Enchantment of the Seas sailed into Baltimore harbor today to inaugurate a second year-round Northeast U.S. port for vacationers to embark on a Royal Caribbean cruise. The 2,252-guest, double occupancy, Enchantment of Seas offers a variety of onboard amenities that cater to families, coupled with delectable dining options and compelling itineraries to make for a memorable cruise vacation.

“The State of Maryland welcomes Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas for year-round cruising from the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “Even in these tough times, Baltimore’s geographic location, its entertainment and cultural attractions and our cruise terminal’s easy access off of Interstate 95 continue to attract passengers in record-setting numbers."

In the 2010-2011 summer and autumn seasons,vacationers can choose among five-night Bermuda, nine-night Eastern Caribbean and nine-night New England and Canada itineraries aboard Enchantment of the Seas. In winter and spring 2010-2012, vacationers can choose among nine-night Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean itineraries. Enchantment of the Seas and voyager-class Explorer of the Seas’ year-round sailings from the Port of Baltimore and Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, respectively, now offer Northeast vacationers two convenient Royal Caribbean home-ports.

“Royal Caribbean is delighted to bring Enchantment of the Seas to historic Baltimore to offer year-round cruises,” said Ken Muskat, vice president of Sales, Royal Caribbean International, at a welcoming ceremony for nearly 400 travel agents, dignitaries and media aboard the ship. “Enchantment of the Seas offers so many ways for guests of all ages to enjoy an exciting family vacation or romantic cruise getaway, conveniently accessible by car. We thank the Maryland Port Administration, the Port of Baltimore, our valued travel agent partners, and past guests for their outstanding support to help us bring a new option for area vacationers.”

This year the Port of Baltimore will have a record 91 home-ported cruises. The total economic value to the State of Maryland of cruising from the Port of Baltimore in 2010 is expected to be about $90 million, an increase of about $10 million from 2009. Last year, the Port of Baltimore handled a record 167,000 passengers on 81 home-ported cruises. 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 Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and within 90 minutes from three other major airports.   

Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging staff and crew deliver the Royal treatment to help make each guest’s cruise vacation a unique and unforgettable experience. Onboard Enchantment of the Seas, guests enjoy casual to fine dining in three restaurants, including Royal Caribbean’s signature Chops Grille steakhouse. In the evenings, Enchantment of the Seas offers non-stop entertainment in eight lounges, including the Latin-themed Boleros, top-rated Broadway-style productions in the Orpheum Theatre, and world-class gaming in the Casino Royale.

Enchantment of the Seas features three pools and six whirlpools for guests to relax in, including the adults-only Solarium and the Splash Deck interactive fountain play area for kids. The solarium is covered by a crystal canopy, a glass roof that retracts and deploys to suit any weather.

More active guests can try the bungee trampoline or work up a sweat on the jogging track or on the cruise line’s iconic rock-climbing wall. Additionally, the Enchantment Fitness Center and Day Spa features an extensive fitness program and a full modern spa menu.

 Royal Caribbean’s award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen program, with five age-tiered curricula, also entertains and enlightens younger guests under the age of 18. On Enchantment of the Seas, the teen-only Fuel hang-out and disco offers a perfect setting for teens to relax and make new friends.

Enchantment of the Seas underwent an impressive engineering feat in 2005, when she received a 73-foot extension. The ultimate maritime makeover capitalized on an innovative new procedure that allowed workmen to complete the “stretch” in an unprecedented 31 days. It took six days alone to bisect the ship, cutting through more than 1,969 linear feet of steel with gas and oxygen torches and circular saws. The forward and aft sections of Enchantment of the Seas were slid apart to accommodate a new 2,939-ton midsection. Workers then reconnected the three sections and nearly 1,300 individual cables, pipes and ducts on each end of the mid-body.