When exploring Turku for the first time, one usually walks the way to the castle. On the way there, a small orange ferry can be seen travelling back and forth between the two sides of the river. Here is its story.
A Special Ferry
Although there is not much to notice at first sight, this small ferry actually has a surprisingly interesting story. Built in 1903 in Turku by Turku Ab Vulcan, a local shipyard, the ferry has been operating ever since. Funnily enough, this means that the small ferry has already outlived the shipyard that built it for 95 years, and is still going.
As for its name, Föri, either comes from a ferry (ferry in swedish), or simply, ferry, the English word.
From Steam to Electricity
The witness of more than a century of progress, the little orange ferry has seen its share of progress itself. Initially outfitted with a wood-burning steam engine, Föri’s engine was changed for a diesel one in 1955. This remained until 2017, when an electric engine replaced the old diesel one, officially marking Föri’s entry in the 21st Century.
Very few ships can brag about having had both steam and electric engines! The ferry’s batteries are charged at night, and it works during the day.
With a capacity of up to 75 passengers, Föri keeps on ferrying people across the Aura river. Each crossing takes about 1.5 minutes, and runs between 01.05 and 30.9 from 6.15 to 23, and between 01.10 and 30.04 from 06.15 to 21.30.
The only exception to this schedule is when the presence of ice prevents the ferry from crossing. In such a case, an ice bridge is usually built to allow pedestrians to cross to the other side.
On this, we can only wish Föri to continue carrying people across the Aura river for many more years!