A world's first three-level boarding ramp for cars, caravans and trucks to board at the same time will be part of the $135 million Spirit of Tasmania terminal development in Geelong.
The Spirit ferries are expected to start operating between Devonport and Geelong in spring next year.
GeelongPort on Friday said contractors were due to start major on-land works on the passenger and freight terminal precinct, which would replace the Spirits' Melbourne terminal.
"It's fantastic to see the major works beginning on the precinct development," Spirit operator TT-Line's chief executive, Bernard Dwyer, said.
"There has been a considerable amount of planning and design work leading up to today.
"I am looking forward to seeing the development evolve over the next 12 months, so we begin welcoming passengers to Geelong in spring 2022."
GeelongPort said it was continuing to work with the Victorian and federal governments to support essential road upgrades in time for the facilities to open.
"The Spirit of Tasmania passenger and freight terminal precinct is coming at a time where Geelong and the wider region are recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be an essential piece of tourism and freight infrastructure for decades," it said
It said the development would include an impressive terminal building providing more amenity for passengers and staff, a boarding area with marshalling for 600 cars and a separate parking area for 150 trucks.
There will also be security facilities, public amenities, crew accommodation, a cafe, a children's play area and a pet exercise area.
A 12 hectare site will be used for the development, at the port's Corio Quay precinct.
The port is Victoria's second biggest, behind the Port of Melbourne, and manages 600 vessel visits per year.