Carnival Pride to resume year-round Baltimore sailing — with upgrades

 
ANDY NEWMAN / AP

hsampson@MiamiHerald.com

The Carnival Pride is still leaving Baltimore later this year, but it won’t be gone for long.

Doral-based Carnival Cruise Lines announced Thursday that the 2,124-passenger ship will return year-round to Baltimore in spring of 2015, following a major upgrade and a winter season in Tampa.

In June, the cruise operator announced it was pulling out of Baltimore, where a ship had been based year-round since 2009, and Norfolk. A key reason: strict environmental requirements that go into effect in 2015 limiting the sulfur content in fuel that cruise ships burn of North American coasts.

Since then, Carnival Corp. has announced it is investing more than $180 million in new technology to clean fuel exhaust on nearly a third of its fleet. Carnival Pride is one of the ships that will have the “scrubbers” that will allow it to meet the air emission standards.

The ship will also get a host of new restaurants, bars and other venues as part of the Fun Ship 2.0 initiative. Those include Guy’s Burger Joint; BlueIguana Cantina and BlueIguana Tequila Bar; Bonsai Sushi; EA Sports Bar; Hasbro The Game Show, and WaterWorks, a water slide and spray park.

Carnival Pride will leave Baltimore in October and undergo dry dock renovations for three weeks. After sailing from Tampa for the winter, the ship will return to Baltimore in March of 2015.

The cruise line has also announced that it will return to Norfolk in the spring and fall of 2015, but information on the ship, date or itinerary has not been released.

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