Silver Shadow Luxury Cruise ship made its stop over on the North Coast last week, more than just the usual collection of tourists was along for the port call.
Among the group of visitors that took to the streets of Prince Rupert last Friday, was travel writer Aaron Saunders.
The Vancouver based writer who focuses on the cruise industry took advantage of his stop over in the city to collect some impressions of the region. Offering up some thoughts on how the community might want to approach in its ongoing quest to rebuild its cruise industry.
Mr. Saunders is a writer and editor of the website From the Deck Chair, a fairly comprehensive review of all things to do with the Cruise industry, with entries dating back to September of 2009.
His article from June 28th offers up his snapshot of what to expect on a Prince Rupert port call and provides up some interesting glimpses into how those that cross over the walkway view the city and what they might take back home with them as far as impressions go.
With a short narrative as to our colourful history tied to Charles Hays and more recent developments in marine transportation, Saunders gets to the current status of the Cruise Industry on the North Coast.
Part of that preamble outlines where Prince Rupert may be compared to other communities along the Alaska Cruise circuit, an overview that would suggest we are a bit behind when it comes to what's required to attract a larger volume of cruise ships at the moment.
As for the actual review of the city for his website, in words and through a large volume of photographs, he offered up his impression as to what Prince Rupert has to offer.
And while he suggests for the large mainstream vessels of the past we may not have the services and commercial opportunities that seem to feed that aspect of the cruise industry, he does see some great opportunity to help grow the industry here.
Instead, he suggests Prince Rupert may be more suited to the likes of the smaller cruise lines such as Silversea (the line he was travelling on for his piece this time) offering what he describes as the authentic experience.
An impression he believes was shared by some of those he met with while on the Silver Shadow during their journey along the coast.
The highlight of his stopover a journey to Butze Rapids, which offered up a sense of the service that local operators are looking to provide to rebuild the cruise experience for visitors.
According to the Saunders review, the bus that was scheduled to take the Silver Sea passengers to Butze had mechanical issues, so rather than cancel the excursion, taxi cabs were dispatched to take the group out for their Prince Rupert experience.
It was a gesture that resonated with the writer and reflected well on the local organizers and the region in general.
There's probably not much that can be done in the short term to improve the shopping prospects for visitors, but taking advantage of our natural surroundings and making sure that those that are visiting can find a way to get to them appears to be a good starting point to rebuild and expand the industry on the North Coast.
You can take a look at his full review of the SilverSea Prince Rupert port call here.
We have more items of note on the cruise industry on the North Coast available on our archive page.