Heltermaa Harbour history

Heltermaa Harbour is situated in Hiiumaa, Pühalepa rural district, 25 kilometres from Kärdla.

As early as in 1620 the name Heltermecky first appears then it referred to a farm. From that shore it was the shortest ice-route to the mainland in the winters. In the spring, summer, and autumn the connection was kept with a help of sailing boats.

In the 19th century the landlords in Hiiumaa (Ungern-Stenberg in the lead) established a regular postal communication between the mainland and the islands. A special type of sailing boat was used to carry the post. This sailing boat was a big, single-masted boat the length of which was 20 feet, and it had no deck, the crew consisted of 2-3 men.

Heltermaa Harbour was built in the second half of the 19th century (1860) thanks to the local landlords.
At the beginning the quay was built of stone and timber. Little by little the stone part of the quay was widened, and it was not before 1959 when the first ramp was built.
During the tsarist government the first attempts to deepen the route between Heltermaa and Rohuküla were made.
From the Soviet occupation Heltermaa Harbour belonged to the USSR Port of Tallinn.
In 1993 AS Tallinna Sadam started to build a new harbour building for Heltermaa.

In 1994 the administration of Heltermaa Harbour was assigned to RAS Saarte Liinid, formed by the Estonian Ministry of Transport and Communication. Through a tough competition AS Saaremaa Laevakompanii was elected to be responsible for organising the communication by sea for the next 10 years. Saaremaa Laevakompanii opened its Põhja Liinide office in Heltermaa.

In 1996, 12 December the new harbour building was opened, that modernised the working conditions and improved the servicing of the passengers. There is a hotel with a conference room, a bar with a kitchen, sauna, and rooms for communication-, customs-, and frontier guard services in the building. There are also rooms for police and first aid.

In 1997 the ferries carrying people to and from Hiiumaa were sold to AS Saaremaa Laevakompanii through a contest.

In 1998 the harbour started to build a new quay, in the autumn (1998) a new ferry “Ofelia” started working, in the summer the Heltermaa-Rohuküla route was deepened.

In 1999 the new lighting system was set in the harbour, and a modern water treatment system was put in place. The quays were equipped with systems that supply ships with fresh water and electricity.

The whole harbour territory got new asphalt and the traffic was reorganised. The yacht harbour was completed, in the same year, and is a good stopping place for yachts sailing in Estonian waters.