The Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse and Its Impact on Cruise Travel

The Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse and Its Impact on Cruise Travel

On Tuesday, March 26 at 1:30 a.m. a massive cargo ship, named the Dali, crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Eight construction workers were on the structure pouring concrete at the time. The ship called in a mayday, which allowed just enough time for police to stop vehicles from getting on the bridge, but not enough time to get a crew of eight workers off the structure. Two of the construction workers were rescued, but the other six were presumed dead on Tuesday. On Wednesday, two bodies were found in a construction vehicle submerged in the water. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families who tragically lost their lives, along with the first responders in Baltimore during this time. The crew of the Dali remains onboard the ship. The vessel is covered in 3,000 to 4,000 tons of debris. Most of its containers remain intact, but some were torn open or knocked away by the falling debris.

The crash, caused by a power outage onboard the ship, forced the closure of one of the busiest ports on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, and a portion of the Baltimore beltway. Following the incident, Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency and President Biden said the federal government would pay for the reconstruction of the bridge.  

The disaster is in some ways similar to the deadly collapse of Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which was struck by a freighter, MV Summit Venture, in Tampa Bay in 1980.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse has impacted cruise travel in Baltimore, as the Harbor is now closed to marine travel. Carnival has moved its Baltimore operations to Norfolk, Virginia. The Carnival Legend was scheduled to return to Baltimore on Sunday, March 31, but passengers will instead go to Norfolk, where there will be a complimentary bus service to get them back to Baltimore. Other ships waiting to get into Baltimore, were stalled after the accident, many drifting into the North Atlantic, waiting to be assigned to a new port. 

Baltimore is the ninth-busiest port in the nation and managed a record 11.7 million tons of cargo last year, according to the Associated Press. More than 50 shipping and cruise ship companies do business with the port, mainly moving cars, coal, wood, steel, aluminum, home appliances, furniture, sugar and liquefied natural gas. 


The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is impacting cruises and could cause up to $10 million in losses for Carnival – CBS News

Six workers presumed dead after crippled cargo ship knocks down Baltimore bridge | Reuters