With a population of just 15,000 people, Prince Rupert is a small city on the northwest coast of British Columbia. An island within close distance of the Alaskan border, Prince Rupert is a popular stop for cruise ships on their way through the Alaskan passage.
Wildlife sightings are common while on route to and while visiting Prince Rupert. The area is a renowned humpback whale habitat and also home to a unique grizzly bear sanctuary. Many other animal species thrive here too. Boating tours are available throughout the area to see these animals in their natural habitat.
As part of an inner harbour, Prince Rupert is a perfect combination of natural wilderness and modern city facilities. Unlike many areas throughout nearby Alaska, the island can be easily reached by air, sea and land. Water tours and private seaplane charters are readily available to explore the area’s natural beauty.
Keen fishermen will be in their element during a visit to Prince Rupert. The many lakes, plenty of streams, and the ocean provide ample opportunities for catching salmon or rainbow trout. The waterways and natural forests are central to many activities Prince Rupert has to offer, from sport fishing to hiking, from kayaking to boating.
Just 20 kilometres south of the Alaskan border, Prince Rupert is a regular stop for many cruise ships on their way through Alaska. Most cruise ships dock at Northland Cruise Terminal, which is located in the Cow Bay district of Prince Rupert. Some smaller cruise ships may also dock at the adjacent Atlin Terminal. Both terminals are approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the central business district.
Northland Cruise Terminal has a number of facilities for disembarking passengers. As a popular stop during peak cruising season, coffee shops and cafés are located just outside the terminal.
Facilities at Northland Cruise Terminal include:
Dedicated passenger terminal
Cafés, restaurants and dining
Passengers heading out on whale-watching tours, kayaking tours, or water tours of the island can meet their tour group at Atlin Terminal.
How To Get Around
Public transport is plentiful throughout Prince Rupert. BC Transit operate buses through all areas of the city, including a route between Prince Rupert and Port Edward. VIA Rail Canada has an established train station in the city as well.
Car rental is available in Prince Rupert, with depots close to the rail station. A comprehensive taxi service is also available to transfer cruise ship passengers from the terminal into the city. However, many visitors take the opportunity to explore on foot.
Travel times from Northland Cruise Terminal:
It is a 2 minute journey to the Museum of Northern British Columbia
It is a 3 minute journey to the Cow Bay Shopping District
It is a 4 minute journey to boating tour docks for whale watching or tours to Khutzeymateen Valley.
Currency – The local currency in Prince Rupert is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The coins come in nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies ($1), and toonies ($2). Notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations.
Time Zone – Prince Rupert runs on Pacific Time, which is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During the summer months, Prince Rupert converts to Pacific Daylight Time, which is 7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – Prince Rupert’s weather is influenced by both the surrounding ocean and the rainforest area. Summer temperatures range from 14 to 22 degrees Celsius and this time of year can be quite humid. Winter is mild, with temperatures ranging from 5 to -0.8 degrees Celsius. Prince Rupert experiences high rainfall throughout the year.
Khutzeymateen Valley – Home to the only grizzly bear sanctuary in Canada, Khutzeymateen Valley is approximately 2 hours from port. The valley and surrounding waters are a nature lover’s dream. The sanctuary has the highest concentration of grizzly bears in North America and the surrounding area is home to humpback whales, orca, seals, and many species of birds as well as wolves and deer.
Museum of Northern British Columbia – Take a guided tour or explore the waterfront museum at your own leisure. The museum features a wide variety of historical displays, artefacts and traditional artworks native to the Northwest Coast. The gift shop is the perfect place for souvenirs.
Cow Bay Shopping District – Prepare for fantastic shopping and dining. Locally run, independent stores showcase their various wares, which have a distinct Canadian influence. Stop and enjoy the great local dining options while you browse.
Whale Watching – Prince Rupert is a great viewing point from which to observe different species of whales. Grey whales, humpback whales, orca and minke whales all pass through the area during migration. Half-day whale-watching tours are available through a number of providers.