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The Saimaa Canal traffic ends in week 5

Published 29.1.2021 9.00

The Saimaa Canal traffic season is about to end, and the last vessels will pass through the canal during week 5.

The canal will be closed for the winter break for approximately six weeks this year. If weather conditions allow, the canal will be opened again on Monday 22 March 2021.

While the canal is closed for the winter break, locks will be maintained and moveable bridges in the leased areas will be renovated.

According to the preliminary information, after the winter break ends, the canal will be seeing a lot of traffic. In 2020, almost 1.3 million tonnes of goods passed through the Saimaa Canal. That is more than a 25 % increase compared to the previous year. Due to coronavirus restrictions, there was no recreational or passenger vessel traffic in the canal during 2020.

Since the beginning of December, the detachable bow Saimaa, owned by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, has operated on Lake Saimaa together with the tug boat Calypso. The icebreaking capacity and handling of this combination have proved good, and it has received praise from the captains and pilots of the merchant vessels that have been assisted. In March, when traffic is restarted, the actual ice tests for the detachable bow Saimaa will be carried out.

Further information:

Tero Sikiö, Head of Unit, Inland Waterways, tel. +358 29 534 3409, [email protected]