In 2017 Helsinki became the busiest passenger port in Europe and possibly the world, carrying 12.3 million passengers. Passenger numbers continued to increase on the Helsinki-Tallinn route in particular, reflecting the development of Helsinki and Tallinn into ‘twin cities’.
Namely, Port of Helsinki’s total number of ship passengers increased by 2.4% compared to the previous year. The number of liner traffic passengers grew by 1.8%, to 11.8 million. A total of 9 million passengers passed between Tallinn and Helsinki, while 2.3 million passed between Stockholm and Helsinki. Helsinki also recorded 266 international cruise ship visits and 478,000 cruise ship passengers, which was an all-time record.
This record can be attributed to the following reasons:
- Shipping companies have introduced larger and faster ships for the Helsinki-Tallinn route, while also increasing their passenger capacities during peak seasons, says Director Kari Noroviita, who is in charge of passenger harbours at the Port of Helsinki.
- The Port of Helsinki, meanwhile, has responded to demand by significantly increasing its capacity for fast scheduled traffic to Tallinn with the opening of the new West Terminal 2 and related area arrangements in February 2017.
Marine passengers bring over 805 million euros to the Helsinki region annually, and the combined total revenue generated by operations related to the Port is approximately 1.6 billion euros.
Furthermore, the Port of Helsinki became Finland’s number one general port for international freight traffic. The total tonnage of international freight traffic handled was 14 million tonnes.
Lastly, the sizes of container and ro-ro ships grew, while traffic volumes are expected to keep increasing in the future as well, according to Jukka Kallio, the director of Vuosaari Harbour.