As Alaska cruising moves full-throttle into high season, the increasingly popular Prince Rupert Cruise Port welcomed its first visit from Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Miracle. The British Columbia port celebrated the season’s start with a plaque exchange ceremony onboard the vessel.
Port Is An Emerging Call For Alaska Voyages
British Columbia’s Prince Rupert Cruise Port (PRCP) marked the launch of the Alaska cruise season with a special ceremony aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s 2,124-guest Carnival Miracle on May 2, 2023. The ship was the first to call at the port and will visit the destination through the summer season from her homeport of San Francisco.
Port General Manager Kevin D’Costa presented a plaque to ship Captain Roberto Costi at an event attended by local officials, Prince Rupert Port Authority members, and a representative of the region’s indigenous peoples.
Carnival Cruise Line announced in January 2023 that Carnival Miracle would call at Prince Rupert through the season, replacing scheduled calls to Victoria, British Columbia.
The ship is sailing a series of 10- to 14-night Alaska voyages roundtrip from the California port all season, bringing many thousands of cruise guests to the port, which is situated between Victoria, B.C., and Ketchikan, Alaska.
Considered an emerging port, the PRCP, in 2022, signed a 10-year contract with Global Ports Holding (GPH) with an eye toward expanding its cruise business. The port last year welcomed about 40,000 cruise guests, and expects that number to double in 2023. GPH is handling marketing efforts for the port.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming, and it has been so exciting to gear up for the 2023 cruise season. GPH, PRCP, our partners, stakeholders and the community have been looking forward to the first call and we have been delighted to have had the opportunity to share with the cruise passengers what Prince Rupert has to offer,” said port general manager D’Costa.
Great Bear Rainforest Is Among Port’s Attractions
The major attraction in Prince Rupert, which is roughly 100 miles south of Ketchikan, is inside British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest coastal temperate rainforest sprawling across 25,000 square miles a prime shore excursion destination for nature lovers.
The port recently added shore excursion choices, such as a trolley tour of the town that showcases the indigenous Ts’msyen culture, which local officials are keen to share with visitors.
Read Also: Your Guide to the Best Alaska Cruise Ports
“Visiting the ship yesterday was good, the captain and crew were very nice, friendly people. The area of Prince Rupert is a tribal area, and 9 tribes agreed to cruise tourism. We are looking forward to continuing and having different people coming to experience Prince Rupert and talking to them and teaching them about the area,” said Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell.
The port also began working with Carnival Cruise Line’s app, ShoreX Hub, enabling the line’s shore excursion teams to organize last-minute tours. Carnival Cruise Line did not specify the reason why it replaced Carnival Miracle’s calls at Victoria with Prince Rupert, but it did note that doing so would allow more time in port.
Originally, Carnival Miracle was scheduled to dock in Victoria from 8 a.m. until noon or 1 p.m. , but the updated itineraries show the ship will dock in Prince Rupert from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PRCP has one cruise terminal and can accommodate ships up to 1,100 feet long. Carnival Miracle is 965 feet long.
Princess Cruises Embraces Prince Rupert Port, Too
Carnival Cruise Line is not alone in supporting the Prince Rupert port. Princess Cruises early this year adjusted all of Ruby Princess’s Alaska itineraries to replace Victoria with Prince Rupert. The 3,080-guest ship was scheduled to call at Victoria 16 times this season. She also is sailing from San Francisco.
The Princess Cruises’ itinerary change is a result of an Interim Order for the Protection of the Killer Whale in the Waters of Southern British Columbia. The measure, which aims to reduce vessels’ acoustic and physical disturbance on endangered marine life, took effect in June 2022.