Maritime history


The objective of the Maritime Society is to uphold and develop Finnish maritime culture. The future of the shipping industry largely depends on a basis which traditions have created and on which rest our present know-how and our goals for the future.

The Maritime Society has arranged four exhibitions of ship models. The exhibitions have displayed the development of both merchant ships, naval ships and icebreakers and of Finnish shipbuilding from the beginning of the 20th century up to our time. The spring 2002 exhibition also included models of lighthouses. Shipping companies, shipyards, the Navy, ports, the Finnish Maritime Administration and other authorities and organizations in Finland were also presented.

The Maritime Society is compiling a register of ship models existing in Finland. So far details of over 1000 models have been received from their owners, but much remains to be done and the compilation continues. The Society is pleased to obtain information about any models not yet included in the register.

The Society has taken stands in topical matters of maritime history. It worked for the foundation of a central maritime museum in Finland and has now also expressed its opinion regarding a rational solution to the question of a maritime museum. When the future of the ship Suomen Joutsen was at stake, the Society demanded that she be kept as a museum ship in Finland.

National associations in Finland focusing on maritime history are The Maritime Historical Society of Finland and The Ship Historical Society of Finland. Local maritime historical societies are also found in the background of several regional maritime museums. Finnish museums focusing on maritime history and shipping include:

  • The Maritime Museum of Finland: The national maritime museum in Hylkysaari in Helsinki. The museum is specialised in marine archaeology. Exhibitions closed in 2004. The Museum will move in 2007 to Kotka and partly to Turku. (
  • Forum Marinum: The museum located in Turku on the River Aura with a focus on the maritime history of South Western Finland and the history of the Finnish Navy. (
  • The Åland Maritime Museum: The museum in Mariehamn concentrates on exhibits recalling the great days of the Åland sailing ships. (
  • Kristiinankaupunki Maritime Museum: Local maritime museum by the Market Place (In Finnish, in Swedish)
  • Loviisa Maritime Museum: Collections and exhibitions are related to the town´s seafaring history in Laivasilta marina. (˜tourism/musandex.htm)
  • Raahe Museum: Collections show Raahe as a town of shipping and trade. (
  • Rauma Maritime Museum: A new museum with an emphasis on arousing childrens´ interest in the maritime life, for instance by a navigation simulator. (
  • Savonlinna Provincial Museum: The museum in Riihisaari specialises in the history of the Lake Saimaa area. (
  • Uusikaupunki Cultural Museum: The upstairs are dedicated to the local maritime history (In Finnish)
  • Vaasa Maritime Museum: Local maritime museum in Palosaari (

The ”Laiva” magazine published by the Ship Historical Society of Finland is one of the magazines in the sector. The Maritime Museum of Finland and The Maritime Historical Society of Finland publish the periodical book ”Nautica Fennica”. The four-volume reference book ”Navis Fennica” gives a good display of Finnish maritime history.

Traditional Sailing Ship Association in Finland is a head organization for Finnish and Åland sailing vessels.