Cruise lines scramble to find home port alternatives after Baltimore bridge collapse


Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday, two cruise lines are in search of alternate ports where their ships can dock when their current voyages conclude.

What happened

Baltimore, I am officially declaring a local state of emergency in response to the collapse of our Key Bridge. Our teams are mobilizing resources and working swiftly to address this crisis and ensure the safety and well-being of our community.

— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) March 26, 2024

In the early hours of March 26, a cargo ship leaving the port of Baltimore hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing a total collapse, Baltimore City Fire Department chief James Wallace said during a press conference Tuesday morning.

Several people are confirmed to have fallen into the water. Two were rescued, and the search continues for others. Mayor Brandon M. Scott has declared a state of emergency in the city.

— Port of Baltimore (@portofbalt) March 26, 2024

Because the debris from the fallen bridge and the search-and-rescue efforts block the path to the docking area, the Port of Baltimore has suspended vessel traffic into and out of the port until further notice. It is not yet known how long it will be closed to cruise ships or how long cleanup and rebuilding are expected to take.

Which ships are affected


Two cruise ships — Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend and Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas — currently depart from Baltimore, prompting both cruise lines to search for alternative port options.

Carnival Legend is on a seven-night Bahamas voyage that was set to end in Baltimore on March 31. Vision of the Seas is in the early part of a 12-night sailing, also round trip from Baltimore, that’s due to finish April 4. Additionally, Carnival Pride is scheduled to move from its current home port of Tampa to begin offering round-trip voyages from Baltimore starting April 15.

American Cruise Lines also has two ships — American Glory and American Constitution — in the area, but they remain largely unaffected, as both vessels are scheduled to home port in Washington, D.C., this year. (The line has other voyages that are set to sail from Baltimore later in the year. It plans to monitor conditions there and make adjustments as necessary.)

What the lines are saying about itinerary changes

Vision of the Seas


Although neither cruise line has yet finalized other port arrangements, Royal Caribbean did verify that Vision of the Seas will not be returning to Baltimore following its current voyage or for several of its subsequent cruises.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy and collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and extend our heartfelt prayers to all those impacted,” Royal Caribbean said in an emailed statement. “We are closely monitoring the situation, and our port logistics team is currently working on alternatives for Vision of the Seas’ ongoing and upcoming sailings. Any updates will be communicated to our guests and travel partners once our plans are finalized.”

Carnival responded to a request for itinerary change information by referring TPG to Cruise Lines International Association, which serves as an advocate for the cruise industry as a whole.

In an emailed statement, CLIA provided port statistics but said information on new home ports for individual ships would come at the cruise line level.

“Cruise activity at the port of Baltimore based on 2024 published itineraries includes 12 ships making a total of 115 ship calls during calendar year 2024,” CLIA said. “It is the 29th-largest cruise port in the U.S. with 378,000 passenger movements scheduled through the port. Any adjustments to current cruise activity at the port will be announced as soon as available by the individual cruise lines.”

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By: Ashley Kosciolek
Title: Cruise lines scramble to find home port alternatives after Baltimore bridge collapse
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Published Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2024 18:47:20 +0000


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