The Prince Rupert Port Authority has announced its 2013 schedule of cruise ship visits.

A total of nine ships will call on the North Coast city this summer, beginning with the return of Oceania's MS Regatta on Saturday, June 15th.

"Cruise guests are attracted by our city's reputation for authentic wilderness experiences, First Nations heritage and pioneer history," said Shaun Stevenson, Vice-President of Trade Development and Public Affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

"Positive feedback from guests and cruise lines during the 2012 season is driving the development of new excursions and experiences. Also, the development vision for Prince Rupert's central waterfront is generating positive interest from decision-makers in the cruise industry."

The Oceania Regatta was last berthed at Prince Rupert's Northland Terminal in 2011, and the 684-passenger vessel will call on the North Coast city a total of three times this season. Also returning this year is 380-passenger Silver Seas' Silver Shadow, which will repeat the two July calls it made in Prince Rupert during the 2012 season.

Returning in 2013 are Lindblad Expeditions' sister ships the National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird. These 62-passenger vessels specialize in wilderness exploration adventures, and began calling on Prince Rupert even before Northland Terminal was opened in 2004.

Making its inaugural visit to Prince Rupert in 2013 is Zegrahm's Caledonian Sky, a 100-passenger expedition vessel that will continue cruising to Alaska, Russia and eventually Australia and New Zealand after departing Prince Rupert in June. The last and largest ship of the 2013 season is Celebrity Cruises' 1,800-passegner Celebrity Century ship, which will make its inaugural visit to Prince Rupert on September 23rd. This will be the first time a Celebrity Cruises vessel has called on Prince Rupert since 2008, when their Mercury and Infinity ships visited multiple times during the season.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is continuing its engagement efforts with cruise lines, working to demonstrate Prince Rupert's capacities and capabilities as an attractive destination for cruise tourism. The Central Waterfront development plan will be an integral part of focus of the Port Authority's message to the industry at the upcoming Cruise Shipping Miami conference.

"The Central Waterfront vision will create much-enhanced waterfront access, public spaces and recreational capacities for the residents of Prince Rupert," said Stevenson. "Those improvements will also enhance Prince Rupert's attractiveness as a tourism destination and function as a world-class portal for arriving cruise passengers."

New promotional media and a redesigned cruise website are also being launched to better profile the visitor experience and attractiveness of Prince Rupert as a cruise destination and anchor Prince Rupert's presence in the marketplace in support of efforts to grow cruise ship traffic.