Finferries history extends back over 200 years as part of the Finnish Road Administration: during the years 1799-1809 the Royal Finnish Committee for the Clearing of Water Rapids operated in Finland which was founded by Gustav IV Adolf. In 1925, following Finland’s independence in 1917, the state established the Road and Waterway Construction Administration (RWCA), which carried on building and developing the road network.
The RWCA was followed by the National Board of Public Roads and Waterways and the National Board of Public Roads. In 1998, the administrative official duties and road maintenance duties of the National Board of Public Roads were separated from each other into two departments, which were in charge of administration and production, respectively. The administrative department’s official duties nevertheless continued to include production, planning, construction and maintenance.
In early 1998, the national ferry unit was founded at the National Board of Public Road's production unit, which assumed responsibility for the ferry locations throughout Finland in the nine different road district areas. The headquarters of the Ferry Division was in Turku with branch offices in Sulkava and Kempele.
The era of the National Board of Public Roads came to an end in 2001 with the permanent split of production and administration into two separate organisations. The Finnish Road Administration assumed responsibility of public roads and continued as the coordinator of road maintenance. The production department was renamed as The Finnish Road Enterprise which began to compete with other earthworks contractors over road maintenance contracts. Ferry services were already at this stage open to outside competition and agreements were made as negotiated contracts.
The Destia name was born on Valentine’s Day, February 14th 2007, when it was adopted as the marketing name for the Finnish Road Enterprise. Finnish Road Enterprise Ferry Owners changed it’s name to Destia Ferry Services.
From the beginning of 2008 Destia became a wholly state-owned limited liability company, established with the purpose of continuing the work of the Finnish Road Enterprise. Destia Ltd. continues to operate as a service company.
In a general meeting on October 15th 2009 the Government made a decision to divide Destia’s ferry service operations. The legitimate decision of the state representative was approved in an extraordinary general meeting for the partial splitting of Destia Ltd so that the ferry service operations would be divided into a special state-owned company directly and entirely owned by the state.
Destia Ltd's division took place in such a way that Suomen Lauttaliikenne Oy, Finlands Färjetrafik Ab in swedish, has continued the ferry traffic operations from January 1 st in 2010. For communications Suomen Lauttaliikenne Oy uses it´s shorter trade name Finferries.
28.5.2012 Suomen Lauttaliikenne Oy purchased the entire stock of Arctia Archipelago Shipping. With the signing of the agreement Suomen Lauttaliikenne became the only organization owned by the State that is responsible for both ferry and commuter ferry traffic. Arctia Archipelago Shipping became a subsidiary of Suomen Lauttaliikenne and the name was changed to Finland Archipelago Shipping Ltd.
In the 1970s there were approximately 110 ferry locations on the public roads. Over the years, new ferry routes have either been created or switched to road ferries maintained by the State. At some places a ferry has been moved to a new location and a bridge has been built instead. With the commuter ferries included Finferries operates on over 40 routes across Finland.