EU projects

Kotkan Kantasatama Cruise Port and Ropax Terminal Development – KOTKA PAX

Project duration: 1.6.2019-31.8.2022

Location of project activities: Kymenlaakso, Finland

Project budget: EUR 2.57 million

Amount of South-East Finland – Russia CBC Programme grant: EUR 2 million


Project partners:

Port of HaminaKotka Ltd. is acting as the Lead Partner of the project. The Lead Partner is coordinating the large infrastructure project of the passenger terminal in Kotkan Kantasatama, part of the Port of HaminaKotka, and is responsible for the planning and implementation of the construction works. Port of HaminaKotka will build the necessary port infrastructure for a passenger and cargo terminal. The new port infrastructure will enable smooth and efficient check-in and provide facilities for the customs and border control operations in the terminal.
Further information: Mr. Ville Kuitunen, Director, Traffic Operations ([email protected])

Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg "Marine Façade" Public Limited Company is the only seaport port in Russia that is specialized in accommodating cruise and ferry vessels. The partner will assist the Lead Partner to develop the passenger flow processing services in the Port of HaminaKotka due to their considerable experience in the field. They will also study the experience of the Lead Partner in handling cargo flows of the ferries.
Further information: [email protected]

Finnish Customs (Suomen Tulli) facilitates smooth trade of goods and ensures its correctness, offers customer-oriented services and protects society, the environment and citizens. Customs efficiently collects customs duties and other similar duties, fairway dues and VAT, and compiles foreign trade statistics on the imports, exports and trade balance of Finland. Customs will provide the required customs services for cross-border traffic between Finland and Russia in the new passenger terminal in Kotkan Kantasatama. In the project, Customs will plan, procure and implement the needed infrastructure equipment, including technical surveillance equipment and software.
Further information: Ms. Raija Taleva, ENI CBC Project Manager ([email protected])

Finnish Border Guard (Rajavartiolaitos) is responsible for border checks at border crossing points. Border checks are performed with the aim of maintaining border security. They are checks on persons - including their means of transport and the objects in their possession - and interviews of persons, carried out on those crossing or intending to cross the border. Border checks are performed at border crossing points or, in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic or for other justifiable reasons, in a public transport vehicle or other location. The role of the Border Guard in the project is to provide the required border control services for cross-border traffic between Finland and Russia. The Border Guard designs, procures and implements the necessary border control technology for the smooth and efficient monitoring of passenger traffic at the Schengen external border.
Further information: Mr. Tuomas Laosmaa, Head of Border Checks Unit ([email protected])


Project main activities:

The project develops transport infrastructure of the Port of HaminaKotka in the Kotkan Kantasatama harbour to enable safe, secure, smooth and efficient border-crossings and easy mobility of seaborne passenger traffic with vehicles between Finland and Russia. The objective is to build the capacity for regular year-round ferry operations between Kotka and St. Petersburg and to provide a full range of services to cruise and ferry vessels and their passengers based on the established new terminal and check-in point. Regular passenger traffic requires facilities for Customs and the Border Guard in the terminal for the mandatory controls and services.

The project includes the following work packages:

  • Construction and modification of the terminal facilities for handling passenger traffic, customs and border guard control in Kotkan Kantasatama
  • Monitoring equipment for Finnish Customs
  • Monitoring equipment for the Border Guard
  • Capacity building


Expected results and their impacts:

Main technical outputs include the following:

  1. Passenger terminal
  2. Arrival and Departure routes for passengers and cars
  3. Devices for border checks
  4. Devices for baggage, parcels and vehicles inspection
  5. Camera surveillance system
  6. Wastewater reception facilities.


The project will enhance the year-round ferry connection, the quality level of services at border-crossing points, ensuring both reliable and time-saving control and security of travellers and vehicles. The project will support developing the all-year-round transport hub that will stimulate passenger and cargo traffic between Russia and Finland and improve accessibility of the cross-border regions. Enhancing cooperation and sharing of knowledge and best practices with the project partners will develop sustainable transport services and increase economic growth in the region. Exchange of professional competences will also help to harmonize operational practices of Russian and Finnish partner maritime ports thus leading to their smoother and more transparent cooperation.

Follow the project in Twitter: @KotkaPax


Project started
The Grant Contract between the Port of HaminaKotka, representing the project partners as the Lead Partner, and the Managing Authority of the South-East Finland – Russia CBC Programme was signed on May 20th, 2019. The project implementation period started on June 1st, 2019.

Kick-off meeting
The Port of HaminaKotka hosted the official kick-off meeting of the Kotka Pax project in the Mussalo Harbour, Kotka, on August 9th, 2019. Representatives of the Managing Authority of the programme as well as of all the project partners (Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg "Marine Façade", Finnish Customs and Finnish Border Guard) participated in the meeting. In the morning, the Managing Authority presented the administrative issues of the project, followed by a visit to the Kantasatama Harbour, where the new passenger terminal will be built. In the afternoon, the Finnish project partners discussed the practical implementation of the infrastructure investments.

Webinars by Passenger Port of St Petersburg for Port of HaminaKotka
As part of the Kotka PAX project funded by the Southeast Finland –­ Russia CBC 2014-2020 programme, “Marine Façade”, the Passenger Port of St Petersburg, arranged a series of webinars for Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, discussing the operations of the Passenger Port of St Petersburg. The Passenger Port of St Petersburg is the only port in Russia specialised in cruise and passenger ferry traffic, and has extensive experience of the efficient organisation of passenger traffic. The lecture series of four webinars was used for presenting to the Port of HaminaKotka issues such as the passenger and transport operations of the Port of St. Petersburg, the services offered to ships, environmental and safety measures, border formalities and co-operation with tour operators. The purpose of the webinars was to present and share good practices that the Port of HaminaKotka can apply to the development of the cruise and passenger ship terminal at the Kantasatama Harbour in Kotka. Read the full news here.

Construction work on the cruise and passenger ship terminal started at Kantasatama in Kotka 
KOTKA PAX, the development project for the cruise and passenger ship terminal at Kantasatama in Kotka will improve the transport infrastructure of the Port of HaminaKotka at Kantasatama in Kotka, with the goal of enabling year-round, safe and fluent border crossing and passenger ferry traffic between Finland and Russia. Regular passenger ferry traffic requires a framework for customs and border control operations, which is why facilities will be built and modified at Kantasatama in Kotka for mandatory inspections and services by the Finnish Customs and Border Guard. The contracts for the building of the terminal have been signed, and construction work has begun. A warehouse building is currently undergoing foundation work for the customs and border control facilities to be constructed there. Port of HaminaKotka Ltd is the main executor of the project, and the other project partners are the St Petersburg passenger port "Marine Façade", and Finnish Customs and Border Guard. The project was launched on 1 June 2019 and will continue until 31 May 2022. The Southeast Finland - Russia CBC 2014-2020 programme will provide the project with a funding of 2 million euros



Kantasatama in June 2021
Kantasatama in May 2021
Cruise ship Vasco da Gama in Kantasatama Kotka on 29th of August 2022.