The port area is facing intensive development in the future. The passenger and cruise operations in the area will be reformed with positive effects on the Port and considerable added value for tourism. The key players undertake to increase the attractiveness of the area with a joint letter of intent. The reforms have great significance to Turku’s future.
”Passenger and cargo transports are very important to the City, and we want to offer the best possible conditions for the development of the business operations. Priority is given to enhancing the operative functions of the port areas and traffic, but all reforms will be implemented with attention to the environment and the future residential areas. In addition, the safety of the passengers and cargo has to be taken into account”, Mayor of Turku Minna Arve says about the guidelines for the development.
The development work is starting when Viking Line Abp, Tallink Silja Oy, Port of Turku Ltd and the City of Turku will sign a strategic letter of intent concerning their common goal to develop the port area. The City’s development measures around the Castle and the riverbed, future traffic arrangements and safety aspects will be taken into account in the project.
Motorway of the Seas from Turku to Stockholm
”The Turku–Stockholm route is very important to cruise, liner and cargo traffic. The route that could be referred to as the motorway of the seas carries every year nearly three million passengers from Turku city-centre to the centre of Stockholm, an international metropolis whose diverse services have been enjoyed by Finns for decades. Turku and its surroundings is in turn an attractive destination for Viking Line’s Swedish passengers”, says Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line Abp.
Mr Hanses also considers the ferries and the Port of Turku to be an essential part of Turku for both visitors and local inhabitants.
“They are part of the services of the Turku region which are used frequently by both companies and individual cruise and route passengers. The Turku route also has international significance, as it provides a well-known, fast and natural bridge across the Baltic Sea for both European passengers and those coming from outside Europe.”
“It’s great that we are together planning and developing the passenger harbour operations in Turku. I believe that in co-operation with other parties we can implement an even smoother travel experience for cruise passengers, those traveling with a car, and for cargo”, says Margus Schults, CEO of Tallink Silja Oy.
“As the fascinating district around the River Aura extends to the port, it will benefit those of us working in the port, as well as local people and tourists visiting Turku. And such a wonderful maritime cityscape starts already in the port. I’m really enthusiastic about this development”, adds Nina Honkaranta, Regional Director of Tallink Silja.
Joint terminal will be built by the Port of Turku
– The Port will build a new joint terminal in the port area which both Viking Line and Tallink Silja undertake to use for regular liner traffic in accordance with their current schedules once the arrangements have been completed. The joint terminal and its operations will be run by the Port of Turku, Managing Director Christian Ramberg says about the upcoming plans.
– Similar development towards joint terminal solutions has been realised in growing urban centres around the world. Our survey will provide ideal support for strengthening the maritime spirit in urban environment. The vision for the centre of Turku also identified the aim to extend the city-centre towards the sea. It will generate a new kind of attraction also from the point of view of ferry passengers, says Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning of the City of Turku.
In addition to the joint terminal, a new multi-storey car par is being planned in the area, to be operated by the Port of Turku.
Maritime district will attract companies, tourists and inhabitants
The goal of the parties is to create a unique district near the sea in the passenger harbour where tourism and cargo transports as well as business operations and residential buildings will evolve side by side. The strong passenger and cruise operations in the area will be developed in such a way that the reforms will have a positive effect on the Port and create significant added value for tourism.
Moving in the area will also become easier, as the City will rearrange road and other traffic connections. The City will also take care of evaluating the zoning needs related to the arrangements and the necessary changes in the town plan and street plans.
To be concluded after the decision of the City Board, the letter of intent is significant for the City of Turku and Port of Turku Ltd. Shipping companies Viking Line Abp and Tallink Silja Oy have also already committed themselves to the success of the project by renewing their stock of vessels and marketing and operating a regular service on the Turku–Stockholm route, the most important connection between Finland and Scandinavia. The cost of the terminal is estimated at around 45 million euros.
The planning and arrangements for the areas start right away. In addition to companies, the local inhabitants are invited to participate in the planning. The joint terminal and the new traffic arrangements are due for completion by the end of 2024.
Minna Arve, Mayor, City of Turku, +358 44 907 5210
Jan Hanses, President and CEO, Viking Line Abp, +358 18 27 000
Margus Schults, CEO, Tallink Silja Oy, +358 50 354 5867
Christian Ramberg, Managing Director, Port of Turku Ltd, +358 50 553 3100
Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor, City of Turku, +358 2 262 7222