Prince Rupert is a deep-water port and town located on Kaien Island in British Columbia (BC Canada), with population around 13,000 and land area approx 53 km2 (21 mi2). Prince Rupert's current day economy is based on port services (container shipping and logistics), fishing industry and tourism.
The sheltered harbour of Prince Rupert is the deepest natural ice-free harbour in North America, as well as the third deepest natural harbour in the world. It is North America's northwestern most port linked to the railway network of the continent. The port is first inbound and last outbound call port for cargo ships traveling between western North America and eastern Asia. The capacity of Prince Rupert port is nearly the same as that of Port of Vancouver.
Much of Prince Rupert Harbour is formed by a shelter provided by the island of Digby, which is situated windward of the city and contains Prince Rupert Airport. The city lies on Kaien Island and the harbour includes also Morse Basin, Wainwright Basin, Porpoise Harbour, and Tuck Inlet, as well as part of Chatham Sound waters, taking in Ridley Island.
On August 29, 2017, Port Prince Rupert completed the works on Fairview Container Terminal's expansion.
- Following DP World’s port expansion project, the terminal now can accommodate even the world's largest container vessels (20,000+ TEU boxships). Fairview Terminal's capacity was increased from 850,000 to 1,35 million TEU-containers annually. The 2-year expansion project included building a 2nd berth, that is served by 3 new Malacca-max gantry cranes.
- On April 21, 2018, Hapag-Lloyd Line made company's first-ever call here with the ship YM Masculinity. The seaport offers short transit times to other Canadian and US destinations, including 3-day to Calgary and 5-day to Montreal.
- The completed in 2017 "Phase 2A" increased terminal's capacity by 0,5 million TEUs (to 1,35 million TEUs). Expansion project's "Phase 2B" (mid-2019 through 2022) will increase Fairview Terminal's annual capacity to 1,8 million TEUs. The project includes enlarging the container yard (from 32 to 41 hectares) and adding 2 new rubber-tired gantry cranes plus 8th dock gantry crane. The existing buildings will be relocated for more TEU storage capacity. On-dock rail capacity will be also increased with 2036 m (6680 ft) new working rail track (to a total 7522 m / 24680 ft) by 2022.
- PRPA's container terminal master plan was officially announced on May 21, 2019. This port development project includes the construction/expansion of container terminals (total annual capacity 6-7 million TEU-containers), further expansion of Fairview Container Terminal (from 1,35 to 1,8 million TEUs, scheduled completion in 2022), building a second container terminal at South Kaien Island (with annual capacity 2,5 million TEUs). Both Fairview and South Kaien terminals are close to Ridley Island (serving mainly export logistics). By the end of 2020 will be completed the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor (5-km / 3-ml long road linking Fairview Terminal with Ridley Island Industrial Site) works on which started in 2019.
- In November 2018, Port Prince Rupert received CAD 21,9 million in Government funding for 3 separate infrastructure projects - Fairview-Ridley Connector ($15M), Ridley Island Road Rail Utility Corridor Expansion ($3,7M) and Zanardi Bridge and Mainline Expansion ($3,2M).
For FY2016 (fiscal year), the port contributed over CAD 1 billion to Northern British Columbia’s economy. The port's activities (terminal, rail, truck and logistics services) support over 3100 local jobs, with total earnings over CAD 260 million (average annual wage over CAD 80,000). In 2018, Port Prince Rupert reported record volumes with handled 1 million TEUs and 27 million cargo tons.
In 2017, the port handled 25 cruise ships and around 17,000 passengers. In 2018, the cruise port had booked a total of 30 ship calls and handled around 17,000 passengers. Among the largest cruise companies calling at Prince Rupert are NCL Norwegian, also the luxury brands Oceania, Seabourn, RSSC Regent. Tour options include wildlife viewing (bears, whales), jet boating, hiking, seakayaking.
As a shore excursion from Prince Rupert BC is offered bus tour travel to the North Pacific Cannery (1889-founded, at Skeena River's mouth). This is a National Historic Site that consists of 25 buildings, including the NPC Museum.
Prince Rupert cruise terminal
Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is responsible for seaport's operations. Passenger ferries operating from Prince Rupert include:
- BC FERRIES service links to Queen Charlotte City (Graham Island, Haida Gwaii) and Port Hardy (Vancouver Island).
- Alaska Marine Highway ferries connect daily to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and many other ports along Inside Passage AK). IMPORTANT: Since October 1, 2019, due to inability to comply with the new US security requirements, Alaska State terminated its Alaska Marine Highway ferry service connecting with British Columbia (to and from Prince Rupert).
Prince Rupert port's Ferry Terminal is co-located with the railway station, from which a thrice-weekly Jasper is offered by Via Rail. The service connects to Prince George & Jasper, and via connection with The Canadian - to the rest of continental passenger rail network.
- Cruise Industry
Princess Cruises announced a new (company's first) summer season with homeporting in Los Angeles (Long Beach CA) in 2021. Offering various voyages...October 3, 2020
- Cruise Industry
Cruise ship tourists will not be allowed to disembark if vessels arrive at the British Columbia ports this summer, the province's health officials...May 13, 2020
- Cruise Industry
The US state Alaska announced the termination of its passenger ferry service to and from Prince Rupert (BC Canada), effective October 1, 2019, citing...September 5, 2019
The BC FERRIES ship Northern Adventure (formerly Korais) experienced mechanical problems and was stuck in Prince Rupert terminal Sunday...July 2, 2018
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