Baltimore cruise port is a part of Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. It is located on Patapsco River banks in central Maryland (USA) and is operated by MPA (Maryland Port Administration). As homeport, the Baltimore cruise schedule includes roundtrip itineraries the whole year-round. Most popular destinations are Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas, as well as Bermuda (during summer) and New England (during fall). Most of the embarking passengers (up to 90%) arrive at Maryland Cruise Terminal by cars. Of those, the largest numbers are residents of Pennsylvania, Washington DC and NOVA (Northern Virginia).
In October 2016, the cruise port had a record number of ship calls and handled passengers due to homeported here large-sized liners of Carnival and Royal Caribbean International. The port was also visited by several luxury cruise lines, among which Azamara, Silversea, Hapag-Lloyd. In 2016, the seaport signed a 5-year extension agreement with Carnival Corporation and a 3-year contract with RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd).
The largest companies homeporting ships in Baltimore on a year-round basis are Carnival (with Carnival Pride) and RCI Royal Caribbean (with Grandeur Of The Seas). Most port calls here are on transition itineraries. In 2018, RCI added in the summer more voyages to Canada New England, while Carnival added 14-day "Carnival Journeys" itineraries in January and December.
Port Baltimore annually contributes nearly USD 3,3 billion (wages and salaries), USD 2,6 billion (business revenues) and USD 395 million (state and local taxes). Port’s average annual direct job salary is 9,5% higher than Maryland's average. In 2018, the port reported a cargo shipping record of 43 million tons handled its state-owned and privately-owned terminals. The previous record (40,9 million tons) was in 1974. FY2018, port's cargo throughput was valued USD 59,7 billion (USD 53,9 billion in FY2017). Port’s state-owned cargo terminals handled 10,9 million tons. Also in 2018, the port handled 1,023152 million TEU-containers and the record 850,147 mobile units (cars and light trucks).
Port Baltimore is currently ranked USA's largest for Ro-Ro shipping (autos and light trucks, heavy farm, and construction machinery) and for imported sugar. The port is ranked USA's second in exported coal (after Norfolk VA). The port is also ranked USA's 9th (total cargo value) and 12th (foreign cargo tonnage). Port'ss businesses generate around 13,650 direct jobs, plus around 127,600 Maryland jobs (linked to its activities). The economic impact is nearly USD 3 billion (in wages and salaries) and USD 310 million (tax revenues).
In early-December 2018, Port Baltimore received USD 6,6 million in federal funding for building a second cargo berth with docking capacity two supersized boxships simultaneously. By the project will be deepened (to max draft 15 m / 50 ft) a second berth at Seagirt Marine Terminal. Additionally, the project (total cost USD 32,7 million) will be contributed to USD 7,8 million (by Maryland State) and USD 18,4 million (by Ports America Chesapeake, terminal's operator). Construction works were scheduled to start in 2019-H2 and completed in 2020-H2.
The second container berth project is via public-private partnership signed in 2010 with Ports America Chesapeake. Dredging works (by US Army Corps of Engineers) started on December 12, 2018, and included 6 harbor channels. This project was budgeted USD 17,5 million and is part of the seaport's regular maintenance of shipping channels that go from Chesapeake Bay (Virginia) all the way to Baltimore. These waterways require periodic dredging (deepening) to ensure their max draft and safe navigation. Baltimore Harbor dredging involves removing material from Curtis Bay, Craighill (Entrance, Channel, Angle, Upper Range) and Cutoff Angle. Port's channels are dredged to max depth 15,5 m (51 ft).
In 2018, the port's largest container ship was Gunde Maersk (IMO 9359014, 11K-TEUs), surpassed in 2019 by Evergreen Triton (IMO 9728916, 15K-TEUs). In 2017, the port handled 596,972 TEUs (containers) Port’s state-owned terminals have records for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (10,976 million cargo tons) and 1-month TEUs (90152 - in May 2018).
Baltimore cruise terminal
Baltimore cruise terminal was moved in 2006 from Dundakl Port to South Locus Point. BWI Airport is only at 10 min drive distance from the cruise port. Less than 1 hour takes to reach Washington DC and Annapolis MD. Interstate 95 (I-95 highway) is only 0,7 mi (1,2 km) from the seaport.
Maryland Cruise Terminal was redesigned to serve the increasing number of roundtrip itineraries out of Baltimore. The terminal building offers restrooms, payphones, vending machines, ATMs, check-in counters, VIP room, huge parking space (advanced reservations not required).
Terminal building's size is approx 75,700 m2 (815,000 ft2). The length of each of the 2 docking berths is 1139 ft (347 m) with water depth 35 ft (9) m.
In 2016-2017, Port Baltimore made several improvements. Among those were separate VIP check-in room, new public address system (electronic sound amplification-distribution system), new check-in counters, enclosed waiting area (for disembarking passengers), additional parking lot (capacity up to 500 cars).
The cruise ship terminal's convenient location (on I-95) and its large and cheap parking are beneficial for the port's business growth. Also convenient is that the terminal has separate docking areas for Carnival and RCCL ships, plus a third area ready for another major cruise company to homeport a vessel here.
Smaller-sized cruise vessels use for berthing Baltimore's Constellation Pier. Among the companies that dock ships there are American Cruise Lines.
Baltimore tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Fort McHenry: the historic highlight is half-a-mile away from the Baltimore cruise port. The place is famous for the 1982 battle between the American soldiers and the British forces. This inspired the Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. He was a witness of the battle from an anchored boat.
- Baltimore Museum of Industry: discover the 19th-century history of the commerce and industry in the region of Baltimore.
- Federal Hill: take an amazing look over Inner Harbor from a beautiful green area with a narrow path and high trees.
- American Visionary Art Museum: an interesting place to visit. The American Visionary Art Museum is dedicated to the untrained artist. Discover the surprisingly enjoyable exhibition of paintings and sculptures. Maryland Science Center: discover galleries like Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab, outer space, geology, dinosaurs, the human body, and Newtonian physics.
- Harborplace shopping center: 100 shops and 15 dining places, the paradise for any shopaholic.
- Historic Ships in Baltimore Museum: discover the USS Torsk, the Lightship Chesapeake, the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, USS Constellation, and USCGC Taney.
- National Aquarium: the great underwater world with exhibits like a large shark tank, acrobatic dolphin, a stingray pool and animal planet Australia.
- Fell’s Point: located a mile away from the Inner Harbor, direction East. It was a huge area for building privateer ships in the early years of the 19th century. Currently, you will find cobblestone streets, tall period houses, and narrow market places. You can have a coffee if you are tired of touring the city highlights.
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