Another Sailing for Carnival Pride Has Its Homeport Adjusted

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Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard Carnival Pride‘s scheduled May 5, 2024 departure with confirmation that the ship will be sailing from Norfolk, Virginia rather than Baltimore, Maryland.

The ship’s departure plans have been in question since the tragic bridge collapse on March 26 that closed Baltimore Harbor, and while work on reopening the harbor is progressing, it will not be possible for Carnival Pride to operate from Maryland for that upcoming sailing.

Carnival Pride Embarkation Port Changed

Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests that Carnival Pride will be unable to set sail from Baltimore as planned for the ship’s May 5 departure on a 7-night Bahamas cruise.

“We continue to stay in close contact with the U.S. Coast Guard, state of Maryland and Port of Baltimore officials regarding plans to resume maritime operations in Baltimore Harbor and appreciate your patience,” the notification email read. “We have been advised that we will not be able to operate your cruise from Baltimore.”

This news is not unexpected, as Baltimore Harbor remains closed to marine traffic following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26. Debris continues to impact traffic in the harbor, and it is not yet safe for cruise operations to resume from the Port of Baltimore.

Instead, the sailing will both embark and debark from Norfolk, Virginia, which has been substituted for homeport operations since the end of March.

Carnival Pride Cruise Ship
Carnival Pride Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: PIXAS / Shutterstock)

Carnival Pride will be sailing a 7-night cruise to The Bahamas, with visits planned for Nassau, Princess Cays, and Bimini. The ship will enjoy two days at sea while heading south to the island nation, and another day at sea while returning to Norfolk.

The 88,500-gross-ton, Spirit-class ship is homeported year-round from Baltimore, offering diverse itinerary options that include The Bahamas, Bermuda, Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean routes, Greenland voyages, and select sailings to the Panama Canal. Carnival Pride can welcome 2,124 travelers aboard at double occupancy.

Compensation and Transportation Provided

Despite the situation being well outside of the company’s control, Carnival Cruise Line is continuing to provide guests sailing from Norfolk with a $100 (USD) onboard credit for each stateroom in appreciation for their understanding of the unusual circumstances.

Furthermore, as with other cruises that have been transferred to Norfolk, Carnival Cruise Line is providing complimentary bus service between Baltimore and Norfolk. The transfers are available to both debarking and embarking guests, but travelers must register to reserve their space. Registration details will be made available the week of April 29.

Norfolk Cruise Terminal
Photo Credit: Kyle J Little / Shutterstock

Because of the fluid nature of the situation, cruise lines are making decisions about Baltimore operational needs on a limited future basis rather than switching cruise homeports permanently.

Read Also: How Is the Baltimore Bridge Collapse Impacting Cruises?

Cruise travelers booked from Baltimore over the next few weeks and months should stay in close contact with their cruise line to be notified of updates to embarkation and debarkation plans as needed.

When Will Port of Baltimore Reopen?

“Thank you to all of our valued business partners for your continued support of the Port of Baltimore during this incredibly difficult time,” the port said in a recent operational update.

At this time, there is not yet any confirmed date for when Port of Baltimore may reopen for cruise ship traffic. It is hoped that a small channel will be reopened by the end of April, though this may not be sufficient for cruise ships. A larger, 700-foot-wide, 50-foot-deep channel is expected to be available by the end of May.

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