The ferry port in Mukran is one of the last major transportation projects which the former GDR realized in the 1980s. The port was to guarantee efficient ferry service for the transporting of goods to and from the former Soviet governed port in Klaipeda (Memel) in Lithuania. The purpose was to avoid the high transit cost and the risks associated with the uncertain political situation by passing the long and route through Poland for the transporting of goods between the GDR and the ex-Soviet Union.
Many soldiers form the former National People’s Army construction units, the so called “construction soldiers”, were ordered to support construction works in Mukran.
The ferry connection from Mukran to Klaipeda began in 1986 and was thereafter extended as a scheduled liner service with five railway ferries up until 1989. During GDR times, the port territory was a restricted zone and not generally accessible to the public. In the early 1990s, the majority of the Soviet armed forces which were once stationed in the GDR had been repatriated via Mukran.
The port, which up until 1990 was used exclusively for goods and military traffic, thereafter received a range of additional new services. However, due to capacity limits in the Sassnitz city port, a new ferry terminal had to be built in 1995. Extensive refurbishment and continuous further development of the existing berths was carried out for the ever increasing passenger traffic to Scandinavia. In 1998, the track system in the port area was extended to meet the operational needs of rail ferry transport service between Sassnitz and Trelleborg. Following two years of development, the largest German rail ferry port on the Baltic Sea was opened 7 January 1998. Since that day, the “King’s Line” has been sailing from the port in Mukran which then was called “Fährhafen Sassnitz” (Ferry port Sassnitz).
From 2001 to September 2013, the shipping company DFDS Seaways operated the railway ferry to Klaipeda in Lithuania.
The broad gauge business activities were finally privatized in 2011 and Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH took over the complete broad gauge system except, for the rail connection terminal.
In that same year, Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH established the port railway „Baltic Port Rail Mukran“as a subsidiary company.
The regular ferry link between Sassnitz and Russian Ust-Luga (via Baltiysk) as well as the transporting of railway wagons of the Russian broad gauge has been in operation since 2012.
With the new umbrella brand “MUKRAN PORT” Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH repositioned itself in the market. The new name reflects the transformation of the site in recent years from a typical ferry port to one of the major industrial and commercial centres in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Moreover, Sassnitz-Mukran as the future establishment for installation, operation and service centre for offshore wind farms in the German Baltic Sea.