First cruise ship of the Prince Rupert cruise season scheduled to arrive Sunday

There will be a few hundred more people making their way around Prince Rupert on Sunday afternoon as the 2015 cruise season gets underway.

There will be a few hundred more people making their way around Prince Rupert on Sunday afternoon as the 2015 cruise season gets underway.

The first ship of the season, the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator, will be pulling in to Northland Cruise Terminal at one p.m. for the start of an eight-hour visit that will see passengers depart at approximately 9 p.m.

“The Prince Rupert Port Authority is looking forward to welcoming back the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator this Sunday, as Prince Rupert launches the 2015 cruise season with the first of 10 calls,” said Brian Friesen, marketing manager for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, noting this year will be an introduction to Prince Rupert for some of the vessels.

“This summer we are excited to host two new ships to the Alaska theatre, as the French cruise line Ponant enters the market.”

While the port authority has confirmed the entry of two new ships, Friesen said there is still ongoing work in the background to draw even more ships to Prince Rupert in the years ahead.

“During the off-season, the Prince Rupert Port Authority hired cruise consultants Bermello & Ajamil to conduct a cruise market assessment to better understand current market opportunities,” he explained.

“Together with the City of Prince Rupert, Tourism Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce as well as local tourism operators, a cruise working group has been formed and is currently building a cruise tourism strategy for the future based on the findings of the report.”

The next ship to call on Northland will be during Seafest weekend when the 684-passenger MS Regatta makes its first of two calls to Prince Rupert. In total, seven vessels will bring 3,366 passengers to Prince Rupert between May 31 and Sept. 22, down from 10 vessels and 3,622 passengers last

year.