When it comes to taking a cruise, you want the most memorable experience of your life. Let’s face it, many of us will never get to take a cruise while others still may only take 1-2 cruises in their lifetime.
Experienced cruisers that make a habit out of the practice understand that the choice of port can make a substantial difference to your overall experience. There are many things to consider when you are deciding what port to cruise from.
The Port of Baltimore is one of the best port options available. It has quickly become a prominent port for cruise choices. A number of desirable cruises set sail from this port and it truly has a lot to offer the cruise community.
Aside from the port alone, the city of Baltimore has a lot to offer and you can enjoy the area before or after your cruise for some additional entertainment. Check out these top 8 reasons why you may want to cruise from the Port of Baltimore, Maryland.
1. Cruise Line Options
The Port of Baltimore offers year-round cruise options from both Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. Both of these lines have routinely scheduled cruises that are offered throughout the entire calendar year.
The port is super easy to find and these cruise lines will not disappear if you want to cruise from here specifically. Some of the most popular cruises offered that sail out of Baltimore include the following.
- Enchantment of the Seas
- Carnival Pride
- Carnival Legend
- Grandeur of the Seas
There are a LOT of cruises that sail forth from Baltimore and about an even mix between Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, some names like Disney and Viking do not very often use the Baltimore port but that doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of options.
In the next year alone, you can find more than 25 cruises scheduled to leave the Port of Baltimore and that’s just the tip of the iceberg… urrghhhh, is that appropriate here?
From Baltimore, you can set sail to a number of desirable locations. Some of these destinations include Half Moon Cay, Nassau, CocoCay, King’s Wharf, Key West, Grand Turk, Bermuda, Panama, St. Croix, Barbados, and several more beautiful places that will give you the cruise of a lifetime.
With tons of options to use from and a myriad of price points, you really can’t go wrong. There is simply something to be said about the ability to choose from cruising North to Canada or South to warm and sunny locations like the Bahamas and Bermuda.
You can even keep your cruises primarily attached to the New England states which have a lot of great port locations and destinations without ever leaving the U.S. area.
If this port offers a single location that you are interested in, we recommend you take a look at your options for one of the friendliest ports with plenty of options available to you.
2. Transportation is Divine
When you’re preparing to cruise one of the things you must consider is how are you going to get to the cruise port? Will you be able to leave your personal vehicle at a hotel or near the port? Will you be flying in and need a reliable transportation service to get you there on time?
There are a lot of transportation options to safely get you to the port and to do it in a timely manner. Public transit is an option but unfortunately, they don’t get you very close to the port. You can mix using the train public transit options with using a taxi or a taxi-type service like Lyft or Uber.
Depending on where you come into Boston and where you choose to stay, this may be your best option. You’re looking at possibly spending about $20 to get from Point A to Point B.
If you don’t want to mess with public transit or you don’t want to have to worry about off-loading from one only to catch another type of ride, there are numerous transportation options that will take you all over the city.
Just know that it will cost you more out of pocket to use a taxi, Uber, or Lyft in comparison to public transit. Also, be aware that public transit won’t get you close enough for comfort.
That being said, no matter what method you choose, you can rest assured that are plenty of options at your disposal. We do recommend planning ahead just to ensure you aren’t late for boarding. We certainly don’t want you to miss the cruise because of traffic or waiting for a ride!
You can try to walk from your public transit closest delivery but if you packed as much luggage as the traditional cruiser, this probably won’t be ideal for you. However, the port is only about 10 minutes from the BWI airport.
One more thing you might like to know. This port is a central location to many populous and nearby areas. You can travel from New York City’s metro area to the port in only about 3 hours. This port is also drivable from locations like Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, taking only about 6 hours to drive.
Take the time to be informed but know that you won’t be without options, and we’re talking plenty of options to get you to that ship in a timely and affordable manner. Planning and understanding is key!
3. Grand History of the Port
The Port of Baltimore has been around for more than two centuries. The port was established in 1706. At the time, it was the Lord Baltimore port, named after Lord Baltimore himself. The port was very busy with tobacco and grain in its initial establishment.
This port housed the Continental Congress for about two years, beginning in 1776. This was during the American Revolution and the company was attempting to avoid British attacks that were happening on Philadelphia.
The first U.S. Naval vessel, the Constellation, launched out of the Port of Baltimore in 1797. The last warship that was designed to be all-sail was also named the Constellation and that ship rests at the port, where it landed for the final time in 1955.
