Friday, December 21, 2012

There's cruise season and then there is THE CRUISE SEASON

The newly arrived phone book for Prince Rupert and Port Edward offers up much in the way of useful information and among the entries in this years publication, on page 17 for those following along at home, is a handy schedule of the eight cruise ship visits planned for 2013.

A vessel call that starts on June 9th and will wrap up on September 23rd. Providing for a total of 5,980 guests.

As most Rupertites know the Cruise Industry of late seems to have been of the boom and bust style of economic development, with the local enthusiasts of the cruise industry, as well as the local Cruise Task Force currently seeking to improve on our fortunes and rebuild the industry once again, hoping to find our place in the lucrative Alaska Cruise Season.

To give us an idea though as to the kind of struggle ahead, compare our eight cruise visits for 2013 to the recently released preview of the Ketchikan Cruise season.

Our neighbours to the north are on track for what Ketchikan cruise officials call a record numbers in 2013. With projections calling for close to 950,000 passengers to disembark at Ketchikan in the year to come.

Overall, Ketchikan is anticipating some 473 port calls for 2013, up significantly from the 434 port calls of 2012.

The first ship that will call on Ketchikan will arrive on April 27th, the last vessel will pull away from the Ketchikan Cruise Dock on September 27th. 

And in a scenario that the Prince Rupert Cruise Task Force planners can only dream of, May 10th will provide for a most congested day for our neighbours to the north, with three ships calling  on the port that day.

As we have heard for a few years now, there remains quite a bit of work to do on the Prince Rupert side of the tourism plan to try and attract just a few of those 473 ships, vessels that may very well be sailing by our front door, barely aware that we're here.

Prince Rupert most likely won't see those kind of numbers in the near future, the slow and steady approach to rebuilding relationships seems to be a time consuming process. And the need to provide a full and varied schedule for the guests at times must seem quite daunting for local tourism players.

Still, the numbers from the north give us some indication as to the kind of impact that the cruise industry can have on a community, once they find a welcoming spot to pull ashore.

You can review our past items of note on the Cruise industry in Prince Rupert from our archives.

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