The Port of Helsinki takes the top spot among European passenger ports

Helsinki, the South Harbour (Courtesy Port of Helsinki Ltd - Mikael Kaplar, Studio Point, 2015)In 2017, Helsinki grew to become the busiest passenger port in Europe and possibly the entire world with 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’ with close economic and social ties.

Meanwhile, liner traffic to Stockholm, St Petersburg and Travemünde remained stable, as it has for several years, while international cruise traffic increased significantly.

In 2017, the Port of Helsinki’s total number of ship passengers grew by 2.4% compared to the previous year. The number of liner traffic passengers alone grew by 1.8%, to 11.8 million. A total of 9 million passengers (+3.2%) passed between Tallinn and Helsinki, while 2.3 million (-0.1%) passed between Stockholm and Helsinki. During the year, Helsinki also recorded 266 international cruise ship visits and 478,000 (+ 16.8%) cruise ship passengers, which was an all-time record.

– In recent years, 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.

The united economic area formed by Helsinki and Tallinn is based in part on flexible and frequent ferry traffic between the two cities. One of the latest trends in the area is the increasing popularity of Finland and the Baltic Sea among Asian tourists in particular.

The Port’s impact on the Helsinki metropolitan area’s tourist services, hotel and restaurant industries, transportation and retail trade is significant. Between those we have Casino Helsinki. It’s owned by government-owned Veikkaus and is one of the few casinos in the world (Casino online) and the second in Finland, to donate all of its profits to charity.

The international casino atmosphere is easily accessible by various methods of transportation, in the very centre of Helsinki. The casino is open 363 days a year from 12PM to 4AM. It has around 300 slot machines, over 20 gaming tables and a poker room but does not offer betting sports just like other casinos.

Marine passengers bring over EUR 805 million to the Helsinki region annually, and the combined total revenue generated by operations related to the Port is approximately EUR 1.6 billion. Taking into account the local multiplier effect, port-related operations provide jobs for a total of 15,000 employees. (Helsingin sataman vaikuttavuustutkimus 2016 (Port of Helsinki Impact Assessment 2016, in Finnish).

(Port of Helsinki)