The Oceania Regatta cruise ship arrived on July 13 with 1

Information session to grow shore excursions for cruise lines

Businesses that want to get involved in the cruise industry will have an information session hosted by the Port of Prince Rupert.

Businesses and entrepreneurs who want to carve their own niche in the cruise industry can take advantage of an information session hosted by the Port of Prince Rupert.

In June, the port authority’s Jeff Stromdahl presented at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon on a revamped cruise ship strategy for the coming years, with the promise to help other businesses get involved in the game.

Stromdahl, the trade development associate at the port, is offering a short presentation at the Port Interpretive Centre on Thursday.

For the 2016 season there are 10 tour options provided by seven companies. This session will lead up to submissions for the 2017 season — which is coming up shortly — to potentially add more tour options for visitors.

“Our goal is to educate and prepare those who are interested in the process, requirements and deadlines to be apart of the shore excursion program to be a licenced vendor,” Stromdahl said.

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A cruise working group, formed over the past year, has researched the cruise industry and has formulated a new strategy to draw more cruise ships to the area. The working group found that shore excursions at the Prince Rupert port-of-call are rated high but there is only enough capacity for 500-600 people. Tourists who explore the area independently have rated their experience as poor.

The working group found that the visitor wants an authentic experience, with reliable wildlife viewing and diverse landscapes.

Some cruise lines, such as Regent, are an inclusive cruise line that are looking for tours that fit in a specific price range so that they can offer that tour as part of the package for their passengers. Many of the tours in Prince Rupert are above that price point and the passengers have to pay extra to take part.

The cruise working group is looking to grow the overall tour capacity to offer more variation and more added tour departures to passengers.

Stomdahl said at the chamber presentation that the working group is aiming for high end luxury lines with less passengers, and he suggested private tours should be introduced as a way to ramp up options for visitors.

With the aim of growing Prince Rupert’s capacity for shore excursions the port is hosting a workshop for cruise readiness at the Port Interpretive Centre on Thursday, July 21 from noon until 1 p.m. There will be time for questions for businesses looking to become a shore excursion vendor.

To RSVP, contact Stromdahl through email at  JStromdahl@rupertport.com