Two years after seeing the COVID-19 pandemic halt cruise activities at its seaport, the Port of Prince Rupert is touting triple-digit numbers in cruise passenger volumes and its busiest cruise season in more than a decade.
The British Columbia seaport announced Oct. 26 that it has seen a 230% surge in cruise passenger numbers when comparing this year’s cruise season to the 2019 season, the last time cruise vessels operated in Canada before the pandemic.
This cruise season brought 40,998 cruise passengers moving through the port between May 17 and Oct. 3, a comeback that has resulted in about $3.5 million in direct consumer spending locally, including over $650,000 to local shore excursion businesses, according to the port.
Visits by the Ruby Princess (with its 3,000 passenger-plus capacity) also boosted the cruise season’s numbers, calling at the port 13 times. It’s the first vessel in the Princess Cruises fleet to incorporate Prince Rupert to its regular Alaska cruise itinerary, the port said.
“The 2022 cruise season was the ninth largest in Prince Rupert’s history and we are greatly encouraged by the strong return of the cruise tourism sector,” Prince Rupert Port Authority President and CEO Shaun Stevenson said.
Stevenson added that the port is uniquely positioned within the Alaska cruise marketplace moving forward, “with immense potential for growth, particularly in regard to developing new opportunities for Indigenous-led tourism and eco-tourism in our region.”