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.

Prince Rupert is Mile 0 of the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George, Jasper and beyond.

Visitor Centre is in the heart of Prince Rupert’s tourist district, Cow Bay and is open year-round. 215 Cow Bay Road. 250-624-5637 or 800-667-1994

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. The Museum of Northern B.C. is the gateway to explore the history of the Northwest Coast.

Best Places to Stay in Prince Rupert, BC

Crest Hotel

The Crest features more than 100 guest rooms, luxury suites, lounge and the Waterfront Restaurant, that was voted one of the top 100 things to do in BC before you die. The Crest has it all. There is even a fitness centre on site.

Pacific Inn

They have clean comfortable rooms, cable TV, free Wi-Fi. Complimentary continental breakfast. 


Camping in Prince Rupert, BC

Prince Rupert RV Campground

87 serviced and unserviced sites, 30-amp electricity, Wi-fi, showers and restrooms, sani-station, telephone, laundry. Open year-round.1 km from ferry terminal on Highway 16.


Best Things to Do in Prince Rupert, BC

Museum of Northern BC

Enter and experience the magnificent architecture of a Northwest Coast longhouse. In the Great Hall view exhibits that portray history and culture dating back to the end of the last ice age.

First Nation Carving Shed

Visitors will be able to see, first hand, some of the finest, most skilled carvers living in northern British Columbia. On First Avenue, beside the Museum of Northern BC.

Cow Bay

In 1908, farmers began unloading cows in Prince Rupert’s bay and, as a result, it was renamed Cow Bay. Today, a steady stream of cruise ship passengers come ashore at the Northland Terminal, opened in 2004 at Cow Bay, not far from downtown Prince Rupert.

Today Cow Bay is a waterfront area of historic buildings, many of them built on pilings over the water. Though visitors will still find working marine shops providing services for the commercial fleet, Cow Bay is a trendy shopping district where visitors can book area tours, visit a variety of boutiques, including souvenir and gift shops, or relax in one of several restaurants and coffee shops. The Northland Terminal shopping centre features the Ice House Gallery, an artists’ cooperative where visitors can browse through a wide selection of works by local artists.

Cow Bay Gift Galley

Local hand crafted jewellery, souvenirs and a large selection of Canadian gifts, quality kitchenware, luxurious bath products, home decor, and much much more. 

Centennial Golf Course

An 18-hole golf course is located at the foot of Mt. Oldfield, just 5 minutes from downtown Prince Rupert. Visitors are welcome. 

Fire Museum

Located in the present Fire Hall. A1925 REO Speedwagon Fire Truck, the center piece of the museum, which was purchased new and  retired from Prince Rupert use when a more modern engine was commissioned.  The engine was reclaimed from the bush and rebuilt by Corps personnel.

Kwinitsa Railway Museum

Exhibiting the railway history of Prince Rupert and the surrounding area. This is an original Grand Trunk Railway station  that was situated 45 miles East of Prince Rupert, at Kwinitsa, on the Skeena  River and was moved by barge to its present location.

North Pacific Historic Fishing Village

North Pacific Historic Fishing Village is the oldest and most complete remaining cannery village on the West Coast. Today a museum and Canadian National Historic Site, it pays tribute to the people who lived and worked in the more than 200 salmon canneries that once dotted the B.C. coastline. Guided tours, live performance and mouth-watering food.

Totem Poles

The Pacific Northwest is the home of the Tsimpsean and  Haida native Indian peoples. Scattered throughout Prince Rupert are numerous totem poles which are authentic reproductions of historic and famous poles.  Totem poles are carved from cedar and were raised as a public record of some  important event in native history. There are six different types of poles and the average life span of a totem pole is 70 years.


Dining in Prince Rupert, BC

Crest Hotel

Crest Waterfront Restaurant is well known for its excellent variety of north coast cuisine. Locally caught seafood, AAA Canadian Angus steaks, prepared by our team of award winning chefs, paired with a variety of fine BC wines.

Breakers Pub

It has been a landmark on Prince Rupert’s waterfront for over 23 years. Situated over the water between the Yacht Club and Altin Terminal. Enjoy casual dining on the deck in the summer.

Smiles Restaurant

History dates back to 1922 when it started as an ice cream and hot dog stand. Sold in 1936 to Harry and Dolly Nelson it took the name from Dolly who was known for her smile. Since 1922 it has had seven owners and is a local institution.


