it.