The Prince Rupert cruise business recorded a 50 per cent increase in passengers and crews compared to 2006, according to the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA).

"It's a record year for us with approximately 100,000 cruise ship passengers coming into Prince Rupert over the course of the season," said PRPA Vice President Marketing & Business Development Shaun Stevenson. "Including crews, we estimate over 123,000 visitors arriving by cruise ship."

Stevenson noted that local tour operators also experienced a record-breaking year. "This year we saw over 25,000 guests off cruise ships on organized tours in Prince Rupert, which equates to about a two million dollar economic impact to our local tour operators. This doesn't include passenger spending in the community. Overall, we saw a significant increase over past years."

Contributing to the record year was an expanded cruise season that saw 60 large cruise ship calls from Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. In addition, there was a significant increase in port calls from smaller ships, or pocket cruisers, as part of their Alaska itineraries.

Prince Rupert is projecting another strong year in 2008.