The Prince Rupert Port Authority in May announced that cruise ships are returning to the Northland Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert this summer after two years of closure due to COVID-19.
The 2022 cruise season, between May and September, is expected to include 26 vessels with about 14,010 passengers, according to the port authority.
Cruising is a significant industry at Prince Rupert. From 2004 to 2019, cruising brought in about 655,000 passengers. Their estimated direct economic impact—more than $50 million.
“PRPA and our partners are looking forward to safely welcoming back cruise passengers to Prince Rupert after a de-stabilizing couple of years in the tourism industry,” the Port Authority President and CEO Shaun Stevenson said. “Cruise has historically played a pivotal role in the local economy and it is our hope that the 2022 summer season marks the return of a vibrant local tourism sector, with the opportunity to increase its strength in the future.”
The authority teamed up with cruise operators, the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, the Canadian government and various stakeholders to ensure health safety on cruises, including vaccine mandates for crews and passengers, passenger screening and testing requirements.
“As the only (2022) port-of-call in Canada, Prince Rupert offers passengers a unique glimpse into the wild Canadian landscape,” Tourism Prince Rupert Executive Director Ceilidh Marlow said. “We are working closely with PRPA to prepare for the upcoming season and are actively searching for new tour operators or businesses interested in offering an experience for cruise passengers.”
The Ruby Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, made her inaugural call on Prince Rupert on May 17 and now includes the port as a regular stop on the ship’s Alaska itinerary about every 10 days.
In addition to the Ruby Princess, Prince Rupert is also expected to add another vessel call from Windstar’s Star Breeze to its roster on Sept. 7. The addition of the Ruby Princess to the schedule is expected to give “a significant boost” to the local tourism industry, Stevenson said.
The Port of Prince Rupert said that it now expects 43 cruise vessel calls and about 60,622 passengers in total to visit Prince Rupert between now and Sept. 30.