Governor Martin O’Malley has applauded the decision by Carnival Cruise Lines to sign a new five-year extension and continue to offer year-round cruises from the Port of Baltimore.
The new agreement takes effect on August 31st, 2011 when the current two-year contract expires.
The first two years of the new deal are financially guaranteed and there are three one-year options.
Carnival will continue to offer one seven-day cruise a week from Baltimore to the Bahamas and Caribbean onboard the Carnival Pride ship.
Previous to this announcement, Carnival was committed to sailing from Baltimore through the first quarter of 2012.
“The decision by Carnival to make a commitment like this and to continue offering year-round cruises from Maryland further illustrates the growth of the Baltimore/Washington region as a strong cruise market,” said O’Malley.
“In just three years, we have gone from 27 seasonal cruises to 112 year-round cruises. Located in one of the largest population markets in the country and having a great cruise terminal that is easily accessible from I-95, Baltimore has developed a winning combination that continues to attract passengers in record numbers.
“This kind of success is good for Carnival and it is good for Maryland.”
Carnival became the first cruise line to offer year-round cruises from the Port of Baltimore in 2009. Since then, Royal Caribbean has begun a year-round schedule.
The Carnival Pride is a 960-foot, 88,500-ton vessel that includes four swimming pools, 16 lounges and bars, a 1,200-seat theatre, a 14,500-square foot spa, and several dining venues.
“Carnival’s launch of Baltimore’s first year-round cruise program in April 2009 has been a tremendous success and more than 115,000 guests annually are coming into Baltimore to sail on the Carnival Pride,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president.
“We are very pleased to continue our outstanding relationship with the port and city of Baltimore.”
This year the Port of Baltimore has 112 cruises.