Getting Around in Prince Rupert, BC

BC Ferries

For a scenic cruise through the Inside Passage of British Columbia’s unique coastline, take the BC Ferry from Port Hardy (northern tip of Vancouver Island) or Prince Rupert on the BC Northcoast mainland. Frequent sailings are scheduled between these two points during the summer months as well as between Prince Rupert and Skidegate in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). Because of the extreme popularity of the summer sailings, advance reservations are definitely recommended. Information about  schedules, fares and staterooms can be obtained from their website

Alaska Marine Highway

The Alaska Marine Highway provides year-round ferry transportation throughout Southeast Alaska and stops in Prince Rupert once or twice a month during the summer. 

The ferries provide residents and visitors with an opportunity to experience the scenery, wildlife, and warm hospitality of a variety of ports between Bellingham, Washington and Southwest Alaska. All routes within the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) are, collectively, a National Scenic Byway. All Ferries carry passengers and vehicles and have lounges and observation areas. Food may be purchased on board and most vessels offer cabin accommodations. Stopovers are permitted at any port of call. For fares and information, please call 800-642-0066

VIA Rail

VIA Rail Canada was established by the Canadian government in 1977, becoming its first national passenger rail company. VIA Rail provides you with reliable and secure travel across Canada. 

BC Bus North

BC Bus North is The province of BC’s Bus service. it will include two round-trips per week between Prince Rupert and Prince George; Prince George and Valemount; and Prince George and Dawson Creek-Fort St. John. It will also offer one round-trip per week from Fort Nelson to Dawson Creek-Fort St. John.


Prince Rupert, BC FAQs:

What is Prince Rupert BC known for?

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, is nicknamed the City of Rainbows. As the number one rainiest city in Canada, Prince Rupert earns its nickname for also being the cloudiest city in Canada. The low light and crystal-clear water droplets provide a perfect atmosphere for rainbows. Prince Rupert is also a vital port for ferries, cruise ships, and trade, the key to their economy as billions of dollars of goods are shipped through the port annually.

The reliable rainfall can also mean great winter skiing, and Shames Mountain ski area isn’t far from Prince Rupert. Shames Mountain is ranked in the top ten ski resorts for total snowfall in North America and is sure to offer outdoor family fun.

Is Prince Rupert worth a visit?

Oh, definitely visit Prince Rupert; just plan ahead and bring a raincoat and umbrella. As a temperate rainforest, you’ll experience lush forests filled with outdoor adventure, including marine and terrestrial wildlife, tremendous fishing, a rich indigenous culture, and vibrant arts.

Is Prince Rupert the rainiest place in the world?

Prince Rupert is the rainiest city in Canada, but Buenaventura, Colombia, beats it with an average of 258 rainy days a year, compared to Prince Rupert’s 240 days, or if you look at Prince Rupert’s average rainfall, it pales in comparison to San Antonio de Ureca in Equatorial Guinea. That city receives an average of 418 inches of rain yearly compared to Prince Rupert’s 103 inches.

Is there a ferry from Vancouver to Prince Rupert?

The BC Ferry service takes you from Port Hardy on Northern Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert via the calm waters of the Inside Passage. BC Ferries takes cars and passengers on the approximately 15-hour cruise daily in the summer or bi-weekly in the winter on a bit longer ride (18-22 hours) due to a couple of stops along the way. The spring and summer sailings are day cruises but if you take it in the fall or winter, expect it to be overnight. Reservations are required

Do cruise ships stop in Prince Rupert?

Several cruise ships make summertime calls to Prince Rupert, including the Seabourn Odyssey, Oceania Regata, Star Breeze, Silver Shadow, ms Noordam, and ms Koningsdam. The ships carry between 312-2,366 passengers each.

How long is the ferry ride from Vancouver to Prince Rupert?

There is no direct ferry between Vancouver and Prince Rupert. You will need to take the ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island. Then you will drive to the northern end of Vancouver island, which is approximately 400 km. Then from Port Hardy you can take the 15 hour ferry to Prince Rupert. In the fall and winter, because the ferry stops in a few communities, the ride can be 18-22 hours and require passengers to overnight on the ferry.

Who was Prince Rupert B.C. named after?

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, was named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a German nobleman and King Charles I’s nephew. He served as commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy during the Second Angle-Dutch War in 1664-1667 and was later appointed Governor of British Columbia in 1858. Two years later, the city was established on Kaien Island at the mouth of the Skeena River by settlers from Britain, Germany, and other parts of Europe.

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