Cruise passengers will be offered a unique tour excursion experience this year in a 65-foot canoe similar to the traditional ocean-going craft used by local First Nations peoples for centuries. The canoe is also the longest of its kind in North America. Prince Rupert will host an estimated 54,500 passengers from 25 large and pocket cruise ship calls in 2010, which are comparable to 2009 numbers. The season begins May 13 with the arrival of the 2,500-passenger Norwegian Star.

"Considering the globally competitive nature of the cruise business and the issues that cruise lines are grappling with in Alaska, we are pleased to be maintaining our current level of business," notes PRPA Vice President Marketing & Business Development Shaun Stevenson.

Overall, the Alaska cruise market is expected to contract by an estimated 140,000 passengers in 2010 due to the loss of 4 cruise ships from the British Columbia - Alaska cruise theatre. 

Mr. Stevenson says the priorities for the 2010 season are to build on the success of the tour excursion program and work with Prince Rupert stakeholders to enhance independent guest experience in and around the city. A key addition to the tour excursions is the introduction of the 65-foot war canoe, longest of its kind in North America, by Metlakatla First Nations' Seashore Charters.