The tragic Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in the US, caused after container ship MV Dali crashed into a pylon, will have major repercussions for cruise ships sailing out of Port Maryland.

The Singapore-registered container ship collided with a pylon causing a catastrophic structural failure of the bridge. The collapse resulted in at least one injured and six dead, according to the latest reports.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge spans the exit from Baltimore’s inner harbour to the Chesapeake Bay on the Patapsco River.

Baltimore’s Cruise Maryland Terminal serves Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line ships. More than 444,000 passengers sailed through the cruise terminal last year, according to Cruise Maryland.

This year, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride, Vision of the Seas and Norwegian Sky were scheduled for departures from Cruise Maryland.

Lines seek port alternatives after bridge collapse

Carnival Legend was set to return to Baltimore’s inner harbour in six days. It is currently en route to Bimini on a 7-day Bahamas voyage, scheduled to return to Baltimore on March 31. But Carnival said ship will now be rerouted to Norfolk, Virginia, for the foreseeable future. Carnival Legend Passengers will receive complimentary bus transportation back to Baltimore, 375km away.

Carnival Pride was scheduled to depart on April 21 with a 7-day Eastern Caribbean voyage. It was the first of six- to 14-day program of roundtrips until April 2026.

Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas had also been sailing out of Baltimore since January and is currently en route to St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands, having departed Cruise Maryland three days ago on a 12-day roundtrip Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean reported that its port logistics team is working on alternatives for Vision of the Seas sailings from Baltimore. According to the Royal Caribbean website, the ship is scheduled to homeport in Baltimore until April 2026, embarking on a series of five- to 12-day itineraries.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky is scheduled to sail out of Baltimore later this year, with one-way itineraries planned for Canada and New England in September and October.

Carnival ambassador calls tragedy ‘shocking’

Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador and senior cruise director John Heald described the bridge collapse tragedy as shocking. 

“I have woken to the news of the bridge collapse in Baltimore. Shocking, absolutely shocking,” Heald wrote on his Facebook page. 

“Obviously you are concerned about delays of changes to your cruise. I really do understand that. But this happened just a couple of hours ago and to expect Carnival and indeed me to say what is going to happen to Carnival Pride and Carnival Legend is, quite honestly, impossible to answer.

“But for now all of us at Carnival Cruise lIne and I am sure most of you reading this have only thoughts for the families of those caught up in this horrific tragedy,” Heald added.