Åland Maritime Museum manages and mediates Åland’s maritime heritage, with reference to the present and to the future.
A brief history
Our origins lie in the 1920s when Åland sea captain Carl Holmqvist started to collect nautical objects, realising the days of sailing ships were over. In 1935 he co-founded Åland Nautical Club with the aim of establishing a maritime museum for Åland. The museum building, designed by architect Jonas Cedercreutz, was completed in 1949 and five years later the Åland Maritime Museum opened to the public.
Through contributions from Åland seafarers and shipping companies the collections continued to grow. In 1986 Åland Nautical Club donated all museum objects, archives and the library to the newly formed trust Åland Maritime Museum.
An extension as well as comprehensive renovation of the original building commenced in the autumn of 2009. The museum re-opened on 26th April 2012. The original building, drawn by Jonas Cedercreutz in the 1940’s, got an extension designed by architects Johanna Vuorinen and Esa Kangas. The exhibition lay-out was designed by Helsinki-based studio Amerikka, in cooperation with Jouni Kaipia. In March 2015 the Trust was entrusted full management of the historic tall ship Pommern, owned by the Town of Mariehamn. A major investment in the visitor experience on board has since been done; as well as the building of a dry dock that Pommern moved into in 2019.
The Åland Maritime Museum Trust has received several awards for its work. In November 2017 the Trust received the Save the Children award for its inclusive educational work, in the spring of 2016, the Finnish Museums Association crowned the Maritime Museum ‘Museum of the Year’ and in the autumn of 2015 the Trust was given Visit Åland’s annual tourism award for its contribution to the tourism industry.