The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) has announced a new contract with Royal Caribbean International that will extend the cruise line’s year-round departures from the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore through June 2020. Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas will continue to offer a wide range of cruising experiences from Maryland to the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean and New England/Canada.
“Our administration is pleased that Royal Caribbean has made a long-term commitment to Maryland and to the Port of Baltimore,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “Through this partnership, vacationers will continue to have a popular and convenient cruising option that provides a significant boost to Maryland’s economy for years to come.”
The Grandeur of the Seas will continue offering five, nine and 12-night roundtrip itineraries from Baltimore, including a new nine-night voyage to Nassau. The ship underwent a significant $48 million revitalization three years ago that included six new specialty dining options, technological upgrades, and new entertainment features. Onboard staterooms also were renovated.
“Royal Caribbean is pleased to renew our contract with the Port of Baltimore,” said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer for Royal Caribbean International. “Baltimore is a fantastic departure point for our guests who live in the Mid-Atlantic States, the northeast and beyond, and the city continuously provides our guests with a wonderful start to their cruise vacation.”
In 2015, nearly 200,000 passengers sailed on 90 cruises from the Port of Baltimore. The Port ranks 6th on the East Coast, 11th in the U.S. and 20th in the world for cruise passengers. Since beginning a year-round cruise schedule in 2009, nearly every cruise that has sailed from the Port of Baltimore has left at full passenger capacity.
Cruise activities generate about 500 jobs in Maryland, including 220 direct jobs at the Port of Baltimore. Additionally, Maryland benefits from a $90 million economic boost from 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 also is 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: Maryland Port Administration