Cancel Preloader

Norwegian Cruise Line sets sail from Port of Baltimore with East Coast cruises

A cruise ship departed Friday afternoon under sunny skies from the Port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal for a 10-day trip up the East Coast, marking the beginning of a series of voyages by Norwegian Cruise Line.

Two of the company’s ships — Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun — will use Baltimore as home port, taking passengers as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as the Caribbean, the Maryland Port Administration said in a news release. The company has five more excursions planned to depart from the Port of Baltimore later this year and plans to return next September.

“Norwegian is one of the top cruise lines in the world, and they recognize that Maryland’s Port of Baltimore is an amazing partner, offering convenient access and outstanding service,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement. “The arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line heightens the impact of cruising as an economic engine for our state. The industry already generates nearly 400 jobs and $63 million in annual local business revenues.”

Norwegian Cruise Line said it sails to 400 destinations around the world and has a fleet of 19 ships.

“Today marks a history-making moment for Norwegian Cruise Line, as we sail from the vibrant city of Baltimore for the first time,” said the president of Norwegian Cruise Line, David J. Herrera, in a statement.

According to the Maryland Port Administration, year-round cruises at the Port of Baltimore began in 2009 and the annual number of passengers averaged more than 200,000 a year. The state-owned port welcomed 224,568 passengers in 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic put an 18-month pause on cruise ships departing from the port, starting March 2020.

When cruises resumed in September 2021, passengers were required to be vaccinated and test negative for coronavirus and capacity was limited to 70%. The port saw just 25,031 customers in 2021, or 11% of its usual volume that year.

In 2022, Baltimore saw 196,084 cruise passengers as federal regulations continued to limit to 70% capacity through the first quarter.

The 832-foot Norwegian Sky, with a distinctive, colorful lei painted on its white hull, can accommodate 1,928 passengers. The Norwegian Sun is its sister ship.


Related post