We’ve come up with this full Baltimore cruise port parking guide to make sure you are fully prepared on what to expect. Hopefully, you gain a new insight into parking for your dream cruise vacation from Baltimore, Maryland.
Anytime you sign up for a cruise, you’ll also have to worry about getting decent prices for parking while you’re away. You don’t want to just park on the side of the street or in a normal parking lot.
If you’re not somewhere designed for long-term parking your car will likely be marked as an abandoned vehicle. At best, you’ll have to retrieve the vehicle from impounding and pay associated fines. Much better to pay the lower cost of parking ahead of time.
Fortunately, there are usually lots of parking options near cruise ports. The Baltimore Cruise Port is no exception. There are several different parking types near the Baltimore Cruise Port, primarily dedicated parking lots and hotels that offer a cruise parking and shuttle service.
Dedicating Parking Lots
Dedicated parking is one of the easiest options at the Baltimore Cruise Port. There’s usually plenty of space, and the two parking lots that aren’t right on the Port both offer a shuttle service to take you to your cruise.
If you’re looking for an extended stay, need to park multiple vehicles for your group, or need disability accessible parking, these lots are probably your best option. That said, depending on the deal or discount, they may not be the cheapest.
If you’re going to have to stay in town for a day or two before your cruise anyway, you should also check into hotel parking services.
The Official Baltimore Cruise Port Parking
This parking lot can hold up to 1,500 cars at a time. It doesn’t require reservations to get a space, and there are disabled accessible spaces available. You’ll also have the option of dropping off other passengers and luggage before being guided to a parking space.
This parking lot is certainly the most convenient, being right on the port itself. There are also shuttles going from the parking lot to the terminal all the time, so you don’t need to worry about a long walk between your car and check-in.
Even if you printed off luggage tags before arriving, you’ll still need to go to the tent marked Cruise Luggage Tags as you leave the parking lot. This tent is where you’ll drop off your luggage to be checked, loaded onboard the ship, and eventually taken to your rooms on board.
You’ll pay for parking on arrival, not as you leave. So, you need to make sure you know the duration of your cruise. If you aren’t returning on the same ship, i.e. flying back from one of the ports of call after an extended visit, you’ll need to know the total duration of that stay as well.
However, since this parking lot is the closest and most convenient option, it can fill up quickly. Make sure you arrive early in case you need to go to a different parking lot because the port lot is full.
The type of vehicle you bring will make a difference in the cost of parking.
|Vehicle Type||Standard Size Vehicles||Recreational Vehicles < 30ft||Recreational Vehicles > 30ft and all Buses|
|Price||$15 per day||$30 per day||$40 per night|
You can pay the parking fees at this lot with cash or check.
This lot is 12.5 miles away from the cruise port, but that doesn’t make it any less popular. The parking lot itself is fully fenced, which gives your car some added security while you’re away. Econopark also offers a shuttle service to and from the cruise terminal.
Shuttles run 24/7 when needed, but you should plan a little extra time for travel. Both the transit time in the shuttle itself, and in case you miss the first available shuttle, or it’s too full.
Like the parking lot by the cruise terminal, this one offers accessibility spaces for vehicles with handicapped stickers at no additional cost to you. It’s also a little cheaper than parking at the port, though shuttle accessibility can be more of an issue.
Complimentary water bottles are available on all shuttles, and they also offer luggage assistance. That’s huge for getting you and your family loaded and unloaded quickly.
If you own an electric vehicle, this parking lot is a particularly good option. They’ve recently renovated the electric area, while it does require a reservation, you’ll know you have a good parking space and a fully charged vehicle when you get back.
If your plans change unexpectedly, you’re in luck. There are no fees for changing or canceling your parking reservation ahead of time.
You don’t have to have a parking reservation, although it is strongly recommended. Like the parking lot at the port, the Econopark Express often fills to capacity. While there are other parking options if you arrive and they are at capacity, you don’t want to be caught in a bind because you ran out of time.
Pickup to come back to the parking garage is outside luggage claim, on the ground floor, by the second curb outside.
If you make a reservation to park here, you’ll also have the option to pre-pay for a discount. There are only 2 prices for the vehicles accepted at Econopark Express, the prepaid price of $7.25 a day, or $9.95 per day, paid when you leave the parking lot.
BWI Speedy Park:
This is the last parking lot that might be available for your cruise. Unfortunately, as of this writing, this parking lot is closed and re-locating. However, since the business is still active, you can search for BWI Speedy Park before you head to Baltimore to see if they’ve found a new location.
Hotel Parking Options:
Another common option is to fly or drive to Baltimore the day before, spend a night at a local hotel, and take advantage of their parking and shuttle options. This can be one of the most convenient options since you don’t have to worry about hopping from parking lot to parking lot when you’re in a serious time crunch.