The War of 1812 put the Port of Baltimore at risk but the troops were able to defend the port from Fort McHenry when the British attempted to capture the port. It was at this time that The Star Spangled Banner was inspired and later written, leading us to some of the grandest national history taking place right here at the Port of Baltimore.
Unfortunately, much of the Port district was ransacked by a fire in 1904 in a fire that couldn’t be controlled for more than 2 days. The fire destroyed more than 1500 buildings. On a positive note, very few lives were lost and the city was able to rebuild and recover quickly.
The Port of Baltimore has been a standing presence through multiple war periods. World War I is another such time. Many port businesses and facilities were a significant part of the war efforts, providing much-needed steel and oil products.
As with most areas, the Great Depression hit the Port hard. The economic struggle that ensued continued through World War II. However, there was plenty of life left for the Port as time wore on. They were greatly affected by population changes and people moving out of the city. This nearly found the Port’s demise.
Local businesses and citizens banded together to save the Port of Baltimore. The port received a facelift and while it wasn’t perfect, the efforts saved the port and allowed it the chance to become what it now is.
History presented a lot of occurrences and opportunities for this beloved port. It has grown into one of the most important seaports in the U.S. The port area offers ship repair locations and an incredibly diverse economic advantage.
The port is now used for shipping automobiles as well as providing optimal locations for finance, healthcare, education, insurance, military, and even government. From historical happenstance to modern times, the port has so much to offer.
4. Your Cruise Itinerary Won’t Be Boring
One thing to know about the cruises from the Port of Baltimore is that you’re bound to have an enjoyable itinerary.
No matter what destination you chose to set sail to, some of these cruises have multiple stops along the way and the stops are not anything to sneeze at.
Here are a few examples of cruises scheduled for the next 12 months. Keep in mind that if you’re reading this article past that 12-month date, these can be used for reference at the types of options that are offered when you cruise out of the Port of Baltimore.
Half Moon Cay 14-Day Cruise on Carnival Pride
You cruise for 3 full days until you reach Half Moon Cay. This destination is just the beginning of the itinerary at one of the most prestigious and recommended destinations in that region. After a day of beauty on clear sands and waters, you move on.
From there, you will cruise to Ocho Rios. After that stop, you spend consecutive days at Puerto Limon and the Panama Canal, respectively. To round off the trip, you land at Grand Turk on Day 12 of the cruise. What a perfect itinerary ending. From there, you spend the remainder of the 14 days returning to Port of Baltimore.
King’s Wharf 5-Day Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas
If a shorter cruise is more your style, take a look at this premium option. This particular cruise is only 5 days but a 5 days that you will never forget. Set sail from the Port of Baltimore with a specific destination in mind that never disappoints. Cruise from Baltimore to the King’s Wharf, where you will have 2 days to enjoy the area or simply enjoy the ship, whichever you prefer.
This short cruise has a good mix of port itinerary time as well as ocean cruise time and you won’t be disappointed with the destination or the luxury of the trip. You’ll get 5 pleasant days to disconnect and simply enjoy the views and sights around you.
Finally, you return to Baltimore where you can extend your trip and do some local sightseeing before you journey home.
Port Canaveral 8-Night Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
Spend 8 nights on this small but beautiful ship. From the Port of Baltimore, you will set sail and head to Charleston. After a beautiful day at Charleston, the ship makes its way to spend two consecutive days at Port Canaveral in Orlando and CocoCay, respectively.
But your trip doesn’t end there, Day 6 you get to enjoy the beauty of Nassau before spending 2 more days cruising back towards Baltimore to wrap up your adventure.
Cruise Itinerary Summary
These cruises are just a few examples of the types of itineraries that you can expect to see when you choose to cruise from the Port of Baltimore. There are many more itinerary options, ranging in lengths from 5-14 days with nearly any destination you can imagine.
5. Local Attractions Abundant
One of the best things about the Port of Baltimore is that you won’t be lacking for things to do. Whether you decide to come to town early and enjoy the sights or you choose to extend your vacation and stick around after your cruise for even more touristy fun, you won’t be disappointed.
If you don’t want to plan a lot of extra time, you can enjoy the sites with just an extra day or two and prioritize what it is you want to enjoy most.
The city of Baltimore has a lot to do and see and the area near the port has plenty to offer on its own. You won’t be disappointed if you take some time to enjoy the historical beauty and the local sites. Not to mention, the delicious foods you can find just about anywhere during your stay.
