Later today, Carnival Cruise Lines and the Port of Baltimore will launch the city’s first year-round cruise schedule when the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride sails on its inaugural departure from Baltimore.The Carnival Pride arrived this morning at the South Locust Point Cruise Terminal, accompanied by, appropriately enough, The Pride of Baltimore, an authentic reproduction of a 19th century clipper topsail schooner. Following the Carnival Pride’s arrival, a special invitation-only reception was held on board the vessel and attended by port and community officials, dignitaries and VIPs.
Today’s voyage of the Carnival Pride marks the first of 50 voyages annually aboard the 88,500-ton “Fun Ship,” which is expected to carry 115,000 passengers a year from Baltimore. The Port of Baltimore estimates that with the addition of the Carnival Pride, the cruise industry will provide an annual economic impact of $152 million and generate 1,550 jobs within the state.
With the new year-round service from Baltimore, Carnival now sails from 19 North American departure points - the most in cruising - providing consumers with easy and affordable access to a wide variety of embarkation ports throughout the U.S.
“Baltimore is an excellent addition to our North American homeport offerings as it is in close proximity to millions of consumers who now have the opportunity to embark on a ‘Fun Ship’ cruise right from their own backyards,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “And the Carnival Pride is a truly spectacular ‘Fun Ship,’ offering a host of exciting facilities and features, along with a variety of appealing itinerary options, to create wonderful vacation memories for our guests,” he added.
“The State of Maryland welcomes the Carnival Pride and the beginning of year-round cruising to the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “Now, tens of millions of people that live within a short drive of Baltimore can cruise anytime of the year they wish. The Cruise Maryland terminal’s unique location off Interstate 95 makes it easy for passengers to arrive and park on site,” he added.
Carnival Pride will operate a series of six-, seven- and eight-day cruises from Baltimore through Aug. 29, 2009. These cruises will visit a wide variety of ports, including Nassau, Freeport, Half Moon Cay (a private Bahamian island), Port Canaveral (near Orlando) and Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Carnival Pride will then feature a year-round seven-day schedule starting Sept. 6, 2009, with cruises departing every Sunday. Two different itineraries will be offered including an Exotic Eastern Caribbean itinerary calling at Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport; and a weeklong Bahamas/Florida route featuring Port Canaveral (near Orlando’s many attractions), Nassau and Freeport.
The 960-foot-long Carnival Pride offers a host of resort-style amenities and facilities: four swimming pools - one with a cascading water slide - a wedding chapel and an upscale supper club located at the top of a glass-enclosed atrium, just one of several dining venues on board.
Sixteen lounges and bars, including a sports bar, wine bar, piano bar and a 1,200-seat theatre showcasing lavish revues, are also featured. These facilities are accessible by a promenade running the length of the ship. Other features include a 14,500-square-foot spa, a jogging track, ship-wide Wi-Fi access and cell phone service.
Carnival Pride also appeals to families by offering expansive facilities and organized activities for children in three age groups - Camp Carnival for 2- to 11-year-olds, Circle “C” for 12- to 14-year-olds, and Club O2 for 15- to 17-year- olds.