The Port of Baltimore will welcome another new cruise ship to the region in 2011 when the refurbished Celebrity Century comes to Maryland for 10 winter cruises from November 2011 through March 2012. The Celebrity Century will replace the Celebrity Mercury in Baltimore and offer a similar itinerary of cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas. Both ships are equal in size and known as the Century class of Celebrity vessels.
“Once again, cruising from the Port of Baltimore takes another positive step forward as we prepare to welcome another new ship to our area,” said Maryland Port Administration (MPA) Executive Director James J. White. “The cruise terminal’s easy access off Interstate 95 coupled with Baltimore’s ideal central location is resulting in Baltimore fast becoming one of the hottest cruise ports around.”
The Celebrity Century began sailing in 1995. It underwent a full refurbishment and was re-launched in 2006. It is a 71,545 ton vessel with 10 decks and a capacity to handle 1,814 passengers. Its refurbishment included upgrading all staterooms, adding more suites, introducing a new specialty restaurant, and updating the spa and fitness center.
“We are thrilled to have Celebrity Century sail for the first time from the Port of Baltimore next year,” said Diana J. Block, vice president of revenue management & deployment for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. “This ship completed a significant revitalization in 2006, adding 314 new verandas (the most ever added to an existing cruise ship), Celebrity’s elegant Murano specialty restaurant, and the first “ice” Martini Bar at sea. With the introduction of Celebrity Century and the Enchantment of the Seas sailing for Royal Caribbean International, we are excited to continue to offer new choices to the people of Baltimore and surrounding areas.”
This year the Port of Baltimore will have a record 91 homeport cruises onboard Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity. The Carnival Pride returns for its second year of year-round cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean. Royal Caribbean will bring a newer and larger ship to Baltimore, the Enchantment of the Seas and will travel to New England/Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas. The Celebrity Mercury will return for a second season of winter cruising beginning in October and will travel to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The total economic value to the State of cruising from the Port of Baltimore this year is expected to be about $90 million, an increase of about $10 million from 2009. The Port of Baltimore will have 113 homeport cruises in 2011.
The MPA recently announced that a record 167,000 passengers embarked on 81 homeport cruises from the Port of Baltimore in 2009. The Port of Baltimore is the closest East Coast drive-to port from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Chicago. Baltimore is also within a three-hour drive from the New York City metro area. The Cruise Maryland terminal is only 2.5 miles from Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor, 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and little more than an hour from three other major airports.