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Port of Baltimore saw 100 trips from cruise ships last year

ANNAPOLIS — Fewer passengers cruised from the Port of Baltimore last year than they did in 2011, but the total was still the second-highest in the cruise terminal’s four-year history of year-round operation.

Cruise ships made 100 trips carrying 240,676 people from Baltimore last year, the port said Wednesday. In 2011, 105 trips carried 251,889 passengers. Both numbers indicate that ships were leaving Baltimore close to capacity.

Despite the year-over-year decline, the port served more passengers than all but four other East Coast cruise terminals, ranked No. 11 nationally and 20th in the world, according to the port.

Two cruises leave the port each week — one operated by Royal Caribbean and the other by Carnival Cruise Lines. The port said Royal Caribbean in May will replace its Enchantment of the Seas ship with Grandeur of the Seas, which has just undergone a $48 million renovation that added new dining options, entertainment venues, renovated staterooms and some technology upgrades commonly found on the cruise line’s largest ships.

Carnival signed a five-year extension in 2011 to continue weekly cruises from Baltimore. Royal Caribbean is committed through mid-2014.