Victor Olerskiy is Chairman of the Board of Helsinki Shipyard Oy. This article will explore the shipyard’s history and its role pioneering the shipbuilding and marine technology industry.
Helsinki Shipyard has been producing vessels at the same location for over 150 years, including building more than 50% of the world’s operating icebreakers. The shipyard consistently strives to develop innovative shipbuilding solutions, establishing itself as a forerunner of the shipbuilding industry.
Helsinki Shipyard Oy became operational in May 2019, when ownership of the shipyard was transferred to Algador Holdings. Today, around 400 employees work at the shipyard, mainly in project management and roles related to designing and building vessels.
Helsinki Shipyard Oy’s mission is to bring value by developing and delivering efficient solutions for the extreme needs of its customers. Its vision is to be the first-choice in shipbuilding for its customers, employees and network.
With a shipbuilding history spanning more than a century and a half, Helsinki Shipyard has been producing icebreakers and other arctic vessels for over 100 years. Many solutions currently used in the cruise ship industry originate from Helsinki Shipyard.
Situated in Hietalahti, Helsinki, Helsinki Shipyard’s facilities include:
Three outfitting quays
Covered painting halls
Covered outfitting halls
A 280-metre long covered graving dock
A History of Helsinki Shipyard
Helsingfors Skeppsdocka was established in Helsinki in 1865. In 1894, Hietalahden Sulkutelakka ja Konepaja became operational in the shipyard.
In 1910, Helsinki started building icebreakers, the first being the Mercator. Wärtsilä took over ownership of the shipyard in 1936.
In 1961, the shipyard produced Finland’s first car ferry, a vessel equipped with a drive-through car deck, with a maximum capacity of 20 lorries and 175 cars.
In 1970, Helsinki Shipyard produced the Song of Norway, its first real cruise ship. The shipyard subsequently produced the GTS Finnjet in 1977, creating the first gas turbine-powered cruise ferry in the world. At the time of her delivery, she was the largest, longest and fastest car ferry globally.
In 1984, Helsinki Shipyard produced the first cruise ship with cabins built following the AOC principle. The ship, called the Royal Princess, provided its passengers with excellent views and cabin balconies with a modular structure.
In 1988, Helsinki built Taimyr, a nuclear-powered polar icebreaker. Other notable vessels produced by the shipyard include the Carnival fleet of luxury cruise ships, the Costa Atlantica cruise ship, the world’s first oblique icebreaker, and an icebreaking arctic tanker.