Pride of Baltimore II Returns Home to the Inner Harbor as Port Aims to Reopen

Upper Chesapeake Bay
Pride of Baltimore II | Credit: Acroterion on Wikimedia Commons

The tragic collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26 forced the city to close its major shipping port, but maritime crews are working tirelessly to clear the wreckage and return to business as usual. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a statement announcing a projected timeline to open the 280-foot-wide limited access channel by the end of April and aims to reopen the permanent 700-foot-wide federal navigation channel by the end of May.

The Pride of Baltimore II topsail schooner, a replica of the 19th century clipper ship, received clearance to sail back to Baltimore on Monday after the ship was stuck docked in Annapolis and could not return to her homeport. Locals enthusiastically greeted the vessel, as she offered them a sign of hope.

The original Pride of Baltimore was commissioned in 1977 as the first tall ship to represent a city and state. It was inspired by the Chasseur, a clipper built in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood and honorable merchant ship that played a critical role in the War of 1812. During her time in voyage, the Pride of Baltimore spent nine years sailing internationally and welcomed countless visitors onboard. 

The iconic vessel sank in 1986 when it was struck by a squall north of Puerto Rico, leaving the ship, captain and three crew members lost at sea. An outpouring of support from the Baltimore community led to the commissioning of the Pride of Baltimore II in 1988 to serve as a sailing memorial to the original ship. Pride II was launched from the Inner Harbor and commissioned at Brown’s Wharf in Fells Point, just steps away from the birthplace of the Chasseur

The Pride of Baltimore II has sailed more than 275,000 nautical miles around the world visiting hundreds of ports and continues to serve as a symbol of the city’s strength and resilience.

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