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Carnival Agrees To Extension With Baltimore

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Good news for people who like to set sail for their vacation.  Carnival Cruise Lines has signed a new five-year deal with the Port of Baltimore. 

Meghan McCorkell has the details.

Last year, a record 210,000 people hopped a cruise right here in Baltimore, and with this new deal even more people are expected to get on board.

Exotic locations, luxury accommodations and getting there couldn’t be easier.  The Port of Baltimore is seeing record numbers of cruise passengers.  Word that a new extension has been inked with Carnival has more people thinking about setting sail.

“Yeah.  I live right across from Baltimore, so taking a cruise would be awesome,” said one.

Just three years ago, only 27 seasonal cruises departed from Baltimore.  This year, the port will have 112 cruises year-round.  Baltimore now ranks sixth on the East Coast with cruise passengers and 14th nationally.

“It’s not just Baltimore people.  People come to Baltimore from all over now,” said Mary Eve Vonberger, The Cruise Lady, Inc.

Travel agent Mary Eve Vonberger’s business is up because the port is so convenient.  One thing that makes the Port of Baltimore so accessible is its proximity to I-95. 

Increased passengers means more money for the state, says Rick Powers with the Maryland Port Administration.

“We’re looking at about $90 million a year of economic impact and 500, plus or minus, jobs,” Powers said.

And with this latest Carnival deal, those numbers could be rising.

The first two years of Carnival’s extension are guaranteed.  There are three one-year options following that.

Both the Carnival Pride and the Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas are operating year-round in the Port of Baltimore.

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