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Royal Caribbean is working on options for its cruise ships following Baltimore bridge collapse

26 Mar 2024
Matt Hochberg

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore partially collapsed early Tuesday morning after a container ship ran into it, which will have a wide impact, including the cruise industry.

Key Bridge collapse

Maryland officials confirmed the ship lost power and ran into the bridge, causing its collapse. People and vehicles were sent into the water, creating a state of emergency.

The bridge's collapse has far ranging humanitarian, logistical and economic impacts, as well as the cruise industry.

Royal Caribbean operates year-round service from the Port of Baltimore, which is located inside the harbor and impacted and/or blocked by the now collapsed bridge.

Francis Scott Key Brige. Photo by Karin Marie
Photo by Karin Marie

A Royal Caribbean Group spokesperson issued a statement no decisions have been finalized yet as it relates to cruise ship operations.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragedy and collapse of the Key Bridge that occurred last night and extend our heartfelt prayers to all those impacted."

"Our Port Logistics team is currently working on alternatives for our ongoing and upcoming sailings. We will message our guests and travel partners directly once our plans are finalized."

Docked in Baltimore

Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas sails out of Maryland, offering cruises to the Bahamas, Southern Caribbean, Bermuda, and Canada/New England. Other cruise lines, such as Norwegian and Carnival, sail from Baltimore, too. 

Vision of the Seas is currently on a 12-night Southern Caribbean sailing that is not due back into port until April 4.

What happened to the bridge

Photo by BCFD Fire Boat Marine Unit
Photo by BCFD Fire Boat Marine Unit

Traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore has been suspended following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge suffered a fatal blow after being hit by a large container ship early Tuesday. Meer moments after the collision, the bridge collapsed, sending vehicles and people into the Patapsco River. 

Officials were searching for "upwards of seven people," according to the Baltimore City fire chief, James Wallace. Two people have already been rescued, with one declining medical service and the other being transported to a trauma center in serious condition. 

Key Bridge

At the time of the collision, workers were on the bridge completing repairs to its concrete deck. However, according to Paul J. Wiedefeld, Maryland’s transportation secretary, it's unclear how many workers were on-site during the incident. 

The container ship, named The Dali, was on its way out of Baltimore on a 27-day journey to Sri Lanka, striking the bridge less than thirty minutes after departing the port around 1:30am EST. It was scheduled to arrive on April 22, according to VesselFinder

This isn't the first time The Dali has been involved in an incident, as the ship hit a stone wall at the port of Antwerp in 2016. Thankfully, nobody was injured; however, the vessel did sustain minor damage.


In addition to rescue efforts streamlined by the Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a no-fly order around the bridge to allow workers to search for survivors from the air. 

According to the FBI, no evidence suggests this was a terrorist attack; however, the investigation is ongoing. Richard Worley, the Baltimore Police commissioner, made a similar statement, claiming that there's "absolutely no indication" the ship struck the bridge on purpose. 

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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