Welcome to this exhibition on the period of reconstruction in Finland! The exhibition is part of the joint exhibition network of the nine Trafiikki museums on the history of traffic, communications and technology.

Kastelholm 022

Finland on the Move 1945–1975. The History of Cruise Travel

Forum Marinum 25.4.2015 – 10.1.2016



From occasional exclusive trips to regular cruise traffic

The nature of passenger ship traffic changed fundamentally during the time period covered by this exhibition. At sea, too, the volume of passengers increased enormously; in the 1970s numbers passing through international maritime traffic from Finland amounted to several millions, while the amount before the war had been a few hundred thousand at most. A great change had been brought about by the arrival of car ferries to the northern Baltic, which from the late 1950s onwards affected Finnish communications and travelling habits in several ways.

One of the most far-reaching changes was the considerable growth of international cruise activities. The roots of the phenomenon can be traced back to the 19th century, and the British and Germans, among others, were pioneers of cruise-type travel. Initially cruises were mainly regarded as a complement to regular traffic and, above all, a luxury. But during the latter half of 20th century cruises became a leisure activity available to the wider public and a highly significant form of business globally. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s new shipping companies were established which focussed solely on cruise traffic. This development had an essential impact also on the Finnish shipyard industry.

In Finland, too, shipping companies began increasingly to invest in cruise travel. The formation and establishment of the ‘cruise’ concept in general use in the 1970s was in itself something new – earlier this kind of travel had usually been called conducted or leisure travel. The share of necessary route transport lines began to decrease in proportion to the increasing amount of holiday travel. The ship was no longer a mere means of transport, but it in itself became the focal point of the entire trip for many; it had become a kind of floating leisure centre and the experiences and entertainment it offered were even more important than the actual destination. This was connected to the development of the services on board the ships.



Finland suffered severe losses in World War II. In the aftermath of the war, there was a shortage of everything, but nevertheless the Finnish economy quickly started to grow. This period in the history of Finland is called the era of reconstruction (1945 – circa 1975). During this time, the fundamental principles of contemporary Finnish society were formed.

According to the peace treaty signed on 19 September 1944, Finland had to pay war reparations to the Soviet Union. These were paid in less than ten years, mainly in the form of industrial products. Areas which had previously been part of Finland had to be surrendered to the Soviet Union, and many people had to leave their homes.

The 1950s and 1960s were decades when Finnish society was being reconstructed and the industrial sector developed. As early as the 1950s, technologically advanced vessels such as the icebreaker Voima were being built. As Finland became wealthier, public services and the people’s general well-being increased. Working hours were regulated, which resulted in unprecedented free time, to be enjoyed in various ways. At home, the television offered entertainment and provided information about the world. People started travelling abroad by air, on cruises and on interrail journeys by train. As the road network in Finland expanded and most households could afford their own car, the ways in which people travelled within the country also changed.

All of these themes are presented in the On the Move! Finland after World War II network of exhibitions at nine Finnish museums specialising in the history of traffic and communication – namely, the Trafiikki museums which are located in various parts of the country. The timing of the exhibitions is significant; 2015 marks 70 years since the end of the Lapland War and thus the beginning of peace in Finland.



The On the Move! – Finland after World War II network exhibitions:

Forum Marinum:

Finland on the Move 1945–1975. The History of Cruise Travel

25.4.2015 – 10.1.2016


The Finnish Postal Museum & The Rupriikki Media Museum

On the Move! – To a New Home

24.4.2015 – 15.11.2015


The Radio and TV Museum:

Pop up exhibition: Pictures on the Move! – Television Takes Picture into the Homes

25.4.2015 – 31.12.2015


The Museum of Technology:

On the Move! – Sources of Light and Power

24.4.2015 – 31.12.2017


Automobile and Road Museum Mobilia:

On the Move! said Kekkonen – History of Finnish Road Traffic in the Post-War Period 1945–1975 

12.6.2015 – 18.12.2015


Finnish Aviation Museum:

On the Move! A New Rise for Air Travel

21.4.2015 – 10.1.2016.


Maritime Centre Vellamo:

Icebreakers on the Move!

13.3.2015 – 23.8.2015


Finnish Railway Museum:

Dreams on the Move! – Long Live Interrail

24.4.2015 – 27.12.2015