Royal Caribbean to Resume Cruises From Baltimore After Bridge Collapse

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Port of Baltimore announced on May 15, 2024, that Royal Caribbean cruises from the port will resume. Vision of the Seas will set sail on May 25 for a five-night cruise to Bermuda.

The 78,340 gross ton Vision-class cruise ship will be the first cruise ship to sail from Baltimore since the same vessel sailed on a 12-day cruise on March 21, 2024. The port has been closed for cruise ships since a container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Port of Baltimore said the following on its Facebook page: “Get ready…the Port of Baltimore is ready to cruise once again! Royal Caribbean International’s Vision of the Seas will depart on May 25th for a fantastic 5-night voyage from Baltimore to Bermuda! This marks the first cruise departing Baltimore since the Key Bridge incident.”

Vision of the Seas in Baltimore
Vision of the Seas in Baltimore (Photo Credit: Cruise Maryland)

The Key Bridge accident happened on March 26, 2024, when the container ship Dali experienced a blackout while sailing out of Baltimore Harbor. This resulted in the ship’s systems going offline and the ship colliding with a pier supporting the bridge, causing its collapse.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, federal agencies, and state and local workers have been working extremely hard to restore operations as soon as possible. Although some temporary channels with limited depth have been created, which provided some access to smaller vessels, these were unsuitable for cruise ships due to their deeper draft.

The first cruise, departing on May 25, will be a five-night Bermuda cruise on Vision of the Seas, which includes a two-day stop at Kings Wharf, Bermuda, before returning to Baltimore on May 30. 

Vision of the Seas will then alternate 5-night sailings to Bermuda with 9-night cruises to Bermuda and the Bahamas. The longer 9-night voyages will also include stops in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay

Since the accident, both Vision of the Seas and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Spirit have operated their cruises from the Port of Norfolk, Virginia, a distance of 240 miles (or 386 kilometers) from Baltimore.

Carnival Also Resumes Cruises from Baltimore

Royal Caribbean International is not alone in the resumption of cruises from Baltimore. On May 9, Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that the cruise sailing from Norfolk, Virginia, onboard the 88,500-gross-ton Carnival Pride would conclude in Baltimore. The ship will visit Nassau, Princess Cays, and Freeport, Bahamas.

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

To accommodate guests who are in the awkward situation of starting and ending their cruise in different locations, Carnival is assisting with transportation and a $100 onboard credit.

On May 26, Carnival Pride will embark on a 14-night Greenland cruise. The Carnival Journey includes stops at Nanortalik and Qaqortoq in Greenland on June 1 and June 2. Following the calls to Greenland, the ship will stop in St. Anthony and Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and Sydney, Nova Scotia, before returning to Baltimore on June 9. 

The return of Vision of the Seas and Carnival Pride is a big moment for Baltimore and the surrounding area. The two cruise ships are the only ones homeported in Baltimore, making their return important for the local economy and those people in Baltimore who depend on cruise ships to make a living. No other ships have scheduled calls from Baltimore in 2024 or 2025.

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