Finland is an island


There is an old saying that Finland is an island. This statement is still very true due to the fact that about 80 percent of the Finnish foreign trade takes place by sea. Finnish coastal waters have been used as trade routes already for ages.
This is witnessed, amongst other things, by the many historical shipwrecks that have been found in the waters around Finland.

In addition to commercial shipping, there are numerous other activities and professions connected with the sea. These are for instance fishing, port operations, pilotage, and different activities connected with the passenger traffic. Worth mentioning is also the fact that about one third of the Finnish borders is out on the sea. Both the Finnish Frontier Guard and the Finnish Navy are important parts of the maritime activities in Finland.

Finnish shipping has always been well known in the world. The last windjammers in commercial shipping were owned by Finnish ship owners and they were flying the Finnish flag as well. The carriage of Finnish export products by the sea has made the Finnish flag known all over the world. Also the sail training ship of the Finnish Navy, the ”Suomen Joutsen” made several ocean voyages and made Finland known at all her ports of call in different parts of the world.

Finland is the only coastal country in the world where all the ports are completely frozen during normal winters. Therefore Finland is a leading country in winter shipping as well as a world leader in icebreaking technology and construction.

The scope of the world shipping has changed almost completely during the last decades. The ocean routes are today container lines between big shipping centres. At the same time the Finnish shipping lines outside Europe have completely ceased. The Finnish liner shipping is today modern cargo and passenger ferry traffic between ports in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. There is still a small but vital tramp fleet consisting mainly of modern tankers but there are also modern handy size ice strengthened bulk carriers.

The Finnish shipyards are well known as builders of big and luxurious passenger cruise ships. These magnificent ships can be seen all over the world. The Finnish maritime industry is today global and a wide range of maritime products are manufactured for the benefit of international shipping.

Shipping and maritime industries and technology are of vital importance to Finland.

The exceptionally large Finnish archipelago with hundreds of islands along the coasts, as well as the thousand lakes, offer great possibilities for recreational activities and education.

As Finland is, in practice, an island The Finnish Maritime Society is working to promote a wide range of maritime activities for the benefit of the Finnish maritime culture and maritime cluster.