The State of Alaska released its Alaska Marine Highway schedule for the winter and Prince Rupert will see one shortened visit per week for the next several months.
The schedule calls for a weekly Tuesday arrival at the Alaska Marine Highway terminal, with the departure scheduled three hours later. This is in contrast to the five hour layover experienced last winter. In most cases, the vessel arrives very early Tuesday morning. For example, the latest the ship arrives in and departs from Prince Rupert is at 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., respectively.
"It's not good news, that's for sure, but we did know it was coming," said Tourism Prince Rupert chair Scott Farwell.
"From the numbers we're looking at, a lot of the traffic in the winter is residents of Alaska moving back and forth from their home, but they're still tourists in Prince Rupert so any change in service levels is concerning."
The schedule is altered slightly in March when a vessel arrives on Monday and spends four hours in town on March 7 and 14.
The Taku, which has served Prince Rupert in the past, will be out of service for the entire fiscal year.
The schedule currently runs from October to April, with the final Saturday sailing taking place on Oct. 3.