Kotka, Finland, Confirms First Calls And Begins Retail Outlet Construction

Due to a major push for cruise business, Kotka has four calls confirmed for 2017 as well as a number under discussion for 2018. This is a re-start for the Finnish port that last saw cruiseships docked in 2012.

Petra Cranston, head of sales and marketing Cruise Port Kotka, commented: “We are proud of having confirmed a few calls from significant cruiselines as a new start-up. We are so proud with the development we’ve made thanks to cooperation with cruiselines and regional and national professionals. The networking with the Port of HaminaKotka as the co-owner of the cruise project has been fabulous.”

Ships are now able to load potable water and offload grey and blackwater by truck. However the plan is to start laying pipes to the main city port, Kantasatama, this year with the hope of completion in time for the summer season next year. Shorepower connection and WiFi communications are due to be implemented.

Cranston also said: “We have LNG availability already. However a big LNG terminal is planned to be built and ready in our Hamina part of the port.” A passenger terminal is also being considered with a view to if and when ferry traffic begins.

For passengers a major new attraction is underway. On April 25 the key developers of the Kotka Old Port designer outlet project gathered at the waterfront to raise a toast to the go-ahead for clearance work at the Old Port construction site. Appeals against the city plans have now been withdrawn and work began with the removal of old railroad tracks. The first phase will be completed in early 2018.

Main developer Cameron Sawyer, chief executive officer GVA Sawyer, commented: ”This is a historical moment for Kotka and a unique step towards an outlet concept that is totally new in Finland. It is much more than a collection of top international fashion outlet brands. Soon we can publish a list of hotel, restaurant, spa, cruise and other companies, that will breathe new life to the Old Port. We are swiftly filling in our rent books for the premium outlet shops. Now, we are choosing our contractor for construction work.”

Mayor of Kotka Henry Lindelof said: “This project will raise Kotka to the front row of European premium outlet cities. It will certainly make our city more appealing for visitors both from near and far.”

The outlet centre will be located only a few hours away from St Petersburg as well as major Finnish cities and airports. About 1.2m Finns live within 90 minutes’ drive. The Greater St Petersburg area counts for more than five million inhabitants and in a normal year there are 10.3 million crossings at the Russian border.

(Cruise Europe)