BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While cruise ships have remained off the seas for more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, cargo volume at the Port of Baltimore is rebounding, the Maryland Port Administration said Thursday.
One day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a no sail order for cruise ships, the Maryland Port Administration is weighing in on the extension.
In a statement, the agency said it “remains in frequent communication with both Port of Baltimore-based cruise lines, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.”
“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our cruise passengers, as well as ship and shoreside personnel,” the statement continues. “We look forward to the return of both cruise lines to the Port of Baltimore when it is deemed safe to do so. We continue to work diligently with both cruise lines, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Cruise Lines International Association during this challenging time.”
The latest order extends the suspension on cruise ships setting sail from the U.S. to October 31; the deadline had been September 30. The first no sail order was signed on March 14.
Through September 28, there had been 102 COVID-19 outbreaks on 124 ships, affecting more than 80% of all ships within U.S. jurisdiction, the order cited.
In August, the Cruise Lines International Association, which includes Carnival and Royal Caribbean, announced a voluntary suspension of cruises until October 31.
For the latest CDC guidance on cruise ships, click here.
Despite the more than six-month stoppage of cruise ships at the Port of Baltimore, the port administration said cargo volumes are increasing after falling in May and June.
In a news release, the agency said the number of vehicles arriving at the port was up more than 126% in August compared to May. Compared to June, general cargo tonnage was up nearly 15%.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.