Baltimore Eyeing Further Homeport Potential

Year-round homeporting from Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International along with a handful of transit calls make up the Port of Baltimore’s cruise business, and Cindy Burman, cruise manager for Cruise Maryland, still has her eye on a third homeport customer.

With a terminal right off I-95, the port has three large parking lots, including an additional 500-spot lot that could be used by another homeporting ship.

Royal Caribbean has diversified its Baltimore-based program, adding more summer sailings to Canada/New England. Carnival has also mixed things up, with two-week Carnival Journeys cruises in both January and November of 2018.

Burman said around 85 to 90 percent of embarking passengers drive to the terminal, with the largest source market being Pennsylvania, followed by Maryland/Washington, D.C. and the northern Virginia area.

Inside the terminal is a new color scheme, carpeting and check-in counters, along with a VIP room and monitors for the hearing impaired.

Work set to be done in January includes traffic-flow improvements leading into the terminal from outside streets, as well as the addition of new signage.

Burman is often on the road, promoting cruise options from Baltimore to the travel agent community and also consumers.

“We have to do a lot,” she said. “We have these ships year-round, with up to 15,000 passengers a month. We have to get out there and knock on doors.”

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