Monday, March 30, 2015

Carnival Pride back in Baltimore

Carnival ended its hiatus in Baltimore and announced the return of year-round sailing out of the Maryland. The Carnival Pride will sail a variety of itineraries from the port. Most coverage focused on the renovations of the ship and its new environmental standards (which were a factor in the hiatus from coastal waters). However, the big picture news is really that Carnival is committed to year-round service in a northern drive market.

Having the renovated and updated Carnival Pride sail from Baltimore is a win-win for the company and passengers. Ten of millions of potential cruisers live within driving distance of Charm City. A driveable cruising option can save each passenger thousands in airfare. For Carnival, the upside of Baltimore is less local competition, the chance to introduce cruising to those who might not otherwise sail, and the opportunity to turn some of those airfare savings into onboard spending.

Given the history and reinvestment, there will probably be more sailings and other ships out of Baltimore. And with continued success, more out of other east coast ports (Philadelphia? expanded options from New York? More in Boston?). All of that is good news for people exploring new cruise options.

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