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Carnival signs two-year contract to continue sailing from Port of Baltimore cruise terminal

Carnival Cruise Line has inked a two-year contract extension with the Port of Baltimore.

Carnival Cruise Line has inked a two-year contract extension with the Port of Baltimore to continue sailing to the Caribbean and the Bahamas out of the port's cruise terminal, the Maryland Port Administration announced Monday.

The deal includes three one-year options. The 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride, which has sailed year-round from Baltimore since 2009, will continue offering its five, 13-day cruises from Baltimore.

The cruise line gave its Baltimore ship a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2014, adding dining venues such as Guy's Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, and Bonsai Sushi and entertainment options such as Hasbro, The Game Show; Seuss at Sea and Playlist Productions.

The ship also got a new water park, featuring the Green Thunder, which Carnival calls the steepest water slide at sea.

"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Carnival, one of the most successful cruise lines in the world," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

Nearly 200,000 passengers sailed on 90 cruises from the Port of Baltimore last year, the port administration said. Baltimore's port is ranked sixth on the East Coast, 11th in the nation and 20th in the world for cruise passengers, officials said.

"We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the Port of Baltimore which has been such a fantastic partner over the past several years we've been cruising from Baltimore," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. "Not only do our guests enjoy spending time in Baltimore before or after their cruise, but it's an excellent and convenient departure point for people in the eastern U.S. to come aboard and sail to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean for some sun and relaxation."

Cruise traffic at the port generates 220 direct jobs at the port and more than twice as many indirectly in the state. Maryland receives $90 million in economic activity generated by cruise activities, including local spending, hotels, dining and entertainment.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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