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NCL begins its first homeporting from Baltimore

Norwegian Sky is sailing 10- and 11-day Canada/New England cruises from Baltimore
The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore on Friday welcomed Norwegian Cruise Line to Maryland to begin a fall and winter sailing schedule.

For the first time in NCL's history, it will homeport in Baltimore, deploying two ships — Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun — for cruises to Canada/New England, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

NCL's arrival 'heightens the impact of cruising as an economic engine for our state. The industry already generates nearly 400 jobs and $63 million in annual local business revenues,' Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said.

Kicking off NCL's program, Norwegian Sky embarked on a 10-day Canada/New England cruise, with visits to Martha’s Vineyard; Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Cape Breton Island; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Saguenay and Québec City, Québec. On Sept. 21, Norwegian Sky will sail an 11-day Canada/New England voyage.

Norwegian Sun's Bermuda and Caribbean cruises

In addition, Norwegian Sun will offer warm weather escapes with a five-day Bermuda cruise Nov. 22 and 12-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 27, Dec. 9 and Dec. 21.

Norwegian Sky also will return to the Port of Baltimore in September 2024.

'As we continue to grow our fleet of now 19 ships, we actively look for new opportunities and communities to introduce the Norwegian Cruise Line experience,' President David Herrera said. 'This fall, we’ll also celebrate the one-year anniversary of our Military Appreciation Program, where we honor active and retired service members with exclusive offers and on-board experiences. Given the strong military community in Baltimore and the surrounding areas, we look forward to having these service members participate in our program and join us at sea soon.'

Post-pandemic rebound

Baltimore has offered year-round cruising since 2009. Pre-pandemic in 2019, the port averaged more than 200,000 passengers annually. Passenger counts have strongly rebounded, with  ships currently sailing at full capacity.

Baltimore’s cruise terminal is located right off Interstate 95 and offers plenty of onsite parking. More than 40m people live within a six-hour drive, and two-thirds of the US population are within an overnight drive.

Port of Baltimore Interim Acting Executive Director Brian Miller welcomed NCL and said the cruise terminal’s location gives easy access to travelers from many Eastern and Midwestern states.

'Our local market is also one of the wealthiest in the nation. These are significant reasons why we’ve been successful as a cruise port,' Miller said.