For Immediate Release
(BALTIMORE, MD) – The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) today announced that luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises will return to the Port of Baltimore for a third consecutive year and offer an 11-day cruise aboard the newly redesigned Crystal Symphony on November 2, 2015. The “Colonial Coast & Beyond” voyage will embark out of Baltimore and sail down the East Coast, making port calls to Charleston and Jacksonville, before continuing to the Caribbean and concluding the cruise in Miami
“I’m delighted to hear Crystal Cruises’ decision to return to the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The Port of Baltimore is located within one of the largest and wealthiest consumer markets in the country. The cruise terminal’s ideal location right off Interstate 95 makes it an easy drive for anybody coming here from neighboring states to our north, south and west.”
The 922-passenger Crystal Symphony underwent a $20 million redesign, featuring a restructured Avenue Saloon, Wimbledon tennis court, state-of-the-art fitness center, renovated bridge lounge, and The Starlite Club, which offers cabaret performances and dancing. The ship also features cuisine from famed master chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, an award winning spa, hypoallergenic rooms and Waves & Fantasia, a place for teens and children. The renovation was completed in October 2014.
“We’re excited to showcase our newly re-designed Crystal Symphony to the mid-Atlantic region when we return to the Port of Baltimore this fall,” says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s president. “Baltimore is a great market for us and we’re excited to offer the world’s most luxurious cruise experience to guests who want to minimize their air travel and start their Crystal experience as quickly as possible.”
In 2014, nearly 200,000 passengers sailed on 89 cruises from the Port of Baltimore. The Port of Baltimore ranks fifth for cruise passengers among East Coast cruise ports, 11th in the U.S. and 20th in the world. Since beginning a year-round cruise schedule in 2009, nearly every cruise that has sailed from the Port of Baltimore has left at full passenger capacity.
Approximately 500 jobs are generated by cruise activity in Maryland, including 220 direct jobs at the Port of Baltimore. Additionally, Maryland benefits from $90 million in economic activity generated by cruise activities. The economic value to Maryland takes into consideration such factors as local spending, hotels, dining and entertainment.
The Port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal is 2.5 miles from Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor and 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Maryland’s median household income of $70,004 is the highest in the U.S. Baltimore is also located within a four-hour drive of eight of the ten wealthiest counties in the U.S. The Baltimore-Washington DC-Northern Virginia region is recognized as one of the most affluent in the nation.