Prince Rupert is not a common stop for cruise ships and it shows. It is a commercial port; we could see containers being that had either been loaded from a ship and were awaiting transport by train, or vice versa. Sports fishing seemed to be the other major industry. There were several stores that offered to process your catch for shipment to your home.
We arrived earlier than our scheduled 1 pm arrival and were to remain docked here until 10 pm. There did not seem to be any local tours being offered but the cruise line offered several (of course) such as flightseeing and fishing. The promotional materials regarding Prince Rupert state that you can expect to see bald eagles hovering along the shore and that humpback whales hang out in the local waters but neither were apparent to us. There were some volunteers handing out a walking map of the town. There was also a free shuttle bus offered.
The town was very compact so we chose to walk. We headed in the direction of Cow Bay first. This was the “cutest” part of the town. The locals had made an effort to paint everything with a cow motif and we passed by several gift shops. There were also a few murals scattered through the area.
Next we headed toward the downtown area. We passed through the “Sunken Gardens” that was originally supposed to be the site of a courthouse, but WWI delayed its construction. In the interim it was decided to move the building 35 feet away. During WWII the hollow was used to store ammunition; after the war it apparently became the site of a garden.
The rest of downtown looks like any other small city in North America. There was a mall marked on the map; it turned out to be the location of a Walmart (the smallest Walmart I have ever seen) and a few other strip mall type shops. We did pass by a small fire department museum and a larger museum dedicated to Northern BC. There was also a small casino.
As you can tell, we were not really enamored with this particular port; there was nothing particularly unique about it. Perhaps if we had taken an excursion to get out of the town we would have enjoyed it more but the excursions offered were not of interest, either. I think we were spoiled by all of the amazing wildlife sightings that we have experience so this was a let-down. Oh, well!
This ended up being our final port of call; I came down with a terrible cold and was unable to visit Nanaimo. That’s OK; we live not too far from Vancouver Island so can return to visit another time. The only thing I was disappointed about missing in Nanaimo is the “Nanaimo Bar Trail”; a series of shops that sell the most excellent and delicious nanaimo bar cookie!