Carnival will return with an upgraded ship in 2015. Baltimore capped off a strong 2014 season and will welcome Carnival Cruise Lines back in 2015, which will return after a brief hiatus, bringing a recently-upgraded Carnival Pride.

Alongside Carnival, Royal Caribbean International continues to homeport in Baltimore, with a recently-refitted Grandeur of the Seas.

Cindy Burman, cruise manager for Cruise Maryland, noted over 220 local jobs generated from the cruise turnaround business, and that roughly 90 percent of the passengers are driving to the terminal.

 “Part of the success here is the local market, which is the third largest consumer market in the U.S. and one of the wealthiest,” Burman noted.

2014 included an embarkation for Crystal Cruises, along with transit stops for AIDA Cruises to send its German guests to Washington D.C. Azamara Club Cruises will visit for the first time in 2016.

“We’re talking to all the cruise lines about making Baltimore a new homeport or transit call,” said Burman. “Although nothing is concrete, we are in discussions with all of them.”

 Previous talks of a second terminal have quieted, although could get going again with a long-term commitment, said Burman.

Inside the terminal, which is located right off I-95, the port is looking at improvements such as new check-in kiosks and a new VIP lounge, as well as expanding the restrooms and adding new carpeting.

“We are also considering a new PA system that has monitors for the hearing impaired,” noted Burman.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Winter 2014/2015