Near the Port of Baltimore
If you want to say fairly close to the port, you will still have plenty of options. Start by visiting the Baltimore Visitor Center. This is a great place to gather information and plan your trip. You can most likely purchase any necessary tickets from there as well to enjoy various experiences.
Make your way to the pier to see the Historic Ships of Baltimore. If you’re into history, this activity in the Inner Harbor will certainly delight you with historical tales and amazing sites.
Here are a few other great options in that area.
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not
- National Heritage Area
- Visit the USS Constellation
- Maryland Science Center
- Top of the World Observation Tower
- National Aquarium
- City Brew Tours
- Oriole Park
- Inner Harbor Paddle Boats
- American Visionary Art Museum
Enjoy these activities and far more in the Inner Harbor area. Most of these sites are near the port area so you can stay close to your locale if you please. In addition, these activities are affordable and won’t break the budget.
Farther from Port
If you want to venture away from the Inner Harbor area, you will find a multitude of activities throughout the city.
Appreciate the history of the area by visiting the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. It was here that the port was defended when the British tried to capture it long ago.
Here are some other ideas for sightseeing in Baltimore.
- Enjoy the food and nightlife
- Visit an array of museums
- Enjoy local parks
- Take a balloon or helicopter tour of the city
- Explore history with a Historical Sightseeing Tour
- Take themed tours, including the Original Fells Point Ghost Walk
- Enjoy food, wine, and distillery tours
In Baltimore, there really is something for everyone – from the historical connoisseurs to those with a palette for cuisine and drinks to someone who just wants to enjoy the culture, you’re bound to find an enjoyable activity or few for your trip.
6. Skip the Crowd
When you visit some of the large and most popular ports for cruising. Ports in Florida, Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles are some of the most crowded and used ports across the nation.
These ports see a lot of cruise traffic, which means they see heavy crowds. At times, these ports might host crowds more multiple cruise ships at one time.
The Port of Baltimore is plenty large and popular. It’s highly-rated as a desirable cruising port but you certainly won’t see nearly the crowds that you see at some of the larger and busier ports.
While you will still certainly see a sizable crowd for any cruise port, you can enjoy the more relaxed and slightly less crowded appeal that the Port of Baltimore has to offer. Seriously, who doesn’t want to enjoy their vacation from somewhere slightly less crowded?
Some great advantages to reduced cruise crowds are convenient parking and a simple boarding process that will feel like it takes no time at all. There are no hidden fees tied to parking and such in the area.
The port is so easy to access and you won’t feel like it’s a pain to even get to the port much less deal with the port and boarding process.
7. Location & Affordability
We’ve already covered just how much the Port of Baltimore has to offer those who come that way. The city itself has a lot of unique history, cuisine, and tourist areas that you simply won’t find near other cruise port locations.
Take the touristy feel out of the equation and look for the beauty and convenience of the location as well as what the city and area has to offer as a whole. This location is beautiful and you have the opportunity to travel to many destinations with sought-after itineraries on some of the most popular cruise ships out there.
To top it off, the cruises that set sail from the Port of Baltimore and well-priced. Some of the best cruise prices fall to this port and you can catch some really great deals. Since there are routine cruises in the area, it’s easy for them to temper the costs.
Unlike Galveston, that while it has a lot to offer itself, the cruises are far more rare which certainly impacts the price of the tickets. Take into account that your budget just may thank you if you take advantage of what this port and the city have to offer.
Port of Baltimore FAQ
Cruise ships dock at the South Locust Point Terminal. While Carnival and Royal Caribbean are the most prominent cruise lines, other lines like American and Celebrity also take advantage of the port. You might also hear of the Cruise Maryland Terminal. These terminals are one and the same.
The Ports of Baltimore includes a 50-foot shipping channel and a 50-foot container berth, making it a major shipping point in the U.S. Baltimore contains just this one large and well-used port with multiple terminals.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival offer year-round cruises and are the two most prominent cruise lines that use the port. However, both American and Celebrity use this location as a cruise port as well, giving you plenty of options for your cruising.
This port is considered very large, one of the largest in the U.S. They offer both a 50-foot shipping channel and a 50-foot container berth. This port is also one of the deepest ports available.
The Port of Baltimore is both astounding and beautiful. It’s a well-loved port with historical values and a practical setup for both the tourist and the cruiser. As you peruse your cruise options, be sure to keep this port in mind. It’s well worth consideration with everything that the Port of Baltimore has to offer.