The Port of Turku and the City of Turku have signed a letter of intent with the two shipping lines to modernise the Kanavaniemi area with a new ferry terminal.
The €45m-worth project will see the erection of the new facility by end-2024, along with a new multi-storey car park. Passenger and cargo traffic to and from the port will need to be rearranged, too, to take account of both the new infrastructure as well as the City's development plans, including around the Turku Castle and the Aura River. Both the terminal and the car park will be operated by the port authority.
"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," Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku, commented.
Christian Ramberg, Managing Director, the Port of Turku, also said, "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."
Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning, the City of Turku, added in this regard, "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."
"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," Jan Hanses, President and CEO, Viking Line, explained.
"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," Margus Schults, CEO, Tallink Silja, commented.
Nina Honkaranta, Regional Director, Tallink Silja, summed up, "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."
Photo: Port of Turku