The Port of Baltimore today welcomed Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas to Maryland, where she replaces Enchantment of the Seas and offers six-, to 10-night cruises year-round to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as Canada and New England. Originally deployed in Baltimore from 2004 to 2009, Grandeur of the Seas was welcomed back today with a special proclamation from Governor Martin O’Malley, who declared May 3, 2013 as ‘Royal Caribbean Cruise Day’ in Maryland.
“Maryland welcomes the new and improved Grandeur of the Seas to our state,” said Governor O’Malley. “Royal Caribbean’s decision to place this beautiful ship here is another strong vote of confidence in the Port of Baltimore, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland as one of the top cruise markets in the nation, providing approximately $90 million in economic activity and generating about 200 direct jobs in Maryland.”
Grandeur of the Seas is fresh from a $48 million bow-to-stern revitalization, which incorporated six new specialty dining options, technological upgrades and new entertainment features, as well as a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms. Families with toddlers can take advantage of the newly installed Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, which caters to the cruise line’s youngest guests, ages six months to 36 months. Guests can also enjoy a 220-square foot poolside movie screen and take in a new high-flying experience whereby aerialists glide through the ship’s six-story atrium.
“Royal Caribbean International thanks Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland Port Administration for their ongoing support of the cruise vacation industry in the great state of Maryland,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Maryland’s rich history and diverse cultural attractions make it an unmatched destination to pair with a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. We are delighted to mark the beginning of Grandeur of the Seas’ year-round service from Baltimore on ‘Royal Caribbean Cruise Day’ in Maryland.”
Throughout the year, vacationers can choose among a variety of itineraries to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean. In the summer, the itineraries alternate between seven-night Bermuda sailings, featuring a two-night call at Kings Wharf, and seven-night sailings to the Bahamas, calling at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise in the Bahamas. In the fall, Grandeur of the Seas will alternate between six-night Bermuda and eight-night Canada and New England sailings. The winter season will consist of rotating 10-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as eight-night sailings to the Bahamas.
The Port of Baltimore’s cruise facility, with its unique location immediately off Interstate 95 and close to Interstate 70, has become a convenient drive-to cruise port for many residents throughout the mid-Atlantic and into the Midwest. Last year, more than 240,800 travelers sailed on 100 cruises from the Port of Baltimore. Baltimore has 96 scheduled cruises for 2013.
In 2011, the Port of Baltimore ranked fifth for cruise passengers among East Coast cruise ports, 11th in the U.S. and 20th in the world. Recently, the Port began using a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled, enclosed passenger boarding bridge.
The bridge is mobile and flexible to accommodate various sized cruise ships. Since beginning a year-round cruise schedule in 2009, nearly every cruise ship that has sailed from the Port of Baltimore has left at full guest capacity.
Baltimore is within a six hour drive of 40 million people. It is the closest East Coast drive-to-port from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Chicago, and is within a three-hour drive from the New York City metro area. The Cruise Maryland terminal is 2.5 miles from Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor and 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Maryland’s median household income of $70,004 is the highest in the U.S. Baltimore is also located within a four-hour drive of eight of the ten wealthiest countries in the U.S. The Baltimore-Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia region is recognized as one of the most affluent in the nation.