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					Issue 9

NAUTICAL NOTES

FALL 2008

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY APPLAUDS DECISION FROM CELEBRITY CRUISES TO BEGIN WINTER SAILINGS IN 2009 FROM MARYLAND
Cruise line to offer 12 and 9-night excursions to Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas Governor Martin O’Malley welcomed the decision from Celebrity Cruises to begin sailing from the Port of Baltimore in November 2009. The Celebrity Mercury, a 1,898-guest ship, will call Baltimore a homeport from November 2009 through February 2010. Celebrity will offer five 12-night Eastern Caribbean cruises that will visit St. Thomas; St. Kitts; Antigua; St. Maarten, and Tortola. They will also offer five 9-night cruises visiting Charleston, SC; Key West, FL; and CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas. The first cruise scheduled from Baltimore is a 12-night excursion beginning November 9, 2009. “Celebrity’s decision to offer cruises from Maryland confirms once again that the international cruise industry recognizes Maryland as a viable departure location,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our hospitality industry, attractions, and diversity provide another exciting element to one’s vacation at the beginning or end of their cruise. Equally important is the location of the Port of Baltimore and the easy access to our quality cruise terminal and parking that sits right off I-95.” The Celebrity Mercury began sailing in 1997. It is a 77,713-ton vessel with 949 staterooms, two-thirds of which have ocean views. The 10-deck ship also offers many dining and entertainment options and age-appropriate programs and activities for children of all ages. The Port of Baltimore is the closest East Coast drive-to port from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Chicago. Baltimore is also within a four-hour drive from the New York City metro area. The Cruise Maryland cruise terminal is only 2.5 miles from Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor, 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and little more than an hour from three other major airports. In total, 40 million people live within a six-hour drive of Baltimore. Maryland’s median household income of $68,080 is the highest in the nation. Baltimore is also located within a four hour drive of ten of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. The Baltimore-Washington DC-Northern Virginia region is recognized as one of the most affluent in the nation and ranks fourth nationally in retails sales and effective-buying income. The region is also the fourth most populated area in the U.S. In June, it was announced that Carnival Cruise Lines would begin year-round cruises from Baltimore starting September 2009. That will be the first time in the Port’s 30-plus year cruise history that it will offer year-round cruising. In addition to Celebrity and Carnival, the Port of Baltimore will also be served by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines in 2009. In 2008, the economic impact of cruising from Maryland was approximately $63 million. Combining embarks and debarks, about 100,000 passengers cruised to or from the Port of Baltimore in 2008.

BREAKING NEWS!!!

2008 SEASON COMING TO A CLOSE
The 2008 cruise season in Baltimore is coming to a close. The final voyage for Norwegian Cruise Line was on August 23 and Royal Caribbean will wind up the season with a 5-night Bermuda cruise departing on October 30. The third year of operations from the South Locust Point Cruise Terminal was a rousing success. Destination New England/Cruiselink continues to operate the check-in process with ease and efficiency, helping to maintain the award winning “Best First Turn: recognition bestowed upon the Port of Baltimore by Royal Caribbean International in March 2008. We are looking forward to an even more successful season in 2009 following the announcement in June that the Carnival Pride will begin year-round sailing in September 2009 and the BREAKING NEWS that the Celebrity Mercury will begin sailing in November 2009. Visit www.cruisemaryland.com to stay informed.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2009
Now is the time to begin planning for the 2009 cruise season from Baltimore. With the addition of Carnival Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises, there are even more destination choices for 2009! Baltimore offers the convenience of a drive-to port with a central location along the East Coast. Cruise travelers are no longer required to add the additional cost of airfare to their vacation. Travelers are still able to enjoy a family vacation at a reasonable cost. The season opens on May 24 when Norwegian Cruise Line returns to Baltimore with the Majesty. Freestyle Cruising ® provides the traveler with choices not offered on other cruise lines. No scheduled dining times allows the traveler more flexibility to enjoy their shore excursions or shipboard activities at their leisure. Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas returns June 19 with an 8-night Canada/New England itinerary. Royal offers the most itinerary choices from Baltimore, which also includes Bermuda and the Eastern Caribbean. More itineraries mean more ports of call. For a different experience try the 14-night special repositioning cruise in November 2009. Carnival Cruise Lines will begin sailing from Baltimore on September 7. Those wishing to cruise during the holidays now have the option with weekly departures to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival Pride. And, our BREAKING NEWS – the Celebrity Mercury will join the POB cruise family with its first cruise on November 9, 2009. See the 2009 cruise schedules for all cruise lines in this issue. Contact the lines directly or visit your local travel agent for booking your next cruise vacation.

