Scandlines Gedser Ferry
With total investments of DKK 1.7 billion in new ferries and port extensions at Gedser and Rostock, Scandlines is underpinning the importance of this central European corridor for passengers and freight.
The two ferries M/F Copenhagen and M/F Berlin have capacity for 480 cars or 96 lorries and up to 1,500 passengers. This will more than double previous capacity on the Gedser-Rostock route.
The new ferries are being built to the maximum size that Gedser can handle. The ferries have been designed so that the hull is perfectly adapted to the crossing and bottom conditions in the ports, fairways and open sea. This will substantially reduce the use of bunkers, keeping emissions to a minimum. The ferries’ engines are capable of being converted to run on liquid natural gas.
History of Gedser Ferry Port
Since the early Middle Ages, there has been a ferry connection from the southern tip of Falster across the Baltic Sea to Mecklenburg and Rostock. Until Gedser was established at the end of the 19th century, Gedesby was the most southerly settlement. Here the ferry connections to Rostock had their departure point from the south end of the now-diked Bøtø Cove. A medieval ferry inn was situated in Gedesby. In the Middle Ages, royal travellers were accommodated in the royal border estate: Gedsergård, which belonged to the seat of the queen dowager in Nykøbing.
The year after the storm flood of November 1872 a law was passed for the construction of a new ferry harbour with steamship connections to cities in northern Germany. The ferry berth and harbour train station as the last station on the railway line from Nykøbing was completed in 1886. In circa 1900, Gedser consisted merely of a general store on Strandvejen and some houses on the east side of Langgade. However, the development of the new Langgade’s area, earlier a dirt road, began to gather pace in 1903 after the establishment of a railway ferry to Warnemünde. Gedser developed over the course of a few decades with public buildings and housing for customs, railway, ferry and police personnel.
The pilot station with pilot tower on Sdr. Boulevard was built in 1906, the Water Tower is from 1910 and the Power Station on Danmarksgade is from 1911. Gedser Church was designed in 1915 by the architect P.V. Jensen-Klindt, who later achieved notoriety for his design of Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen.
Most of the railway and ferry installations managed to avoid demolition when the development of Gedser more or less came to a standstill in the 1960’s. Upon the creation of the Fugleflugts line in 1963, a great proportion of the traffic moved from the Gedser crossing to the Rødby-Puttgarten-crossing. That same year local efforts resulted in the establishment of a new fishing harbour. The lifeboat station has also existed on the same site since 1991. The old lifeboat station, which was built in 1925, was moved to the marina when the new lifeboat station came into operation.
After World War II, the area north-west of the ferry harbour became a quarry for gravel and stone. The then Sydfalster municipality took charge of the area in the 1970’s and established a marina facing out onto Guldborg Sound. To the north of the marina, Gedser Holiday Park was built in 1987 as the first holiday centre in Denmark with a sub-tropical indoor water complex. Today the area has developed into a holiday home locality.
The Gedser crossing enjoyed a brief renaissance due to the many East German day-trippers that resulted after the fall of the Berlin wall until the Gedser-Warnemünde train ferry route finally ceased operation in 1995. After 109 years of service, the direct train connection between Copenhagen and Berlin was closed. The train service between Gedser and Nykøbing has been downsized to a couple of departures daily.