Cruise passengers sailing from the Port of Baltimore will now board their ship by walking through a state-of-the-art passenger boarding bridge that made its official debut today at the beginning of a five-day sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas to Bermuda. The new boarding bridge, an enclosed walkway between the cruise terminal and the ship, includes heating and air conditioning, an ability to withstand high winds, and is mobile and flexible enough to accommodate different sized cruise ships.   

“Governor Martin O’Malley’s wise investment in the Port of Baltimore continues to pay dividends,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley.  “Our goal is to provide customers with a first class cruise experience from departure to return. By investing in our cruise facilities we are delivering on that commitment. This new passenger boarding bridge will add another positive element to the overall cruise experience that our customers will enjoy at the Port of Baltimore.”

The $2.9 million boarding bridge was manufactured by TEAM of Barcelona, Spain. The unique design includes the walkway superstructure being connected by a rotunda including telescopic walkway tunnels. It measures 471 feet in length, is ADA compliant and is built to withstand wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour. With the boarding bridge, passengers will now be provided uninterrupted cover from the time they enter the cruise terminal until they board the ship. Heating and air conditioning will ensure passengers are comfortable regardless of what season they sail. 

In 2011 the Port of Baltimore will have a record 112 cruises served by the Carnival Pride and Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas. The Carnival Pride will sail to the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean while Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas sails to New England/Canada, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.

In 2010, a record 210,549 people sailed on a then-record 91 cruises from the Cruise Maryland Terminal.