Thursday, December 10, 2015

La Paz Ferry to Mazatlan

The ferry to Mazatlan is over night so it's suggested to get a Stateroom but reserve it ahead of time. Otherwise, you'll be sitting in a chair or sleeping on the floor. This also includes what you need to enter mainland Mexico from Baja.

From Baja Nomads

What you need
Have originals AND copies of
Drivers license
Car registration
Credit Card for vehicle deposit
Be sure to know where to redeem your CREDIT CARD deposit when you leave Mexico

Reserve a Cabin
I would reserve ahead on line. We showed at the ferry terminal office the day before and no cabins available so we could only reserve seats in the salon. Not comfy for an overnighter. It seems they hold back the VIP cabin for any big shot that shows up late. Well after underway we bagged that cabin. Private baño with shower. Comfy!!

Vehicle Deposit
Bond runs 200-400 US, depending on the year of the vehicle. Putting it on a credit card is highly recommended because there have been instances where a cash bond was originally posted but when the holder of the permit goes to turn it back in, sometimes they don't have enough cash. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Ferry passengers Stranded 24 Hours

Passengers Stranded 24 Hours on La Paz Ferry

After being stranded 24 hours aboard the La Paz Star ferry docked in Mazatlán due to an hydraulic failure which disabled retraction of the vehicle access ramp, passengers were finally allowed to disembark yesterday afternoon.

All passengers were aboard on Monday afternoon for the 4pm sailing when the equipment failed. After several unsuccessful attempts to repair the problem, at 1:50pm yesterday the company decided to allow passengers to disembark.

The company offered to reimburse passengers for their fare and pay toll road costs and gasoline for drivers who decided to travel to Topolobampo to catch the ferry from that port to La Paz.

For foot passengers, the company provided three buses to take them to Topolobampo to catch the California Star ferry scheduled to leave for La Paz in the middle of the night last night.

Passengers leaving the ferry told reporters they were not informed as to why the boat had not left port and that food was in short supply.

According to estimates, there were between 200 and 300 passengers aboard the disabled ferry. (from Noroeste)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Baja Ferries service disrupted for Hurricane Odile

Completely shut down when the hurricane passed over but then shortly after the first priority went to all the CFE, Telmex, Pemex, Police, Military and Civil Protection personnel and vehicles that came over from the mainland to help. It was literally thousands of repair and security vehicles that made the trip across from Sonora and Sinaloa. 

Mostly CFE vehicles

A little of everything headed west

General Director of Baja Ferries comments on Hurricane Odile

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another detailed Baja Ferries report

Baja Ferries
February 10th, 2013

Posted by Brianna in Mexico
To get from Baja Sur to mainland Mexico without driving nearly all the way to the states and then through the northern part of the country, one must take a ferry. Though we read that other freight companies will accept passengers, the main option, and the one that we chose, is operated by Baja Ferries. Our experience was pleasant and got the job done.

Routes and Schedules
Two separate routes are available through Baja Ferries, both traveling between Baja California Sur and the state of Sinaloa. One travels between La Paz and Topolobampo and the other between La Paz and Mazatlán. Topolobampo is about 425km further north than Mazatlán by land, making it a shorter voyage by ferry, with the La Paz-Topolobampo trip taking 6-7 hours (some daytime and some overnight) and the La Paz-Mazatlán trip 17-18 hours (only overnight). Ferries leave from each location every couple of days, and schedules are available on the website. We left La Paz on Sunday at 5:00PM and arrived in Mazatlán just before 11:00AM on Monday.

Vangabonds Blog - Full article

Sunday, January 27, 2013

RV and Jeep to Mazatlan

Posted by SuGar Shack on RV Net

When we decided to take the ferry with our 40ft allegro bus, towing a jeep, from Baja to the mainland of Mexico I found very little information on the 'how to's". I am posting our experience and hope it helps others.

I had previously gotten our vehicle permits, for the Allegro Bus and the jeep, through the mail. We attached the stickers to the car and RV once we had crossed the border. I had heard that they had to attach them, but the agent said, "you put them on", like no big deal. So we did.

I had made my reservations over the phone with Baja Ferries. The La Paz /Mazatlan ferry is scheduled for T, Th and Sat. We paid 18K pesos for a cabin for ourselves, the 40 ft long Rv and the jeep. I was unable to make the reservations online but sent an email to the office and someone called me to get the CC number. Then I was emailed a confirmation.

The confirmation said to be at the ferry 3 hours before it left. It was scheduled to leave at 5 and we got there around 1pm, driving from Los Barriles. It leaves from Pichilingue, about 15 miles NE of La Paz. I used a yahoo group, LaPaz Gringos which was most helpful for information.