Many hotels that offer this service will also offer breakfast before you leave, which can cut down on your expenses having to go to a restaurant downtown before boarding.
There are lots of hotels in Baltimore than offer a cruise shuttle service, so we won’t be able to cover all of them. Even if you don’t see your hotel on this list, you can call them and check to see if they offer cruise shuttle and parking services.
Even if there isn’t a shuttle, you may be able to pay for extended parking and take an uber or taxi to the port.
Days Inn Glen Burnie
Days Inn Glen Burnie is a good option for cruise passengers that are flying into their cruise. The free hotel airport shuttle means you may not need a rental vehicle at all, neatly avoiding the parking issue. However, if you decide to drive to the hotel, they do also offer a parking and cruise shuttle service.
The hotel offers refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers, so you can get that extra boost of caffeine before heading off to the port. A seasonal outdoor pool and complimentary fitness center are just bonuses on your stay.
Parking at this hotel is free for up to 14 days. If you need to say longer, they charge $5 per day. That’s still a lower cost per day than the nearby paid parking lots, or parking at the cruise port.
Free wifi and a continental breakfast from 6-10 am top off the services here. Shuttles to the cruise port are a free round-trip service out of this hotel.
Best Western Hotel & Conference O’Donnell St
This hotel offers a wide variety of amenities and advantages for travelers looking to start the luxury part of their luxury cruise a little early. The indoor pool is heated, rooms were renovated in 2011. Amenities like in-room microwaves and a make-your-own waffle station make staying here especially comfortable.
They offer free wifi, which is important to stay on top of last-minute changes to departure times, staying in touch with people you’re meeting on the cruise, and just staying entertained!
If you have a little more time to spend before your cruise, the hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to Baltimore downtown every hour.
Parking is free for up to 30 days and only an additional $10 per day after that. That means that your whole stay at the hotel is only slightly more expensive than the average bill for parking at the port or nearby paid parking lots.
Shuttles to the port are free for up to 2 people. If you have a larger party shuttling to the cruise port together, you’ll have to pay an additional $12 per person.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Baltimore South/Glen Burnie
The local La Quinta might not offer all of the amenities of some of the other hotels in the area, but it does offer a complimentary shuttle service both to the port and to the airport.
The rooms themselves offer free wifi, and all guests are welcome to enjoy a continental breakfast from 5:30-10 am. There’s also a free gym available on campus.
Parking is free for up to 14 days. After 14 days you’ll be charged an additional $5 a day. Still significantly cheaper than parking at the port, or one of the nearby parking lots.
Holiday Inn Express Baltimore at the Stadiums
This Holiday Inn receives good ratings for their room quality and other amenities. The 24-7 fitness center makes it easy to unwind after a long day of travel, while the seasonal pool and sun deck are a wonderful way to relax in the summer.
If you have a few hours to kill before heading over to the port, there are a few museums and other entertainments nearby.
Staying here comes with a complimentary breakfast, free wifi, and a spacious desk in every room.
Cruise shuttle times vary, but you can count on a shuttle leaving for the port every hour. Parking at the hotel is free up to 8 days. Expect a $10 per day charge for longer-stays in the parking lot.
What Kind of Parking to Expect?
Since this is extended stay parking, the kind of parking can really matter. But, what you should expect can depend a lot on where you choose to park.
This is one of the most important considerations since you don’t want to haul your luggage back and forth from a distant parking location. Most cruise passengers can count either on nearby parking or a shuttle service to and from the port.
However, since one of the main parking lots that caters to cruise passengers is currently closed, the other parking locations are more likely to be full when you arrive. While hotel parking can be a great deal, it’s not always an option, and there’s no point in paying for a hotel you aren’t going to use.
Fortunately, there are other options. Like any city, Baltimore has several long-term parking locations and car storage options. You’ll find some options downtown, and others at the airport.
Since these options are less convenient, you’ll probably pay a little more to park here. The parking itself may be the same, but you’ll need to pay an Uber or taxi service to take you and your luggage to the port.
Many people prefer covered parking for long-term parking solutions. Unfortunately, at this time there are very few covered parking options. The lots we’ve talked about are open parking lots, meaning that snow, rain, and other weather isn’t blocked.
Some hotels may offer a small covered parking area, but most do not.
While there are parking garages and other covered parking options in Baltimore itself, they generally aren’t port convenient.
So, before going on a cruise, it’s a good idea to check your insurance policy for things like hail damage coverage.
You generally won’t have to worry about non-weather-related damage, however, since the parking options we’ve listed are monitored locations. That means that there are security measures in place to keep your car safe while you’re away.
