BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs will be cruising back into Baltimore, as Carnival Cruise Lines announces it will return to the port next year.
A dispute with the federal government drove Carnival to stop its local service, but the company has found a solution.
Christie Ileto explains the big ships mean big money for Maryland.
Carnival Cruise Lines is sailing back to the Port of Baltimore.
“We’re happy to have them back,” said Richard Scher, Maryland Port Administration.
Thursday’s announcement comes after new coastal water regulations forced the cruise line to pull out of Charm City last June.
They were supposed to stay in Baltimore through October and then sail on to Florida waters for good. But now officials say they’ll be back in 2015, after installing cleaner, greener technologies to meet those new federal guidelines.
“What they do is take care of emissions that come from burning of certain types of fuel so that we meet or exceed all of the requirements,” said Terry Thornton, Carnival Cruise Lines.
The good news is traveling fast, even on social media. Travel agents expect bookings to soar.
“We get calls almost two years out for cruises out of Baltimore,” said Paula Dozier, DTS Midway Vacations. “The fact they’re coming back, we’re able to say, ‘Yes, we can book your cruise for 2015.'”
And the cruise line’s announcement means the return of big bucks and jobs to the state of Maryland.
The industry generates about $90 million a year to the state and brings about 500 jobs.
“That economic impact comes from obviously entertainment, folks who come here a day before to spend the night and sightsee or stay after the cruise and do the same thing,” said Scher.
It’s good for the bottomline. And by spring 2015, it’s back to Baltimore for the cruise line and back to business as usual.
Before sailing back to Charm City, the cruise liner will also get entertainment and dining upgrades as well.
Carnival’s Pride ship was the first to offer year-round cruises out of Baltimore, beginning in 2009.
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