Complete Guide to Cruising From the Port of Baltimore

With Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and (obviously) the city of Baltimore all nearby, it’s easy to see why the cruise lines enjoy having ships sail from the Port of Baltimore. While no one would confuse Maryland with a cruise mecca like Florida, there are millions of potential passengers within a short drive.

Meanwhile, those living in the area don’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of flying to get to a cruise ship. A vacation to The Bahamas or Bermuda can start with just a short drive to the port.

Indeed, the port is now a solid cruise hub on the East Coast, the perfect midpoint between the busy ports of Florida and the New England ports of New York and Boston.

You can sail year-round to points in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and New England. You also have your choice of two cruise lines — Carnival and Royal Caribbean — which each have ships at the port.

If it’s your first time sailing from Baltimore, you likely have a few questions about your cruise… how to get there, where to park, where to stay, and even more. So to help you get started, we’ve covered the basics of the port to give you a better idea of its location and layout. The links below should also help you answer some of the common questions about sailing from the port.

Port of Baltimore Location & Cruise Maryland Terminal

The Cruise Maryland terminal is located south of Baltimore’s historic downtown on a spit of land called Locust Point, just off of Interstate 95. The port is about three miles (10 minutes) from downtown and 11 miles from Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, then it’s about a 40-mile trip to Baltimore.

The cruise port address is:

2001 East McComas Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

There is only one terminal at the port, which helps to keep things more sane on cruise day compared to busier ports like New York or Miami. For convenience, parking is on site, just steps away from the ship.

Cruise Lines Served: Carnival, Royal Caribbean

Distance to Airports:
Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) – 10.5 miles | 15-25 minutes
Washington Dulles – 61 miles | 1-2 hours
Reagan National Airport – 43 miles | 50-90 minutes

Transportation to the Port of Baltimore

For many people, getting to the port is as simple as hopping in the car and driving to the terminal. With millions living in the area, it’s a short drive for many that set sail from Baltimore. The port is about an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. and roughly two hours from Philadelphia.

Flying in for your cruise? Or maybe you simply don’t want to drive? In that case there are a few options to get to the port. Uber and Lyft are perhaps the most convenient option and the cheapest price. As well, taxis are available.

Expect an Uber or Lyft from the airport (BWI) to cost about $25 each way. Taxi rides run about the same rate. 

While we suggest using a taxi or rideshare as they are the best combination of price and convenience, you can see all your transportation options to the cruise port, at our port transportation page here.

Dropping off passengers? Not sure where to go once you get to the port? We have turn-by-turn directions to find your cruise terminal. See our page on dropping off passengers here.

Baltimore Cruise Parking

If you’re driving in for your cruise, then you have to find a place to park your car. Parking is very convenient at the cruise terminal. It’s literally steps away from the ship and there are plenty of spots available.

You’ll have to pay $15 per night for parking. There is also space for oversized vehicles. Payment is due at arrival. Cash and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are accepted.

You can get all the details on parking at our Port of Baltimore Cruise Parking page.

Baltimore cruise parking map
Map data: Google

Want to save some money? A few hotels in the area offer parking packages. The premise is simple — stay for a night before your cruise and the hotel will let you park there at a discount. You’ll still need transportation to the port, but that’s a small price to pay for saving a ton on parking. For our list of Baltimore park & cruise hotels, click here.

Note that if you don’t plan to stay in the area anyway before you cruise, it’s not worth it to book a hotel just for the parking package.

Where to Stay for Your Cruise

Plan to stay in the Baltimore area the night before your cruise? We mentioned that there are a number of hotels with park and cruise specials. You’ll have more options, however, if you aren’t worry about the parking deals.

If you’re simply looking for close, high quality hotels, then your options are going to be around the downtown and Inner Harbor section. This is the more “touristy” spot in the city and about 10 minutes from the cruise terminal. There you’ll find a number of name-brand hotels all within a short ride to the cruise port on embarkation day.

Highly-rated hotels near the port include:

  • Courtyard by Marriott McHenry Row (closest hotel)
  • Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
  • Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor

See our list of hotels convenient to the Baltimore cruise port.

Things to Do Near the Port

Have some time before your cruise? There are a number of things nearby that might be of interest.

Inner Harbor: A touristy part of town just south of downtown, the harbor features wide-open areas to walk next to the waterside, along with the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, shops, and restaurants.

Camden Yards/M&T Bank Stadium: Sports fan? Near Inner Harbor, the two stadiums of the Oriels and Ravens are just about 10-15 minutes from the cruise port. Check schedules to see if there is a ball game while you’re in the area.

Baltimore Museum of Industry: Just across the point from the cruise terminal, this museum “tells the story of Baltimore” through the city’s industrial history. It receives extremely high reviews and costs about $12 for adults.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Best Way to Get to the Port of Baltimore for a Cruise?
There’s nothing that is as convenient as driving to the port. If you live in the area, it’s by far you best choice to get to the cruise ship. If you are flying in or don’t want to pay for parking, then the next best option is a rideshare (Uber/Lyft) or taxi. 

Unfortunately, the location of the port doesn’t lend itself to public transportation. Given the relatively modest size of the port’s operations, there are also few third-party options like cruise shuttles available as you find in larger ports.   

How Much is Parking at the Baltimore Port?
Parking at the Port of Baltimore costs $15 per night, so expect to pay about $105 for a 7-night cruise. Driving an RV? Recreational vehicles are charged $30 per night if under 30 feet long and $40 per night if over 30 feet long. 

What Cruises Are Offered From Baltimore?
If you plan to cruise from the Port of Baltimore, then your options include trips aboard both Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Both cruise lines offer trips to classic places like The Bahamas and Caribbean on 7-day (or longer) cruises. If you’re expecting to find short 3/4-day getaways, the port’s location doesn’t lend itself to being able to reach foreign ports in that sort of time frame.

One bonus of sailing from Baltimore is that trips to New England and Canada are also an option, providing a unique itinerary not available from most spots.

Feature Photo: Joe Loong

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