The cruise industry in Prince Rupert is experiencing a renaissance with the port ready to receive more than double the amount of passengers this year than it received last year.
The Port of Prince Rupert revealed its cruise schedule this week, and this summer there will be 25 ships with approximately 17,000 passengers docking in the harbour.
Over the past three years, the number of passengers has dramatically increased — from 3,626 in 2015, up to 7,264 in 2016.
In the early days of the cruise ship industry, Prince Rupert was seeing 100,000 passengers a summer between 2005 until 2007. When the U.S. recession hit in 2008, the cruise business also sunk. Since then, Prince Rupert has had a slow recovery, only seeing a rise in ships and passengers in the past two years.
This year, will also see 20 of the 25 cruise ships joining the Port of Prince Rupert’s on-shore excursion program, which includes tours and activities by regional businesses.
“The partnership between Tourism Prince Rupert, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the local business community has been a major contributing factor to the recent growth and success of this important tourism sector,” said Scott Farwell, chair of Tourism Prince Rupert.
The northern B.C. city is also being included, once again, in Alaskan itineraries. For the first time in 15 years, Seabourn Cruise Line is going back to Alaska with a stop in Prince Rupert.
“It’s great to see cruise lines including Prince Rupert on their Alaskan itineraries for the first time, and the return of lines that we’ve had the pleasure of hosting in the past,” said Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The season starts on May 19 with the Oceania Regatta and 684 passengers, followed by the Norwegian Sun on May 26 with 1,936 passengers. The final cruise to dock Northland Terminal this year will be the Norwegian Jewel on Oct. 1 with 2,376 passengers aboard, the highest occupancy on any of the ships docking this season.
To learn more about how the Port of Prince Rupert and the cruise ship working group changed their strategy to attract more cruise ships read: A REVAMPED CRUISE STRATEGY WITH POTENTIAL