Island ferry passenger numbers down nearly 20 percent on year to January

One of the TS Laevad ferries, Piret, on route from Kuivastu to Virtsu
One of the TS Laevad ferries, Piret, on route from Kuivastu to Virtsu Source: ERR

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.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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