Baltimore’s cruise port may not be famous, but it’s perfectly efficient if you’re looking for island bliss or northeast exploration.
Two major international cruise lines — Royal Caribbean and Carnival — offer departures from Baltimore. To help streamline your planning, we’ve listed the major routes of each cruise line here. From Baltimore you can sail to Bermuda, the American South, the Caribbean or north to New England and Canada. All you have to do is choose the climate, sightseeing and itinerary that most appeals to you.
Folks who prefer small-ship cruising to more niche ports should check out American Cruise Lines, which has an excellent selection of specialized voyages available. Revolutionary War tours, anyone?
When will cruises from Baltimore start again?
Right now, cruises are scheduled to resume from the Port of Baltimore in the spring of 2021. However, this is subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic evolves, so be sure to check in with each cruise line to confirm the exact dates.
Most cruise lines are offering penalty-free change and cancellation policies because of uncertainty due to COVID-19 — review the terms and conditions before booking to make sure you’re on board with the details.
Best cruises from Baltimore
Read our reviews to determine which onboard experience most appeals to you. After that, your next decision is simply where to go.
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. Visit Fort Sumter. And eat plenty of hush puppies.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Hilton Head, NC
Jekyll Island, GA
Fernandina Beach, FL
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.
Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC advises postponing travel to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading COVID-19. If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor the risk assessment levels for your destination when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.
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.
Frequently asked questions
The parking lot for Baltimore cruise port is located at 2001 E McComas St. If you’d like to park there, no advance reservations are required. You can use any major credit card to pay, and it also accepts travel checks.
Taxis charge a flat rate of $30 from the Baltimore cruise terminal to the cruise port. But this is likely more expensive than taking an Uber or Lyft — unless fares are surging.
If none of the cruises from Baltimore suit your fancy, the following ports near New York City are your next best options:
Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as a technical designer before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. She lives in Los Angeles. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering the streets looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and daydreaming about her next great adventure.
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