Passenger ferry line TS Laevad, which operates routes between the Estonian mainland and its major islands, says passenger numbers were down 19 percent on year to January.
The line, a subsidiary of state-owned firm the Port of Tallinn, carried 94,896 passengers in January 2021, 19 percent fewer than January 2020, while vehicle volumes fell 7 percent to 55,503 vehicles.
TS Laevad board member Ave Metlsa lay the fall at the door of the coronavirus pandemic and both a more stay-at-home approach of island and mainland residents and continued low numbers of international tourists.
At the same time, the reference base from January 2020 was an all-time high, Metsla added. The company ran 1,458 departures that month, and the figure for January 2021 was still 4 percent higher than the same month two years ago, in 2019.
The Virtsu-Kuivastu route, linking the mainland to Saaremaa and the adjacent Muhu, saw the bulk of TS Laevad's passengers at 69,635 in January 2021, a fall even higher than the overall figure at 21 percent on year, with 38,959 vehicles making the trip over the same period (7 percent fall).
The Rohukula-Heltermaa line linking Estonia's second-largest island, Hiiumaa, to the mainland, carried 25,262 passengers and 14,544 vehicles, falls of 12 percent and 3 percent respectively on year to January 2020.
Editor: Andrew Whyte