BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new state-of-the-art passenger boarding bridge was unveiled at the Port of Baltimore Monday, kicking off a five-day cruise to Bermuda.
Mary Bubala reports boarding a luxury cruise ship in Baltimore wasn’t always a luxury.
“Kind of a rough gangplank before, rough,” said passenger Karen Nicodemus. “You had to be careful of your footing.”
But the Port of Baltimore is now showing off its new state-of-the-art boarding bridge. The glass-enclosed walkway includes heating and air conditioning, year-round climate control.
“This looks much easier. I don’t think I will be stepping and falling,” Nicodemus said.
The new boarding bridge is more than 470 feet long. Passengers are provided uninterrupted cover from the time they enter the cruise terminal until they board the ship.
“Until today, our passengers boarded a ship using an open-air gangway, which today wouldn’t be so bad but think about it in January and February and especially the couple of harsh winters we’ve had or all of those days it was 90 degrees last summer,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley.
It’s compatible with all the ships that cruise out of our port and, for those who have walked through it, there’s no looking back.
“I have personally used the passenger bridge and it is light years away from the old gangway, which resembled something from Pirates of the Caribbean,” said Scott Babus. ”The passenger bridge represents a bridge to the future, one filled with possibilities. Hopefully one day, we will have a second pier so we can welcome other cruise lines year-round or seasonally.”
A record 112 cruises will leave Baltimore’s port this year, carrying more than 200,000 passengers. Nearly every cruise that departs is at 100 percent capacity.