Prince Rupert Sightseeing Boat Photo

Travel Spotlight

Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert is a port city in northern British Columbia, on Kaien Island. Its’ prime location make it the land, air, and water transportation hub of British Columbia’s North Coast. The region has an oceanic climate and is located in a temperate rainforest. This results in very mild weather, with an average afternoon temperature fluctuation from 15.5 C in Summer, to 5.2 C in Winter. As Canada’s wettest city, it is sometimes called, “The City of Rainbows”.

The region is home to abundant wildlife, view-able through the Outdoor Adventure Tours. These tours vary greatly in terms of difficulty, length, comfort level and expense, but people agree that exploration of the Northwest Coast wilderness is worthwhile and rewarding. Here, a preferred method of exploration is by boat. Whether you paddle or cruise, the spectacular geography and remote location will long be remembered.

The Museum of Northern British Columbia is one of the more notable sites in the area. The exhibits display the great legacy of archaeological artifacts, unique works of art and oral history that portray thousands of years of Northwest Coast history and culture. Another notable site is the Kwinitsa Railway Station Museum. It exhibits provide adults and children alike with an exciting journey into the history of Canada’s northern railway and the many small stations like Kwinitsa along its route. Exhibits portray the development of early Prince Rupert, from its days as the tent town at the terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway to its birth as a city in the 1920’s.


Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island, just off the northwest coast of BC and at the western end of Yellowhead Highway 16. It is roughly 48 km (30 mi) south of Alaska, 145 km (90 mi) west of Terrace, and 725 km (450 mi) west of Prince George.

BC Ferries and the Alaska Marine Highway System operate year-round routes to Prince Rupert. VIA Rail offers daylight service between Prince Rupert and Jasper, stopping overnight in Prince George. Also, the cruise between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert offers an exciting journey along BC’s Inside Passage. During peak season there are frequent sailings to Skidegate in Haida Gwaii.

Air Canada Jazz flies twice daily from Vancouver International Airport connecting with domestic and international carriers. Hawkair flies daily from Vancouver’s South Terminal. Flying time is approximately two hours.
Greyhound Bus Lines offers twice-a-day service between Prince Rupert and Prince George, with connections to points north, south and east.

A Step Back in Time

Before Europeans settled the region it was the territory of the Tsimshan First Nation. It was one of North America’s most densely populated areas long before explorers arrived. Initially, the British and Americans set up posts to trade sea otter pelts. Plentiful wild salmon, which have sustained the Tsimshian for some 10,000 years, drew dozens of canneries to the coast during the 1800s, along with a multi-cultural, seasonal workforce. In the early 1900s, the Grand Trunk Railway selected Kaien Island as its Pacific terminus. British Columbia incorporated the City of Prince Rupert shortly after this, in 1910.

Prince Rupert earned a place on the world map as the world’s halibut capital, and during WWII, as the staging area for Allied troops and munitions on their way to the Aleutian Islands.¬†Fishing and forestry have been the cities primary industry in the post-war era.

Contact Information

Visit Prince Rupert

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First Published in 1989