With electric vehicles getting more popular and more affordable, you might be wondering if you have electric parking options. At this time, while there may be electric parking available at some hotels and at the port, those features aren’t advertised and may not be available.
The only parking lot we can guarantee electric parking space is the Econopark Express Lot. These spaces are limited, so we highly encourage reserving your space. That way you can be sure you’ll have a safe parking space, and a charged car when you return.
Cruise Tips and Tricks:
Before you have to worry about parking, here are some of the things you should know about cruises in general, and some basic things you can do to be prepared for your cruise ahead of time.
Print Out Luggage Tags Ahead of Time:
One of the best and easiest things you can do before a cruise is to print out and laminate your luggage tags before you arrive.
If you have to print your luggage tags the day of you might get caught by all the normal printing errors and lose time. The last thing you want is to add to your stress with time crunches and rushing right before your relaxing cruise.
Laminating the tags also makes them significantly more durable, making it that much more likely that the tags will stay intact for the whole trip. Since your tags are how the cruise staff will deliver your luggage, and how you’ll likely identify your luggage after the cruise, preventing tears prevents lost items.
Be Prepared for a Couple Hours Without Your Luggage:
While some cruises operating out of the Baltimore Cruise Port will allow you to bring your own luggage on board, many won’t.
If you don’t bring your own luggage on deck, you should be prepared for a couple of hours before it’s delivered to your room.
Basics, like sunscreen, any medications you might need, and swimsuits can be carried on in a bag or tote for simplicity. You may also want to bring a book, a puzzle, or some kind of group board game if you’re cruising with family and friends.
There’s going to be plenty to do onboard, but the first few hours of any cruise are usually the slowest. Especially if this is your first cruise, you’re also more likely to get overwhelmed and want some time to yourself in your cabin in those first few hours.
Eating at Baltimore Cruise Port:
We highly recommend that you eat before entering the port. There are some food vending machines available, but for the most part, you’ll want to wait until you’re actually on the cruise ship to eat. The terminal can be a busy place, so opportunities to sit down and eat can be rare.
Fortunately, there are lots of restaurants available in nearby Downtown Baltimore. Otherwise, most hotels in the area offer a complimentary continental breakfast, though some are better than others.
The Daily Special Restaurant:
Offering Kosher meals, this highly rates restaurant can be a good option since they offer a variety of portable foods. Breakfasts and lunches are available before you get on the cruise ship. They offer specialty salads and bowls, as well as lunch boxes and wraps that you can eat quickly in-restaurant, or easily take on the go.
All the options are reasonably affordable and of high quality.
This nearby bar and restaurant offers a kids menu for those about to head out on a family cruise. Serving a variety of sandwiches and seafood entrees, this restaurant is a good option for those looking forward to a nautical theme and looking for an affordable lunch.
They also offer a decent variety of burgers, all at a wallet-friendly price.
Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen:
If you’re looking for something a little different, the fresh and healthy Mediterranean food at Baba’s is a great option. Pitas are portable if you’re on the go or sit down for a Mediterranean plate or salad if you have a little more time.
Food is fresh, tastes great, and you have the option of several authentic ethnic sides if you’re ordering for a group.
Of course, there are also the local fast food options of a McDonalds, Subway, or Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Baltimore Cruise Port Parking FAQ
There are a few options for parking near the cruise port in Baltimore. The port itself offers a pay to park lot, and there are nearby pay to park lots with a dedicated shuttle to the port.
Alternatively, many of the local hotels offer a stay, park, cruise service that can take care of your car. But, parking at a hotel may be less secure than parking in a dedicate lot.
Right now you can expect to find cruises from Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line operating out of the Baltimore cruise port. There are also some specialty and niche cruises offered by the American Cruise Line.
However, that may change as the port grows, or if their contracts with major cruise lines change.
Parking at the Baltimore cruise port costs $15 per day for most vehicles. Larger vehicles will have to pay more, and we have a table above of the price breakdown at the port.
However, since the port does not require reservations to park, it may be full when you arrive.
We’ve gone over a lot of information in this article, so before you go, let’s go over a quick recap. There are two main parking options for your cruise our of the Baltimore Cruise port. You can either park in a long-term paid parking lot, or you can take advantage of the parking services offered at many of the nearby hotels.
Paid parking might be more expensive than the parking itself but can be cheaper and faster than staying at a nearby hotel.
However, hotels take a lot of the stress out of travel by offering breakfast, giving you a convenient address for food delivery, and letting you get some rest before the boarding process. Not to mention, many of them offer a free shuttle service.
Hopefully, the cruise tips we’ve offered will also help you be prepared for your cruise, whether you’re a first-time cruise goer or think of cruises as old hat.