BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Long-awaited return. A Carnival cruise ship comes back to Baltimore after a months-long absence. The vacation company says it’s staying year-round this time.

Gigi Barnett has more on the impact to the port, the city and passengers.

Bags are packed and the ship is ready. After months of waiting, the ship returns to Charm City for good, offering year-round voyages. Any time of year is a good time to set sail on Carnival Cruise’s Pride.

“I loved the food, the places we stopped. We stopped off at a new area, Bonniarre, near Aruba. I enjoyed all of the stops,” said passenger Nina McFadden.

The McFadden family from Pasadena had to take a one-way flight to Tampa to board the Pride. They returned home on the ship. Their 14-day cruise was a breeze—and they’re looking to board again soon.

“In January of next year, they have a 10-day cruise going down to Florida and I’ve already told my dad,” she said.

Carnival left Baltimore back in the fall of last year to upgrade its fuel system and make it more eco-friendly. While it was making those changes, the company also decided to add more bars, restaurants and entertainment choices on board.

“It’s a great way to take a cruise. You don’t have to go to the airport. It’s right in your backyard,” said James White.

White is the port’s executive director. His office wanted Carnival back; the cruiseline did, too. Both parties know that the port’s close proximity to I-95 draws a record-breaking number of passengers every year.

“Each of these ships that come in deliver about a million dollars of economic impact to the region,” White said. “It’s very important.”

Making the fun on board the Pride a bottom-line boom for the city and the cruise line.

Carnival passengers can choose from a slew of itineraries that include five, seven and 14-day Caribbean voyages. The Pride can carry more than 2,100 passengers.

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