More than 225 travel agents from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions were the guests of honor aboard Carnival Pride’s inaugural April 27 departure from Baltimore, which kicked off the first year-round cruise program from that port.   A select group of travel agents, along with members of the Carnival sales force and shipboard team, are pictured here on the ship’s bridge.

During the six-day voyage, travel agents had the opporutnity to experience this one-of-a-kind cruise program and attend a number of informative seminars conducted by Carnival’s highly seasoned sales professionals. Topics ranged from proven methods for increasing group business to making maximum use of Carnival’s various sales tools.  Question and answer sessions with the Carnival Pride’s senior officers and a behind-the-scenes tour of the massive 88,500-ton cruise ship were included as well.

The 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride will operate 50 voyages annually from Baltimore, carrying some 115,000 passengers a year.  The Port of Baltimore estimates that, with the addition of the Carnival Pride, the cruise industry will provide an annual economic impact of $152 million and generate 1,550 jobs within the state.

Carnival Pride will operate a series of six-, seven- and eight-day cruises from Baltimore through Aug. 29 then begin a year-round seven-day schedule Sept. 6, 2009. Two different itineraries are offered - an Exotic Eastern Caribbean itinerary calling at Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport; and a Bahamas/Florida route featuring Port Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport.