The 2009 cruise season begins May 7 with the arrival of the 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star, which will visit Prince Rupert 17 times over the course of the season. The Port is expecting 27 cruise ship and large pocket cruiser calls, bringing 48,463 visitors to the region where "Where Canada's Wilderness Begins". This includes The World, a floating residential community of up to 300 residents that will call here on July 23.

The increased competition in the cruise industry, particularly in the Alaska Theatre, and the economic downturn have resulted in more than 50 per cent fewer passengers than the record 103,000 passengers who visited Prince Rupert in 2008.

"Our goal for this cruise season is to work with the community to continue to build infrastructure and enhance the experience of independent guests while still delivering on our world-class shore excursion programs," explains Vice President Marketing & Business Development Shaun Stevenson, adding that Prince Rupert has been in the cruise business for only five years and is still growing.