If Iran isn’t a possibility but you don't want to go north then taking this crossing from Baku, Azerbaijan to Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan or Aktau in Kazakhstan might be for you. Despite the eye-popping $650 fee recent teams have been paying to board the boat, and the Kafkaesque bureaucratic maze that is the Turkmeni customs office on the far side of the water, some of the greatest Mongol Rally tales year-on-year seem to come from these ferries.
Baku to Aktau
Should be every 3-5 days, but there have been serious delays of around 2 weeks in the past. The trip lasts 30 hours.
Baku to Turkmenbashi
Should leave every day or so, although Rally teams have spent days waiting in the past. It should take around 17 hours.
Tickets are bought on the day of the journey. Arrive at the office in Baku in the morning, if there is a boat, buy the ticket, and go to the port to board the ship.
Think it all sounds a bit miserable? Let these guys change your mind-