As we arrived at the port we saw before us this huge, beautiful ferry, The California Star. Cool, I thought! We drove past the main port building (mostly because we couldn’t find a place to park) and ended up at a small building that said VENTE BOLLETOS. Gary dropped me off and I took all my paperwork in. He found a place to park and unhooked the jeep.

There was a one woman who spoke very good English. She looked up my confirmation # and told me we already had tickets but would need to have the RV and the jeep measured and obtain these slips of paper which showed their length. She sent me next door to an even smaller building and the man measured the RV and the jeep and gave me the two necessary slips of paper. I returned to the VENTE BOLLETOS office and she told us to now go to the main terminal office and get our tickets. (this second stop at the VENTE BOLLETOS ended up being unnecessary)...but it was worth speaking to someone in ENGLISH. This woman also told us that we could take the RV and jeep, once we had the tickets and get in line at 3pm. (the confirmation had said 2pm)...Mexico.

There was a very nice hotel just beyond the VENTE BOLLETOS office and we decided to have lunch, then drive the jeep to the main terminal and get the tickets. Great lunch!

After lunch we drove the jeep to the main terminal. We parked for 200 pesos. (we are figuring pesos to dollars at 10/1, but the exchange is actually better than that) It looked deserted but Gary found a window with a woman who spoke decent English. She confirmed that “one vehicle, one driver”, made a copy of Gary’s passport and had him sign the receipt for the tickets. She also had me show her my passport. We each got a ticket. Mine had the cabin ticket. We walked back to the car and I realized she had not given me back my passport. I returned to retrieve it and it ended up being Gary’s passport. No problemo.

I got in the jeep and Gary got in the RV and we headed for the Aduano. Customs, (next to the main terminal). I got there first and she asked to see my vehicle permit. I pointed to the sticker on my car and she said, no, she needed the rest of it. (this was all in spanish, but I certainly got the gist of it). So I backed out and in the process hit something, I had taken down a post. They didn’t seem to mind. And neither did the jeep.

I was a little worried because earlier as I was going through our paperwork I realized I had the rest of it for the RV but not the jeep. By “the rest of it”, when you get the blue vehicle sticker permit, you tear off the sticker in the middle but the rest of it is what shows your name and the VIN number. Then I realized I am SO organized, I MIGHT have put it in the jeep glove compartment. I had. Whew! So I gave that to her and she checked the vin number and had me get out of the car and press a button and a green light came on and she said, “pase!” Then it was on to the weigh station. They charged me about 30 pesos and I told them I was also paying for the RV behind me (because I wasn’t sure if Gary had enough pesos). I think the RV was about 120 pesos. I am not sure of these prices but I know they weren’t outrageous.

Gary was behind and went through the same process with the sticker. When I went through they only checked the VIN, but he said the customs officer came into the RV and opened every cupboard. Then he passed through, was weighed and we got in line to board the ferry. Me in the passenger car line and Gary in the semi truck line.

Gary drove on first and then I did. I was the last car on. Gary was waiting for me when I got there. I had the cabin ticket. We were given the key to the cabin and were quite pleased with the cabin. Two single beds, with crisp, clean sheets, a private bathroom with shower, and a window (that was sealed shut). However, the window was blocked and we could not see out. The air conditioning in the room was great. We noticed that some of the cabins were inside cabins, with no window. I think we just lucked out getting an outside cabin.

Our ferry was the Mazatlan Star. It was not the one advertised on the baja ferry site, which was the one we saw when we drove up to port, the California star. The rooms and public places were very clean but I can’t say much for the outside area. As Gary said, “This is a cargo ferry carrying passengers, not a passenger ferry carrying cargo.” Everyone was extremely nice and helpful.

Dinner was served cafeteria style. They had a beef dish, a pork dish, rice and beans. (The fish was gone by the time we got there!)

We, as usual, woke up very early. About 5. We had been told coffee would be available at 6. But hey, this is Mexico, so about 7 we went to the lounge area, got our coffee and went to the back of the ship and watched the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez. Beautiful.

We arrived in Mazatlan about 9:30am. Gary’s level was called first and mine last, however, I got off the ship before him. Go figure. I sailed right through customs (don’t know why they have customs between the states of Mexico) but Gary once again, had 3 curious agents who checked his passport, and the cupboards! I had also read that they “spray” the vehicles, like they did in Guerro Negro, but that didn’t happen either.

We had Verizon service in Mazatlan so communicated with our iphones. (the batteries were out in the hand held radios...and there were no plugs to charge anything on the ferry). We met up, hooked up set our gps for SMA and we were off

Baja Ferries sails from La Paz to Topolobampo and from La Paz to Mazatlan. They took over the Mazatlan run from Sematur as of April 2005.

You can always try for current prices and schedule at the Baja Ferries Web Site

Baja Ferries
Baja Ferries on Facebook
TMC Ferries
Se Habla - La Paz

Baja California 1949