Canadian Cruise Port Signs Deal with Major Port Operator

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The British Columbian cruise port Prince Rupert has signed a 10-year deal with Global Ports Holding to expand its cruise business further. Global Ports Holdings has taken over the cruise services for many ports lately, including San Juan, Antigua, and Singapore, and operates 26 ports in 14 countries.

Prince Rupert is an exciting port as it is close to Alaska and offers cruise operators an attractive port of call while in transit between Alaska and US ports such as Seattle. 

Prince Rupert Signs 10-year Deal to Increase Cruise Traffic

The vast amount of cruise passengers that sail to Alaska each year is potentially attractive for port operators in the region. This rings especially true as more well-known ports suffer from congestion in the May to October period when the Alaska cruise season is at its busiest. 

Although Prince Rupert only registered 41,000 cruise passengers in the last year, the port hopes to increase that number significantly over the next ten years. To achieve that goal, the city government signed a 10-year deal with the largest cruise port operator worldwide, Global Ports Holdings.

Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia (Photo Credit: John Wijsman / Shutterstock)

“This 10-year agreement signifies the wealth of opportunity that exists in the Alaskan cruise theater and the key role the Port of Prince Rupert can serve in its future growth,” Prince Rupert Port Authority President and CEO Shaun Stevenson said.

“Prince Rupert’s value proposition to cruise visitors is a strong one – a natural port of call on an Alaskan itinerary, a rich and diverse cultural history, and spectacular north coast scenery as a backdrop.” 

For now, Global Ports Holdings will focus on the marketing side, attracting more cruise ships to the port. The company believes traffic to Prince Rupert will double next year to around 80,000 passengers. Both Carnival and Princess Cruises have already booked calls to the city. 

Prince Rupert Aims for Growth, not Mass Tourism

Although the deal with Global Ports Holdings will bring a significant increase in cruise tourism to the Port of Prince Rupert, the city does not aim to grow as big and busy as some of the ports in Alaska, which often see more than one million visitors each year. 

The main aim for the port will be to take advantage of the growing congestion in the Alaskan ports, giving guests a more relaxed port experience than they would get further north. 

Global Ports Holding Regional Director for the Americas Mike Maura Jr. spoke of the port’s cruising potential and looks forward to the partnership with the port and the community.

“The Port of Prince Rupert has immense potential to meet the rising demand from the cruise industry and accommodate the increasing volume and size of cruise ships. We believe that Prince Rupert has a realistic path to seeing weekly cruise calls and up to 250,000 passengers annually.”

Prince Rupert will be the first North American port that Global Ports Holdings runs. The company operates 26 cruise ports in 14 countries and is the biggest cruise port operator worldwide. 

Prince Rupert’s position, north of Vancouver, and only a few miles from Ketchikan, Alaska, ensures it is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the spillover of the Alaska cruise season. It also allows cruise operators to make a vital call outside the United States without needing to sail to Canadian ports much further south. 

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