|Function:||Vice-President of the Board for Infrastructure|
|Company:||Port of Gdańsk Authority|
Committed to growing tourism, the Port of Gdańsk will add more services to Sweden.
“While the current number of passenger sea routes to Scandinavia is not impressive, ferry transport is becoming increasingly important for tourism. Tricity has a major chance for tapping this segment of the market,” said Marcin Osowski, Vice-President, Port of Gdańsk. With a massive EU-co-funded investment programme in place, the Port is also committed to growing tourism. As a first step, it will add more ferry services to Sweden.
“As of now, we have only one ferry running between Gdańsk and Stockholm. A second ferry will be put into service in the next quarter. This will enable us to operate services on a daily basis, as opposed to every second day. I think this will trigger a further development of passenger routes between Poland, or Gdańsk, to be more specific, and Scandinavia,” Marcin Osowski, Vice-President of the Board for Infrastructure, Port of Gdańsk Authority, told the Newseria Biznes agency.
Regular passenger and car routes to Nynäshamn, Sweden (about 60 km from Stockholm), are operated by the Westerplatte Ferry Terminal – a part of the Port of Gdańsk. The terminal lies close to the port’s entry and not far away from the centre of Gdańsk. It is also well-connected to national and international road networks, especially between Gdańsk and Warsaw (a distance of 345 km) and the A1 motorway, which is accessible via the Southern Bypass of Gdańsk.
Currently, the 283-mile-long route between Gdańsk and Nynäsham is served by only one ferry – M/F “Wawel”. The vessel has a capacity of about 1,000 passengers and 75 lorries, and offers a broad selection of tourist and passenger attractions on board – a restaurant, a café, several stores, a conference and film-screening room and a barbecue bar. The ferry is owned by Polska Żegluga Bałtycka – Polferries, the only ferry operator between Gdańsk and Scandinavia.
Starting in June, a second ferry called “Nova Star”, also owned by Polska Żegluga Bałtycka, will start serving the route between Gdańsk and Nynäshamn. Made in 2011, the ferry has a maximum speed of 21 knots and a capacity of more than 1,200 passengers, as well as more cabin space. Also, it has loading parameters similar to “Wawel” and provides a range of on-board attractions for passengers. Currently, “Nova Star” is moored in the Port of Gdańsk for maintenance commissioned by the owner.
“With more than a dozen services daily, the Port of Świnoujście is the leader in Scandinavian routes, Gdynia also has six daily services to Stockholm, as well as to Karlskron. However, Polish ports, the Gdańsk port in particular, still have much work to do. I believe there is potential for a couple more north-south lines,” said Marcin Osowski.
With a new vessel serving between Gdańsk and Scandinavia, we will be able to add more services (daily departures on-season) and meet the expectations of tourists and the growing market. According to Mr. Osowski, the growth of tourism can be facilitated not only by ferries, but also by cruises.
The more routes, the larger the opportunities for the entire tourist industry in Gdańsk to boom and reap large profits,” Marcin Osowski said.
The Port of Gdańsk is a major international transport hub and an important link in the Pan-European Transport Corridor I, which connects Scandinavian countries with south-eastern Europe. In 2017 the Port of Gdańsk Authority completed projects worth a total of more than PLN 29 m. This year, a massive EU-co-funded investment programme (the EU provided a total of PLN 600 m in funding) was launched. It is expected to be largely completed by 2020.
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