A letter of intent has been signed to construct a new ferry, in order to create a direct link from Gdynia to Hel peninsula, with a remarkable eco-friendly electric powerplant. The model is planned to have capacity for 80 vehicles and 200 passengers, and be built locally.

image Nelton ferry

A Nelton ferry candidate model – ZeroCat

It will make it possible to bypass traffic jams on the long Gdynia-Hel overland route, and should stimulate activity on the peninsula during the off-season. On a good day with no congestion, the trip can take 1.5 hours of driving.

Modern technology

The proposed ferries have an electrical propulsion system. The ZeroCat model for example, claims to be able to fully charge in an incredible 10 minutes and claims to eliminate 3000 tons of carbon emissions compared to combustion driven equivalents.

The ship would be economical, because the electric drive is even five times cheaper than conventional drives, while not polluting the atmosphere, hence our enthusiasm to implement such a solution in Poland.

-says Marek Świeczkowski, President of the North-South Transport infrastructure group.

A similar ferry has been running since January in Norway on the Lavik-Oppedal route, the first in Europe for a Norwegian firm designed by Nelton from Pruszcz Gdański, which is a member of the North-South Transport infrastructure group. Its two electric motors are powered by lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

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Presentation of the Trójmiasto project is planned for the end of September and October. The estimated cost of the construction of the unit is about 40 million złoty. The ferry would have to measure 80 metres in length and take on board the 60-80 cars and 200 passengers.


There used to be a similar connection back when the ferries were subsidised by local government, connecting Hel, Gdynia, Sopot and Gdańsk, initially ridden by almost half a million passengers in its first year. Eventually as local government support failed, the routes failed.

Such a connection is needed, for traffic on the Hel Peninsula, also during the off-season, if would facilitate the lives of the residents and entrepreneurs, who could supply freight. It would be busier on the peninsula of Westerplatte [Gdańsk], which has a great infrastructure-terminal ready to operate such a connection.

-Mateusz Kowalewski from the portal GospodarkaMorska.pl, one of the protagonists in the ferry build.

There is no such ship, which connects Gdańsk, Gdynia and Hel Peninsula. With the help of local shipyards we could build a ferry which stopped often and took the load off the route from Gdynia to Hel.

Explains Marek Świeczkowski.


The ferry team wants to solicit resources from the National Center for research and development, the National Fund for environmental protection and water management and the EU.

On April 11 the institutions signed a letter of intent in this case. Joint preparatory work and soliciting for funds for the construction of an electric shuttle declared Sea Office in Gdynia, the North-South Transport Logistics Cluster, Gdańsk University of Technology, Institute of electrical engineering, Association of towns and municipalities, Loop Zulawska, PNO Consultants, Shipyard Remontowa Nauta, Nelton from Pruszcz Gdański, Repair Lighting Technologies.

It is not known yet whether the ferry would operate on a commercial basis or require subsidies.

I believe that the ferry connection is very attractive, it would allow bypassing of traffic jams, says Klemens Kohnke, Mayor of Hel. -As to participation in cost, we had a bad experience of maintenance. It was a costly enterprise, which took a long time to pay off. Keeping only one line in the season cost Hel about 400 thousand zł.
If it was necessary, the costs of participation should be properly separated, e.g. dependent on the number of inhabitants of the municipality.

The project to build an electric shuttle applies also for grants under the Smart Specialisation of Pomerania “Inteligentne Specjalizacje Pomorza”, which is the responsibility of the speaker.

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