The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRP has announced a terminal operating agreement (TOA) with Global Ports Holding Plc (or GPH) to operate Northland Cruise Terminal, as well as manage the shore excursion program and oversee all cruise scheduling and passenger services at the Port of Prince Rupert.
Following the success of the 2022 cruise season after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, this agreement will further position Prince Rupert to develop as a cruise destination of choice amid the growth of cruise tourism on Canada’s west coast and within the Alaskan cruise theatre. In 2022, Prince Rupert welcomed more than 40,000 passengers.
GPH is the world’s largest independent cruise port operator with 26 cruise ports in 14 countries currently under its management. With a global network of award-winning ports and terminals, GPH has an established track-record in destination development and cruise port operations. Prince Rupert is the first port in North America in the company’s portfolio and its first foray into the Alaskan market.
GPH is uniquely positioned to transfer best practices to its future Prince Rupert operations, focusing on operational excellence and exceptional shore-excursion development. Building on the company’s strong global reputation for cruise destination development, it will bring considerable demonstrated experience in the areas of business-to-business tourism marketing and the ability to leverage its existing vast network of cruise industry relationships, making it an ideal strategic partner for cruise tourism growth in northern BC.
Located on the north coast of British Columbia in the Great Bear Rainforest, the Port of Prince Rupert is nestled near the southeastern tip of the Alaska Panhandle and offers visitors a taste of Canada’s unique, untamed wilderness within a vibrant, authentic Indigenous cultural experience, making it a sought-after destination in Alaskan cruise itineraries. With strong prospects for growth in the Alaskan cruise market, Prince Rupert has an opportunity to attract significantly more visitors moving forward.
“With its strategic location within the Alaskan cruise theatre, its rich Ts’msyen culture and history, and its breathtaking landscapes, 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,” said Mike Maura Jr., Regional Director – Americas of Global Ports Holding. “We believe that Prince Rupert has a realistic path to seeing weekly cruise calls and up to 250,000 passengers annually. As GPH, we look forward to working in partnership with the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the Cruise industry and the local community as we bring our global expertise and operating model to the port.”
“This 10-year agreement signifies the wealth of opportunity that exists in the Alaskan cruise theatre, and the key role the Port of Prince Rupert can serve in its future growth,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “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. GPH has the expertise to elevate cruise tourism in the area to meet Prince Rupert’s vision of growing a thriving cruise sector as a world-class destination, with significant economic benefits for the local community and surrounding region.”
Under the terms of the TOA, GPH will assume cruise-related operations in 2023. These operations include managing the local, integrated cruise passenger shore excursion program, managing the cruise schedule and the relationships with cruise lines calling on Prince Rupert that underpin it, while attracting additional lines to the destination to grow the business, and ensuring cruise passenger services meet the highest standards of quality. (Photo from Port of Prince Rupert)