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SPOTLIGHT PAGE
BWI Hampton Inn Offers New Cruise Package
In response to the surge of bookings departing from Baltimore’s South Locust Point Cruise Terminal, the BWI Hampton Inn has created two new packages designed to attract the overnight travelers coming to Baltimore. “As more travelers are driving and flying to Baltimore to depart from the new cruise port, we saw a need to offer affordable overnight accommodations to the out of town cruise guests, to help alleviate the worry of possible delays or cancellations that might cause them to miss their cruise”, stated Suzanne Shoap, Director of Sales at the BWI Hampton Inn. Arriving the night before their cruise, the travelers can relax and actually begin to enjoy their vacation a day early. BWI Hampton Inn General Manager Jay Gregg noted that the new packages are designed to ease the transition into the cruise mode:

Stay and Cruise package includes deluxe overnight accommodations, full breakfast, transfer from airport to the hotel, and roundtrip transportation to the cruise terminal. Weekend rates begin at $89.00 per room, per night for Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights, with weeknight rates slightly higher. Park and Cruise package offers deluxe overnight accommodations, full breakfast, transfers to and from the airport, round trip transportation to the cruise terminal, and free parking at the hotel for the duration of the cruise! Weekend rates begin at $99 and weeknight rates are higher. The BWI Hampton Inn is conveniently located just one mile from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and 10 minutes from the South Locust Point Cruise Terminal. The hotel is easily accessible via I-95, I-83, and routes 50 and I-97. http://www.hamptoninnbwiairport.com/specials.php

LENZNER TOUR AND TRAVEL/COACH USA
110 Lenzner Court Sewickley, PA 15143 (412) 761.7000 LET THE FUN BEGIN!
Lenzner Tour and Travel/Coach USA will offer weekly round-trip transportation from Western Pennsylvania to the Port of Baltimore for the Carnival Pride sailings starting September 2009. Let our professional drivers and knowledgeable tour directors handle all of the details for boarding and debarkation on the ship. All luggage handling and gratuities for one large suitcase and one garment bag per person will be included. Choose from our convenient pickup locations: Sewickley I-179 * Downtown Pittsburgh – Hilton Hotel Monroeville Mall * Somerset – Georgian Place * Breezewood – Gateway Restaurant *Free parking at these locations CALL 1-800 334-9937 for more information, prices, and reservations.

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WHAT EXACTLY IS A REPOSITIONING CRUISE?
A repositioning cruise occurs when a cruise line is moving a ship from one port to another to begin new itineraries. These cruises are usually longer in length and provide more days at sea than a standard cruise. They also require that the traveler fly home from the final destination. While the initial cost may seem higher, it’s simply because these cruises are longer in duration. When you do the math, the “per day” cost of a repositioning cruise is lower than that of a regular round-trip cruise so you are getting more vacation for your money.

The Maryland Port Administration will publish its Cruise Maryland newsletter quarterly throughout the year to bring you up-to-date on news related to cruising from the Port of Baltimore and other items of interest to the cruise community. Contact our editor, Carol Vassallo (cvassallo@marylandports.com) if you are interested in having articles published or for more information.

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CELEBRITY CRUISES 2009 SCHEDULE
12-night Eastern Caribbean
Ports of Call: Baltimore, MD; St. Thomas; St. Kitts; Antigua; St. Maarten, Tortola, Baltimore, MD Dates: 2009 – November 9, 30; December 21 2010 – January 11; February 1

9-night Southeast US/Bahamas
Ports of Call: Baltimore, MD; Charleston, SC; Key West, FL; CocoCay, Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas; Baltimore, MD Dates: 2009 – November 21; December 12 2010 – January 2, 23; February 13 For further information call 1-800-647-2251 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.

COMIC RELIEF Just a few of the crazy questions posed to travel agents by the general public when inquiring about cruise travel ------Which side of the ship has the best ocean view? Are the balconies above water? What religion are those passengers who wear a patch behind their ears? Can I see fish through my window on the lower decks? How many days is the 5 night Bermuda cruise? What time does the midnight buffet start? If my luggage is taken the night before what will I wear the next day? Can I bring a fishing rod and fish off the back of the ship? Do we share a bathroom with other passengers? Do crew members sleep onboard too? Is there fresh or salt water in the toilets?

Courtesy of Bob Rose Royal Caribbean International

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