Prince Rupert is the terminus for Ferry traffic to Southeast Alaska, Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island. It is one of the deepest, natural ice-free harbours in the world. The 15,000 inhabitants of this city enjoy a marine climate with summer temperatures in the low 20s Celsius, and in the winter between 0 and 10 Celsius.
Prince Rupert is located in the heart of Tsimshian territory, and for 10,000 years many villages flourished in the harbour. European explorers first arrived off the northern coast in the 18th century and quickly established a maritime fur trade with the Tsimshian and the neighboring Nisga’a, Haida and Heiltsuk nations.
Fishing and trading were ancient businesses on the Northwest Coast, and the village of Port Essington sprang up at the mouth of the Skeena to capitalize on this. After the railroad focused its attention on Kaien Island, the city developed quickly—the first surveyors arrived in 1906, a “tent city” sprang up almost immediately, and by 1910 the City of Prince Rupert was incorporated. Following the war, a pulp mill and other major industries were added to Prince Rupert’s economy, helping to build the vibrant seaport community and transportation hub of today.