Long history obliges

The Port of Turku is celebrating its 870th anniversary this year. The jubilee year is mainly visible in external communication, such as social media, history themes of publications as well as internal communication; different means are applied in different channels. The Port celebrates the anniversary both with its co-operation partners and personnel.


Managing Director Erik Söderholm sees the Port’s long history as a definite strength. Long traditions provide dignity and reliability and even oblige the Port to operate in the best possible manner in the future, too. The purpose of the Port has changed a lot over the past decades and centuries, and will certainly continue to do so in the future. Earlier the port operations were more stable, while today the global crises and e.g. Finland’s joining in NATO have affected the operations.

“The business idea is alive and we are involved in many different development projects to increase the profitability of passenger traffic and cargo transports. We carry out long-term development work together with other players through national and international projects related to transport networks and the environment, and projects aimed at the development of operations.”

“I firmly believe in the attraction of passenger traffic in the future, too. As shipping companies are investing in environmentally safer operations, the volume of passenger traffic will probably grow. Goods are also carried one way or another. The world around us and the scope of and demands for port operations are changing. We can’t affect everything, but we can and will participate in global change, because the only certain thing is change. In environmental projects, we strongly want to participate in influencing and investing. We are taking part together with the Ports of Stockholm and Viking Line in the development of a green maritime corridor between Turku and Stockholm. The goal of the project is to be fossil-free by 2035 at the latest.”

Port of Turku’s 870th anniversary shows in communication as well as hosting of tall ships

In the summer of 2024, Turku will be one of the six host ports of the Tall Ships Races in the Baltic Sea, when the large sailing ships come to the River Aura from Thursday to Sunday 18–21 July 2024.

”The Tall Ships Races are conveniently arranged in Turku this year and will crown our anniversary year. Our Operative Department will be there to enable the facilities for the event. We will organise some customer occasions for our partners around the event”, says Marjo Saviranta, Marketing and Communication Director.

The ships arrive in Turku on a racing leg from Tallinn. In the 2024 event, in addition to Turku, there are two other host ports in Finland: Mariehamn and Helsinki. The remaining three host ports are Klaipeda in Lithuania, Szczecin in Poland and Tallinn in Estonia. The ships last visited Turku in 2017.

”We will go on a dinner cruise with our personnel, the Board of Directors and retired Port employees and reminisce past events that have taken place over the years. For the residents of the city, the anniversary year is visible in the Open Port event in mid-September which is part of the programme of the Turku Day. Then it will be possible, for example, to take a tour in the otherwise closed port area as before. We are also compiling a publication on the history of the Port to mark the occasion.”

Text: Heli Kaijansalo
Photo: Jouni Saaristo and Turku Museum Centre