Year-end figures from BC Ferries show fewer people took a trip on the Inside Passage in 2013 than 2012, but more people made their way to Haida Gwaii than the year before.
A total of 31,066 passengers traveled between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy in 2013 compared to 32,748 in 2012, a drop of 1,682 that equates to 5.14 per cent. Along with the passengers, fewer vehicles were on board. Last year 9,594 vehicles were on the Inside Passage compared to 9,960 the year before, a drop of 366 equal to 3.67 per cent.
The numbers are a far cry from the traffic seen at the turn of the decade. In 2010 there were 37,605 passengers and 11,401 vehicles, a difference of 6,539 passengers and 1,807 vehicles.
In contrast to the Inside Passage, ridership between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii is on the rise. A total of 32,385 passengers made the sailing in 2013 compared to 30,540 in 2012, an increase of 6.04 per cent. Vehicle traffic was also up on the route, rising 6.34 per cent from 11,893 vehicles to 12,647 in 2013.
Unlike the Inside Passage, travel to Haida Gwaii has gone up so far this decade. In 2010 there were 31,520 passengers and 12,299 vehicles, 865 passengers and 348 vehicles less than the 2013 numbers.
The final numbers come just months before BC Ferries is to cut service on the Inside Passage by 32 per cent and cut Haida Gwaii service by 52 sailings per year.