Finnish Shipbuilding

The history of Finnish shipbuilding is long, but its recent success in particular keeps the theme relevant. Nowadays, shipbuilding is a top-notch expertise in Finland.

The Finnish Shipbuilding exhibition takes museum visitors through different phases of history to the current flourishing state of the industry and even hints at the future. The history of Finnish shipbuilding, with its key turning points, is depicted as a whole, while attention is drawn to the development of shipbuilding methods and the associated changes in work. The perspective is national, although local significance is also emphasized. The exhibition is divided into three parts according to themes progressing over time: the era of wooden sailing ships, the transition to industrial shipbuilding, and modern shipbuilding.

Internationality has characterized the industry throughout the centuries: foreign models and actors have always influenced its development. Nevertheless, shipbuilding in Finland has thrived and succeeded. Specialization, design skills for high-level vessel types, as well as creativity and innovation, have been considered crucial for survival in the competition. The breakthrough of cruise tourism provided Finnish shipyards with a new opportunity: high-quality passenger ships became a successful product. Large ship orders have also provided work for numerous companies outside the shipyard.

Traditional museum objects such as scale models from the 18th century to the present day can be seen in the exhibition space. The modern shipbuilding process is illustrated, for example, through a life-size block model, digital content, and the perspective of ship design. Meyer Turku shipyard has provided material for an interactive ship structure simulator, which allows visitors to examine the vessel’s technology and structure by peeling back layers of the ship.





In addition to captivating storytelling of history and the bright present, the ships are also envisioned for the future. Shipbuilding development is remarkable, and with the exhibition’s future binoculars, visitors can catch a glimpse of what lies ahead!

The exhibition has been realized in close collaboration with Meyer Turku shipyard. Content planning has involved shipbuilding companies from the Turku region, and the striking implementation has been supported by a number of partners. Material has been received and borrowed from companies, individuals, and other museums’ collections. The exhibition architecture has been designed by the Helsinki-based design firm Tuomas Siitonen Oy.

In the opening year of the exhibition in 2017, Jan Meyer, who was the CEO of Meyer Turku shipyard, characterized the exhibition as follows: “Shipbuilding is about continuous innovation, and many of the current standards in the industry were originally developed in Finland and Turku. In the new shipbuilding exhibition, visitors can explore this remarkable history of Finnish shipbuilding and, of course, its present-day. Hopefully, as many people as possible will come to Forum Marinum to explore this fascinating industry.”