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11.8 million: Helsinki harbour Europe's busiest passenger port in 2017

Last year Finland's Helsinki Harbour was listed as the busiest passenger port in Europe - and maybe the world, according to new figures from the port authority.

Helsinki nähtynä mereltä kauniina kesäpäivänä.
File photo of Helsinki's South Harbour. Image: Esko Jämsä / AOP

A total of 11.8 million seafaring passengers travelled through the ports of Helsinki in 2017, an increase of two percent compared the year before.

Europe's second-busiest passenger port last year, Dover in the United Kingdom, saw about 100,000 fewer sea travellers than Helsinki, with some 11.7 million sea travellers.

The Port of Helsinki's passenger harbour director Kari Noroviita said that an increase in ships and frequency of departures helped to contribute tot the growth.

"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," Noroviita said in a release issued Wednesday.

Most ships headed to Estonia

The overwhelming majority of passengers in Helsinki made their way to Tallinn, Estonia.

Some nine million passengers travelled to Tallinn while 2.3 million people sailed to Stockholm, Sweden.

International cruise ships arriving to Helsinki broke an all-time record last year as well.

Some 266 vessels carrying around 487,000 passengers docked in Helsinki ports last year, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2016.

Finnish news agency STT first reported on the passenger figures.

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