TransCaspian cruise project launched
Azerbaijan Tourism Assosiation (AzTa) is planning to approach all Caspian sea countries with the new initiative to organise a Caspian sea cruise program for tourists. They believe in (AzTa) that the program would be of immense popularity and will greatly promote tourist industry in each country and in the region as a whole. A growing number of tourists is crossing the region but there are a scarce opportunities for them to use Caspian sea. People mainly have to fly from one country to another or use alternative overground routes. There is a ferry service currently running between Baku and Aktau (in Kazakhstan) and Turkmenbashi (in Turkmenistan). But the service is very unreliable with no fixed schedules and limited passenger capacity. The cargo ferries operate only when there is a cargo to be transported between countries and generally does not cater for tourist numbers. Advance booking of ferry tickets is also non-existant due to service irregularity.
Accroding to the head of AzTa Mr. Nakhid Bagirov negotiations started to attract the support of all Caspian states. After that assessment of project cost will be started, what type of ship to use for cruise, price setting, add-on services and many other questions.
We believe the project might be a success in economic terms as there would definitely be some interest. But there are many political factors to consider that can be a serious obstacle for project realisation. The sides will have to work over the visa problems for the people as visiting all these countries would require obtaining 5 visas. And for some of those countries the visa process in complicated indeed. Getting Turkmen visa is literally a nightmare, Russian and Iran visa take consierable time, Azerbaijan is also not an easy ride, theough they have recently launched electroniс visa regime that signinficantly simplifies the process (though the processing timeline is 3-4 weeks, which is obviously too long. Only Kazakhstan is easy to visit country in terms of paperwork.
If you're planning to visit this country check the latest information of visa regime in Azerbaijan. Helpful advice and expert guidance on how to secure your entry visa to Azerbaijan. Arrange electronic visa (e-visa) or obtain visa support from licensed travel agency.