Why go to Baltimore?
The cruise port is a stone's throw away from the Inner Harbor and main attractions
Crime can be a problem; stick to main tourist areas and practice common sense
Charm City delights with a number of cultural, sports and culinary activities (can't forget the crab)
Baltimore Cruise Port Facilities?
You'll find the basics in the cruise terminal -- restrooms, vending machines, an ATM, chairs and a bank of pay phones but not much else. You'll need a car or a cab for greater exploration.
For passengers sailing on smaller ships docking at the Inner Harbor piers, restaurants, shops and attractions are within easy walking distance. Almost everything is level in this part of Baltimore, so it's wheelchair accessible.
Good to Know?
The famed Baltimore accent, known as Bawlmerese, will be highly recognizable. A quick guide: "Warder" means water, "Doncha no?" translates to "Don't you know?" and Maryland is often pronounced as "Murlin." If you are called "hon," flash your sweetest smile because you're now considered part of the community. For a primer, watch some of the early John Waters films, including "Pink Flamingos" and "Hairspray," and Barry Levinson's film, "Tin Man."
Two telephone area codes overlap in Baltimore, 410 and 443 (and 240 and 301 in other parts of the state), so two buildings standing shoulder to shoulder may have different area codes. You must dial the area code even to reach someone at the building next to you.
From the Airport: For shuttles to the embarkation point, Baltimore Tours arranges shared-ride service from the Baltimore airport for $17.95 when booked online and $19.95 by phone (888-848-3822). Carnival passengers can hop a Carnival shuttle for $25 one way, $50 roundtrip. Royal Caribbean is $37 one way and $74 roundtrip.
On Foot: The Inner Harbor and many of the neighborhoods are walkable..
By Bus: The free Charm City Circulator (410-350-0456) runs frequently along three routes.
By Water Taxi: The Baltimore Water Taxi (410-563-3900) is an excursion itself, stopping in such hot spots as Harborplace, the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Fell's Point, Harbor East, Canton Waterfront Park and Fort McHenry.
By Car: Taxis are plentiful around the Inner Harbor, but not at the cruise terminal. Major car rental companies, including Budget, Enterprise and Hertz, have offices near the Inner Harbor.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency is the U.S. dollar. International visitors, as well as American out-of-towners, can access cash at any number of ATMs located throughout the city (including the cruise terminal). Major banks and specialty stores, such as Travelex at BWI Marshall Airport (pre-security check-in by the main Terminal C and international Terminal E) exchange currencies.
English is the official language spoken in Baltimore, but check the Watch Out For section below for some Bawlmerese definitions.
Where You're Docked?
Baltimore Cruise Port Address:
2001 East McComas Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Major cruise ships dock at Cruise Maryland Terminal, about three miles south of the city and a 10-minute drive from the Inner Harbor. The cruise terminal, which opened in 2006 inside a former paper-shredding warehouse, is visible from Interstate 95.
Secured long-term parking is available for more than 1,500 cars at the terminal for $15 per cruise night for passenger vehicles.
Smaller ships from Pearl Seas Cruises, American Cruise Lines and Blount Small Ship Adventures, sail out of Baltimore periodically or seasonally, from the Inner Harbor, not the cruise port terminal. They travel the East Coast down to Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Miami, Florida; and the Bahamas, or they may tour the Chesapeake Bay, visiting Annapolis, St. Michael's, Oxford, Cambridge, Crisfield, Tangier Island, Solomons Island and Williamsburg/Yorktown. Depending on the size of the ship and other vessels visiting the harbor and other activities, the cruise ships usually dock at Pier 4 or Constellation Pier. Both are within easy walking distance of city parking lots.