After a trip by Iran for nearly a month put the question: where to go out? I entered the north of the country on the border with Turkey, went down towards the south, and the exit from Persian Gulf towards the United Arab Emirates made perfect sense, adding to the advantage of these sites offer attractive flights fares for Southwest Asia, my next destination.
But was hard to get information about how to cross the Gulf by ferry, nor in relation to the port of departure, destination, schedules or prices. In general all the places where I inquired about ferry trips, the information were often inaccurate, confusing or even contradictory.
However detailed information can be found at this site:
Despite being more focused in transporting people with vehicles have reliable and detailed information.
The ferry company is the Valfarj Shipping Co. http://www.valfajr.ir/52/Home.aspx
- Bandar Abbas - Sharjah
Monday and Wednesday: 9.00 pm (passenger + cargo: 12 hours)
- Bandar Lengeh - Dubai
Sundays and Tuesdays: 10:00 pm (passenger + cargo: 5-6 hours)
Saturday, Monday and Wednesday: 11:00 am (only passengers: 4.5 hours)
The option was at Bandar Abbas route (to save on yet another trip to Bandar Lengeh) and to enjoy the evening to make the trip coming to the Emirates in the morning.
- Bandar Abbas - Sharjah: 2.700.000 rials
- Bandar Lengeh - Dubai: 2.700.000 rials
Where to buy the ticket:
Bala Parvaz Travel Agency in Imam Khomeini Street, Bandar Abbas
The amount has to be paid in rials and is required passport.
No fee or commission is charged.
No need to buy the ticket in advance nor trying to book because the ferry was little more than 20% occupancy.
It is essential to exchange rials before leaving Iran because you can’t do it outside the country!
The option was to Morvarin Exhange, situated in a commercial area in Imam Khomeini Street, next to the Velayat Square; right in front, in the same shopping area there is another currency exchange store.
Here you can exchange rials per dirham or other currency, such as dollars or euros.
Bandar Abbas to Bahonar Port:
Taxi: 70,000 rials (30,000 rials if shared taxi)
It takes 30 minutes, from downtown to the port, depending on traffic. The taxi can enter the port and drop off passengers in front of the departure lounge.
Not worth arriving early. Though the boat starting at 9.00 pm, you must be in port by 5:00 pm... are hours of formalities, stamps, customs plus the time required to accommodate cargo and vehicles in the basement. Only there is a kiosk selling soft drinks and packaged snacks, cookies and little else.
At Bahonar Port:
In the port is expected to more than an hour to start boarding, passengers and goods (which are plenty) to spend the departure lounge by security devices (rx, metal detector, etc ..).
In the second room, for those who have no goods (the backpack does not count) can drive up to a counter and order your boarding pass showing the ticket.
The following is a wait of over an hour in this room, while all the goods are dispatched to the basement. Backpacks and suitcases remain with the passengers.
This room, are located immigration services, where they proceed to the formalities of stamping passports. It may take a few hours. Coincidentally or not the majority of western passports were trapped in the services being returned over an hour later, without justification.
Despite the departure being scheduled for 9 pm the boat just started the journey after midnight because of the time required to board vehicles and cargo.
Although there was reserved seats, these are not respected because of the small number of passengers, so crew direct people on the way that everybody can get over the three places and be able to lie down overnight.
At the boat is served dinner: meat with lentils and rice, bread, water, yogurt and doogh (yogurt-based drink but slightly salty).
In the morning, around 7.00 am is served breakfast: bread, jam, processed cheese and tea.
As the boat is Iranian segregation keeps going on, with the front of the room reserved for families and women, and the rear compartment reserved for men.
The environment and noisy and confusing, especially in family area.
It is possible to access to the outside of the boat.
Sharjah to the Dubai:
Despite the delay on departing the ferry arrived at 10:30 to Port Khalid in Sharjah.
Passengers are directed to a bus that leaves us in front of the immigration services. Then the process slow but priority was given to Western foreigners; however from landing until we have the passport stamped is more than one hour.
Leaving the Port Kahlid the gate we are in the Emirates. To get to Dubai:
- Leaving the Port Khalid (Sharjah) walk on foot to find a small boat crossing a canal, parked between fishing boats. Ticket: 1 dirham; it takes 5 minutes. You can just ask to the people in the street that everybody knows the pier
- Across walk to the right side, crossing a viaduct where the left align plant vendors until you find the Bus: Jubail Bus Station. One can ask the direction to people on the way because everyone knows where it is. It is less than 2 km, but took about 15 minutes due to the hot and humid climate.
Khalid Port to Jubail Bus Station are about 5 km to the route is done by car, so the taxi is also an alternative. However the value proposed by the taxi driver was too high for what the option was to walk.
- In Jubail Bus Terminal, take the bus to Inter-Emirates Bur Dubai (Al Gubaiba bus terminal). The bus stand as the kiosk that sells tickets is the last terminal.
Please note: You must purchase a card to use the Inter-Emirates bus, which is also valid for the metro and buses in Dubai. There is the possibility of buying a single ticket. So the cheapest option for those wishing to stay for a short time in the Emirates is buying Silver Card of the RTA. You can recharge it in the bus terminals and Metro stations. It costs 25 dirham with a credit of 19 travel dirham.
- The journey takes more than 40 minutes off-peak hours, which can take hours.
- At Al Gubaiba bus terminal, just cross an intersection and you are at the entrance of the Metro. To reach the Dubai International Airport picks up the Green Line to "Burjuman" and then moves to the Red Line passing through several terminals of Dubai International Airport. The Silver Card RTA is valid in the metro and can be loaded with trips.