Maryland’s own ‘Fun Ship’ will continue sailing from the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore as Carnival Cruise Line has agreed to a contract extension through December 2018 with three one-year options. The deal means Carnival’s Baltimore-based ship, the Carnival Pride, will continue offering five to 13-day year-round cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Carnival, one of the most successful cruise lines in the world,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Since returning to Maryland last year with a newly renovated ship, Carnival continues to attract people from all over the Mid-Atlantic who come to the Port of Baltimore for the vacation of a lifetime.”
The Carnival Pride began sailing a year-round cruise schedule from the Port of Baltimore in 2009. The ship left Maryland in the fall of 2014 and returned in March 2015 after undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation that included new dining and entertainment options as well as new emission technologies. The 2,124-passenger ship added new dining venues like Guy’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, and Bonsai Sushi and new entertainment options like Hasbro, The Game Show; Seuss at Sea and Playlist Productions. A new water park was added, featuring Green Thunder, which Carnival calls the steepest and fastest water slide at sea.
“We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the Port of Baltimore which has been such a fantastic partner over the past several years we’ve been cruising from Baltimore,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. “Not only do our guests enjoy spending time in Baltimore before or after their cruise, but it’s an excellent and convenient departure point for people in the eastern U.S. to come aboard and sail to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean for some sun and relaxation.”
In 2015, nearly 200,000 passengers sailed on 90 cruises from the Port of Baltimore. The Port of Baltimore ranks 6th on the East Coast, 11th in the U.S. and 20th in the world for cruise passengers.
Approximately 500 jobs are generated by cruise activity in Maryland, including 220 direct jobs at the Port of Baltimore. Additionally, Maryland benefits from $90 million in economic activity generated by cruise activities. The economic value to Maryland takes into consideration such factors as local spending, hotels, dining and entertainment.
The Port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal is 2.5 miles from Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor and 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Maryland’s median household income of $70,004 is the highest in the U.S. Baltimore is also located within a four-hour drive of some of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. The Baltimore-Washington DC-Northern Virginia region is recognized as one of the most populated and affluent in the nation.
Source: The Maryland Port Administration