Carnival to resume sailing from Port of Baltimore
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 12:09

Pride to sail from Baltimore next March

by Nicole Rodman

    Cruisers rejoice — the Carnival Pride cruise ship will stay in Baltimore.
    Carnival Cruise Lines announced last June that the Pride would no longer cruise from the Port of Baltimore.
    At issue was new federal environmental regulations designed to curb air pollution emitted by large marine vessels, including cruise ships.
    After months of talks between Carnival and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), both parties agreed on Carnival’s plan to reduce ship emissions.
    With an agreement in place, the Pride will resume year-round cruising from the Port of Baltimore in March 2015.
    In the meantime, the ship will undergo a series of environmental and cosmetic renovations designed to both cut emissions and improve the cruising experience for passengers.
    “We are pleased to welcome Carnival Cruise Lines back to Maryland and the Carnival Pride cruise ship back to the Port of Baltimore,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said last month. ”I’m pleased Carnival and the Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard have agreed on a plan that will keep family-supporting jobs in Maryland and allow a greener Carnival Pride to return to this thriving cruise market.”
    Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO, also expressed satisfaction at the Pride’s return to Baltimore.
  

“Baltimore is a convenient mid-Atlantic embarkation point for ‘Fun Ship’ cruising, and we’re pleased to resume these attractive year-round departures which offer our guests an opportunity to visit a variety of beautiful, tropical destinations,” Cahill said.
    Since 2009, the Port of Baltimore has offered a year-round cruise schedule.
    In addition to the Carnival Pride, the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas also sails from Baltimore.
    According to the Maryland Port Administration (MPA), cruises departing from Maryland generate 500 jobs and $90 million in economic activity for the area.
    In 2013, more than 212,000 passengers sailed from the Port of Baltimore, making the port fifth for cruise passengers on the East Coast, 11th in the nation and 20th in the world.
    The Carnival Pride will stay at the Port of Baltimore until October, when it will travel to Tampa, Fla., for renovations.
    In order to meet environmental regulations, the ship will be outfitted with  scrubbers.
    “The scrubbers are in response to new international Emission Control Area (ECA) regulations which require cruise and cargo vessels to use an ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel or install equipment, such as scrubbers, to clean the fuel exhaust before it is emitted into the air,” MPA explained in a press release.
    Upon its return to Baltimore next year, the Pride will also boast a number of new attractions, including a new sports bar, a water park and a sushi restaurant.
    Once renovated, the Pride will return to Baltimore next March.