Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority says “Cruise has historically played a pivotal role in the economy.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today the return of cruise vessels to the Port of Prince Rupert this summer with the release of the 2022 cruise vessel schedule. In all, 26 cruise vessels with approximately 14,010 passengers are expected between May and September. After a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the restoration of cruise calls to the community of Prince Rupert promises to have a positive impact on the North Coast region’s tourism sector.
PRPA, alongside cruise operators, the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, the Government of Canada, and a variety of stakeholders have worked together to ensure the safe resumption of cruise activity at all Canadian ports. The industry has made this possible by committing to a comprehensive set of enhanced safety protocols both aboard cruise vessels and throughout the ship-to-shore passenger experience; these measures specifically include vaccination mandates for crews and passengers, enhanced hygiene practices, and passenger screening and testing requirements based on the best available science. With these measures in effect, the local tourism industry can safely take a leap towards recovery.
“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,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “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.”
“Tourism Prince Rupert is thrilled to welcome cruise passengers back to the Northland Terminal in Prince Rupert to experience all of the excitement and adventure our community has to offer. As the only port-of-call in Canada [for the ships on the 2022 itinerary], Prince Rupert offers passengers a unique glimpse into the wild Canadian landscape and our friendly small towns,” said Ceilidh Marlow, Executive Director, Tourism Prince Rupert. “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.”
Cruise tourism offers significant economic benefits to Prince Rupert and the surrounding area. Between 2004 to 2019, Prince Rupert welcomed approximately 655,000 passengers with an estimated direct economic impact of over $50 million. At Prince Rupert’s modest 2019 levels of cruise activity, there was an estimated $1.8 million of economic revenue brought to businesses in the community.
Prince Rupert serves as a strategic Canadian port-of-call within cruise vessel itineraries as part of the Alaska cruise market. Taking the latest 2022 projections into account, Alaska could see as many as 1.57 million passengers this year. With strong prospects for recovery and growth within this market, Prince Rupert has the opportunity to attract significantly more visitors than it has in recent years. The first cruise vessel to call on Prince Rupert is expected on May 29th with the arrival of the Windstar Star Breeze. A double-vessel call from Holland America and Princess Cruise Lines planned for September 23rd has the potential for an all-time record-setting day for cruise passengers visiting Prince Rupert.