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Relocating Cruises from Baltimore to Norfolk

by John the Wanderer
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Carnival Magic in Norfolk

This article is Relocating Cruises from Baltimore to Norfolk. It is about the closure of the Baltimore port and the relocation of cruises to Norfolk.

The featured image is from Nauticus.

Baltimore Port

An accident involving a container ship and a bridge in Baltimore caused the port to close.

a large container ship in a harbor
The Baltimore Port is Closed After Bridge Collapse – Photo from Business Insider

The ship lost power and drifted into the bridge which caused it to collapse.

As a result, the Port of Baltimore is currently closed.

Baltimore

The city of Baltimore is easy to get to and it was central to people in the North East.

In addition, Baltimore offers many flight options from across the US as well as some international flights.

a large cruise ship in a harbor
A Carnival Ship in the Port of Baltimore – Photo from Carnival

This made the Port of Baltimore a good location for a homeport to cruises.

Cruise Lines

With the news of the tragic bridge collapse, Royal Caribbean and Carnival had to scramble to change ports for several cruises.

Norfolk was identified and both cruise lines are working with the ports, suppliers and workers to accommodate the relocation.

Carnival is relocating Carnival Pride and Carnival Legend from Baltimore to Norfolk.

Royal Caribbean is relocating Vision of the Seas from Baltimore to Norfolk.

Norfolk

Norfolk offers cruise facilities but it does not normally accommodate as many ships.

Carnival Magic in Norfolk
Carnival Magic in Norfolk – Photo from Nauticus

Both cruise lines have to arrange for guests to transfer from Baltimore to Norfolk as well as line up fuel, supplies and staff.

Guests can also fly on Southwest between the two ports; however, the airport in Norfolk has limited options.

Carnival Response

John Heald announced that Carnival will take good care of the guests during these difficult port moves.

Carnival announced that busses will be available to transfer guests from Baltimore to Norfolk. The drive between the two cities is generally four hours around Washington, DC.

Carnival Legend was at sea when the bridge collapse occurred and it was originally scheduled to return to Baltimore on March 31. Legend now is returning to Norfolk.

Carnival arranged for bus transportation for the guests impacted on the sailing.

For future sailings on Carnival’s two ships, the cruise line will work with travelers in order to accommodate the port change; however, the specific details outside of bus service were not disclosed.

You can read about Carnival Legend’s port change in the press release here.

The Carnival sailings from Norfolk will leave a few hours later than the originally scheduled time from Baltimore in order to accommodate guests having to drive four hours to the new port.

Royal Caribbean Response

a cruise ship in a harbor
Vision of the Seas in Baltimore – Photo from Cruise Maryland

Vision of the Seas was in the middle of a 12-night Southern Caribbean sailing from Baltimore when the bridge collapse occurred.

Royal Caribbean is now having Vision of the Seas return to Norfolk. Guests will be provided complimentary shuttle transportation between Norfolk and Baltimore for guests on the current sailing.

Future sailings on Vision of the Seas will also depart from Norfolk.

Guests who booked airfare with Royal Caribbean will automatically have the airfare change to Norfolk. Guests who booked independently will be offered up to $200 in reimbursement for travel changes necessary to accommodate the port change.

Vision of the Seas will make two sailings from Norfolk before going to drydock in the Bahamas for upgrades and repairs.

The Royal Caribbean changes on Vision of the Seas were first reported on Cruise Hive. You can read the article here.

Baltimore Port Closure

The change of ports will bring additional revenue and jobs to Norfolk at least for a temporary period of time. This will also result in loss of jobs and tourism income for Baltimore.

The cruise lines will both spend a significant amount of money to change port facilities, catering, supplies, fuel and more.

Hopefully the bridge will be repaired soon so cruises can return to Baltimore.

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