Due to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, Carnival Cruise Line has announced it is temporarily moving its operations from the city to Norfolk. This already impacts at least one Carnival cruise ship.

With the situation developing in Baltimore with the collapsed bridge, along with search and rescue operations, Carnival Cruise Line has moved its port operations to Norfolk, Virginia. This comes as all traffic through the port has been halted.

Our thoughts remain with the impacted families and first responders in Baltimore,said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

We appreciate the pledge made by President Biden today to dedicate all available resources to reopen Baltimore Harbor to marine traffic as soon as possible. As those plans are finalized, we will update our future cruise guests on when we will return home to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we appreciate the quick response and support from officials in Norfolk,” Duffy added.

This impacts guests of the Spirit-class Carnival Legend, including those on upcoming sailings. The current sailing, which departed Baltimore on March 24, will no longer return to the homeport as originally scheduled. The vessel will now return to Norfolk instead on Sunday, March 31.

Carnival Legend Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Wangkun Jia)

The seven-night Bahamas itinerary still features all the original calls, including Bimini on March 27 and Freeport on March 29. When the Carnival Legend docks in Norfolk, the cruise line will provide passengers with a complimentary bus back to the Port of Baltimore, which is approximately 376km north (3.49-hour ride via vehicle).

Like Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride could also be impacted by the aftermath of the bridge collapse. Carnival Pride, one of the oldest ships in the fleet, is scheduled to sail to Baltimore in April after it concludes a series of Western Caribbean cruises based out of Tampa, Florida.

Carnival pride Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mario Hagen / Shutterstock)

Beginning on April 7, the 2,124-guest ship is meant to embark on a 14-night Southern Caribbean sailing that visits Aruba, Barbados, Antigua, and St. Maarten before arriving in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 21. The Spirit-Class ship is then supposed to alternate between a series of 7-night Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas cruises roundtrip from Baltimore.

Read Also: Most Ideal Hotels Near Baltimore Cruise Port

Given the severity of the damage, it’s unclear when the Baltimore Cruise Port will reopen for cruise traffic, but it could be weeks to months. As of the time of publication, Carnival has not commented on whether Carnival Pride’s future sailings will be re-routed at this time.

In the early morning of Tuesday, March 26, 2024, a large shipping vessel named Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which is an integral part of the port’s infrastructure. The incident unfolded shortly after midnight when Dali deviated from its course and hit the bridge.

The video of the collision shows the 948-foot-long container ship losing power in the moments before the crash. When the lights came back on, smoke exuded from the vessel. Perhaps because the ship also lost its navigational capacities during the power outage, it immediately crashed into the bridge, which collapsed upon impact.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation and the port is closed to cruise traffic until further notice. Search and rescue operations are also currently underway.

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