Carnival Ships on the Move

Much to the delight of local officials, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced a return of its ships to Baltimore, Maryland, and Norfolk, Virginia, in 2015.

The line had earlier said it would drop the ports, due in part to increased costs of operating under new federal emissions standards. Carnival has since developed new scrubber technology to cost-effectively reduce emissions, officials said.

Carnival will resume year-round service in Baltimore in spring 2015, with the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride doing two 7-day itineraries, one to the Eastern Caribbean and the other to the Bahamas. The ship is currently in Baltimore through October 2014, and will spend a few months in Tampa before returning to the “Charm City.”

Carnival Pride is set to undergo an extensive, multimillion makeover in the fall, which will add several Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements – including a Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Pub and WaterWorks water park. The scrubber technology will be added in the spring, officials said.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

“I’m pleased Carnival and the Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard have agreed on a plan that will keep family-supporting jobs in Maryland and allow a cleaner and even greener Carnival Pride to return to this thriving cruise market,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

After dropping the port last year, Carnival said it would also return to Norfolk in 2015 on a series of cruises in the spring and fall. “Specific ship, date and itinerary information is still being finalized and more specific details are expected to be announced in the spring,” the line said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the 2,052-passenger Carnival Imagination just kicked off new year-round, 3- and 4-day cruises fromLong Beach, California, to Ensenada, Mexico, and Catalina Island.

With sister ship Carnival Inspiration also cruising from Long Beach on similar short itineraries, and the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle sailing to the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii on a seasonal basis, Carnival proclaimed itself Southern California’s top cruise operator.

Also on the move are Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Dream. The recently redone and expanded, 3,006-passengerCarnival Sunshine will reposition from New Orleans to Port Canaveral in April 2014 to operate year-round, 5- and 8-day Caribbean itineraries. The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream will leave Port Canaveral and head to the Big Easy to do Western Caribbean cruises – and bring a 22 percent increase in capacity.