Carnival Set to Return to Baltimore Two Months After Bridge Collapse

Two months after the dramatic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Carnival says it now anticipates a return to sailing from the port later this month.

Carnival Pride in Cozumel
Carnival Pride will once again sail from Baltimore with an anticipated return day of May 26. The ship has sailed from Norfolk for roughly two months following the collapse of the Key Bridge.

On March 26, a loaded containership departing the Port of Baltimore lost power, hitting a pier on the bridge. After the collision, the bridge fell across the Patapsco River, killing several who were on the roadway at the time closing access to the port.

Since then, crews have worked around the clock to remove the debris from the river to allow ships to once again have access. In the meantime, Carnival made the decision to sail its ship — Carnival Pride — from Norfolk, Virginia while the Port of Baltimore remained closed to traffic. Passengers were offered transportation between the two ports to accommodate as many people as possible following the move.

That was roughly two months ago. Now, Carnival just announced it expects to resume sailing from Baltimore on May 26 — exactly two months after the bridge fell.

Carnival Pride will board a 7-day cruise in Norfolk on May 19, but that trip will now end in Baltimore. The first cruise departing Baltimore on the ship will be a 14-day cruise to Greenland on May 26.

“We are extremely grateful to the officials and incredible first responders in Baltimore, who’ve shown great leadership and resolve in this difficult time, as well as our supportive partners in Norfolk, whose rapid response allowed us to continue to deliver our scheduled sailings for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“It’s been our goal to resume operations in Baltimore as soon as possible, and after working closely with local, state and federal agencies, we look forward to a successful return.”

Itinerary Updates Are Common Across Cruising

While a bridge falling and closing an entire departure port is definitely unique, cruise lines are well-versed in adjusting schedules to accommodate everything from hurricanes to ship breakdowns. In fact, it’s a rarity for cruises to be altogether canceled due to even major issues like the Baltimore bridge collapse.

For instance, Royal Caribbean has re-routed cruises stopping in Labadee, Haiti following a violent outbreak in the country. Cruise lines also changed itineraries due to the ongoing wars in Israel and canceled Russian stops following the invasion of Ukraine. Issues with departure ports do cause more disruption than ports of call, but cruise lines still work around them.

As for Baltimore, it will be a considerable time before the bridge is repaired and things go completely back to normal. However, having the port re-opened and welcoming ships again is a solid step in the right direction.

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