Baltimore Port Sets Cruise Ship Standards

Carnival Pride

Carnival Cruise Lines announced plans to pull its Pride cruise ship from the port of Baltimore in the wake of new USA Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on cruise ship emissions.

The EPA has commenced imposing Emission Control Area restrictions on emissions from cruise ships operating off portions of the U.S. coast. As a result, Carnival and other cruise lines are evaluating options to pull cruise ships from certain ports that are subject to Emission Control Area restrictions.

To meet the standards, cruise ships will have to use more expensive low-sulfur fuel to comply with the restrictions. It is expected that the increased fuel costs would be passed to passengers and could be up to $140 per passenger for cruises originating in Baltimore Carnival’s decision to move the Pride to a dock in Tampa, Florida, will take effect in November 2014.

The Pride, a 2,124-passenger ship, currently sails weekly from Baltimore to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. A spokesperson for the Maryland Port Administration, said that cruise lines produce $90 million in annual economic activity and support about 200 jobs. Carnival has offered to spend $200 million over the next three years putting pollution scrubbers on 59 of its ships as they went into dry dock for overhaul.

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