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Cruises from Baltimore

Leave Maryland behind, setting sail for these gorgeous seaside ports instead.

Updated

Baltimore inner harbor with city skyline during the day.

Baltimore’s cruise port may not be famous, but it’s perfectly efficient if you’re looking for island bliss or northeast exploration. These cruise lines will get you there, with lofts of over-the-top evening entertainment and daytime escapades organized to keep you busy along the way.

Best cruises from Baltimore

Two major international cruise lines — Royal Caribbean and Carnival — offer departures from Baltimore. But for folks who prefer small-ship cruising to more niche ports, American Cruise Lines has a selection of excellent specialized voyages available. Revolutionary War tours, anyone?

Read our reviews to determine which onboard experience most appeals to you. After that, your next decision is simply where to go.

Royal Caribbean cruises from Baltimore

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean sails to the widest range of destinations from Baltimore, south to the Caribbean or north to New England and Canada.
Price ($-$$$):
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Here’s where you can go:

Southeast Coast

In the mood for some southern charm? Royal Caribbean docks at Charleston and Orlando before reaching the Bahamas on its unique southeast coast voyages.

What is there to do in Charleston? Shop bustling King’s Street. Wander through the French Quarter.

Eat hush puppies. Visit Fort Sumpter … and then there’s as much to do in Orlando and the Bahamas.

Bermuda

Spend a couple of days docked at King’s Wharf, taking in the pink sands and sparkling ocean waves. Royal Caribbean also has Bermuda cruises that tag a visit to CocoCay onto the end, so you can hit two paradise islands in one trip.

Southern Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s southern Caribbean itinerary includes Haiti, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Antigua — four islands most people only get to see in post cards.

On land, you’ll find unspoiled beaches, locally brewed liquors and a general sense of peace. Its 12-day route starts at only $699 per person.

New England and Canada

Sail to Boston, Massachusetts before meandering up to Portland and Bar Harbor in Maine. Feel the salty, autumnal breeze as you cruise further to Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada before returning to Baltimore. Royal Caribbean packs the fun along the way, with over-the-top live entertainment, culinary classes and even a rock climbing wall.

Carnival cruises from Baltimore

Carnival

Carnival's Panama Canal cruises from Baltimore stand out, delivering you to one of the world's seven wonders and stopping at dreamy Caribbean islands along the way. It also sails to the Bahamas, Bermuda and the south Caribbean.
Price ($-$$$):
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Here are the deets:

The Bahamas

It only takes two full days at sea to reach Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s private island. There, you can enjoy horseback rides, stingray encounters (the pain-free kind), snorkeling and kayak excursions.

Next, you’ll journey to Nassau and Freeport — where more water sports and beach bum adventures await. Rates for a seven-day Bahamas cruise start at about $500 per person. Some of its itineraries also go to Princess Cays and Grand Turk.

Bermuda

Carnival’s Bermuda cruise features three full days and two overnight stays on the island — plenty of time to check all the touristy activities off your list and lie on the beach. Sightsee at Crystal Caves, and take a tour of the island. Then set up your beach chair and simply relax.

Southern Caribbean

Aruba, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten — you’ll hit all of these iconic south Caribbean islands and more on Carnival’s southern Caribbean cruise. The crystalline waters and white sand beaches provide the perfect palette-cleanser from gloomy Baltimore days. Snorkel, zip line and beach bathe.

We feel better already.

Panama Canal

After spending days docked at Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios and the tropical paradise Limón, witness one of our world’s seven wonders on your way through the Panama Canal.

The lush scenery on either side, the historical engineering feat — it’s a bucket list voyage you won’t soon forget. And with fare starting at about $1,200 per person for 14 days, it’s also a bargain.

American Cruise Lines cruises from Baltimore

American Cruise Lines

Explore the east coast inland passage or tour landmark sites from the American Revolution around Chesapeake Bay, with no more than 128 passengers aboard. Enjoy complimentary wine and beer at meals, plus an open bar during the daily cocktail hour.

Here’s a snapshot of American Cruise Line’s most popular cruises from Baltimore:

East Coast Inland Passage

Step back in time with some of the Southeast’s most celebrated port cities, including Charleston, Savannah and St. Simons Island. Catch a glimpse of where the Wright brothers piloted early incarnations of modern airplanes in Kitty Hawk and wander through the historic downtown of bohemian Beaufort.

Other port stops include:

  • St. Michaels, MD
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Hilton Head, NC
  • Jekyll Island, GA
  • Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL

Chesapeake Bay

These cruises, which last a week or more but don’t leave Chesapeake Bay, focus on the Maryland and Virginia coasts. From Baltimore you’ll tour the “Historic Triangle” — Yorktown, Williamsburg and Jamesburg — rich in colonial history and seafood. True history buffs may opt for the 11-day American Revolution-themed cruises that stops in Mount Vernon and Washington, DC too. You’ll meet with subject matter experts who’ll breathe life into the sites along the way.

Is the present-day more your thing? American Cruise Lines’ cherry blossom cruises from Baltimore offer sumptuous springtime views through the Chesapeake Bay area.

Does Crystal Cruises depart from Baltimore?

Sometimes. In the past, Crystal Cruises has offered Caribbean cruises from Baltimore. But at the time of writing this article, none were scheduled.

What are the cheapest cruises from Baltimore?

Royal Caribbean and Carnival are typically pretty comparable in price. So finding the cheapest cruise from Baltimore will likely come down to when and where you sail — and which cruise line is offering the best sales at the time you book.

After you’ve decided upon a destination, we recommend comparing prices of both the cruise lines. That’s the best way to make sure you’re booking the cheapest cruise from Baltimore.

One more tip — Royal Caribbean and Carnival both have a best price guarantee program. So if you book a cruise, and notice the fare rate drop after 42 or 72 hours, respectively, the cruise line will refund you the difference in price.

When it the best time to cruise from Baltimore?

The best time to cruise from Baltimore depends on where you’re going. Cruises to Bermuda and the Caribbean depart all year round, but rates spike around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Budget travelers should consider sailing in January or February, avoiding the summer months — especially July, when prices peak.

Cruises from Baltimore to the Northeast and Canada are only available from May to October. If you’re hoping to catch radiant fall foliage along the coast, we recommend cruising in October — though summer is also a glorious time to cruise north.

As for fare, there isn’t necessarily one month that’s cheapest. Browse Royal Caribbean’s site to compare prices by date.

Getting to the port for your cruise from Baltimore

Baltimore’s cruise port is located at Locust point, off highway 95. It’s officially called South Locust Point Cruise Terminal and is located at 2001 East McComas Street.

It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to drive from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Airport to Baltimore’s cruise port, depending on traffic. Shuttles, taxis, Uber and Lyft are available from the airport.

A Go Airport shuttle costs about $41 for one person or $54 for two people — though calling an Uber or Lyft only costs between $20 to $25. We don’t recommend taking public transportation, which takes nearly 90 minutes.

If you plan to drive yourself, parking at Baltimore’s cruise port is available for $15 per day.

Bottom line

When shopping for the best cruises from Baltimore, you’ll need to choose between Royal Caribbean, Carnival and American Cruise Lines. Luckily, these companies frequently offer promotions and discounts to help fund your fare. We’ve got all the deals collected in our handy dandy list.

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