Turku invests in new terminal
The terminal will cost an estimated €45m. Silja and Viking will pay the port a passenger fee for using the terminal.
Christian Ramberg, managing director Port of Turku, said: “A letter of intent was signed on August 8. We are now starting to negotiate more in details of the terminal layout and other things with The City of Turku and the shipping lines involved.
“The Turku Ferry Port project will start this fall. At first planning of the new terminal will be done. Then construction of a car-park building from 2019 to 2020. The Turku Ferry Terminal construction will start in 2023 and it will be finished at the end of 2024.”
The new 12,000m2 terminal will be situated close to the present terminal of Tallink Silja Line and be able to accommodate 5,000 passengers. A new quay will be rebuilt close to the terminal. Ramberg commented: “A joint terminal will mean smoother traffic in the port area and improved safety. Once completed, the river Aura bank will become available for citizens and cruise guests to walk along all the way from the mouth of the river.”
“Cruiseships will be able to call the terminal from 1000 to 1800 and from 2200 to 0600 when there are no Silja or Viking ships in. Viking Line's present terminal and quay will be available for cruiseships to use the whole day with no limitations. There are also other quays available for cruiseships depending on the day and other ship traffic.”
Meanwhile president and ceo Viking Line, Jans Hanses, said: “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.”
Margus Schults, ceo Tallink Silja, added: “It’s great that we are together planning and developing the passenger harbour operations in Turku. I believe that, in cooperation with other parties, we can implement an even smoother travel experience for cruise passengers, those travelling with a car, and for cargo.”
The joint terminal and its operations will be run by the Port of Turku. Ramberg explained: “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.”
Navigating 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.
The planning and arrangements for the areas have started. In addition to companies, the local inhabitants are being invited to participate in the planning. The joint terminal and the new traffic arrangements are due for completion by the end of 2024.