This past Sunday, Pride of Baltimore II celebrated the 8th Annual National Maritime Day Observance and Maritime Expo. The event was free and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Canton Pier 13, 4601 Newgate Street. Organizers planned a brief National Maritime Day Commemoration and Wreath Laying aboard the NS Savannah. This marked the 52nd anniversary of the first visit of the NS Savannah to the Port of Baltimore.
With a public open house and activities for ship lovers of all ages, there was something for everyone. Port exhibitors showcased how they relate to the port. There was a collection of LEGO® Teach Fleet vessels, radio-controlled model boats and ships, at least 20 vessels on the pier, and more. NS Savannah and many of the visiting vessels, including Pride of Baltimore II, were open for free deck tours. A special guest this year was TS Golden Bear, the California State University Maritime Academy’s 499′ training vessel.
If ships and boats were not your thing, there were intermodal exhibits, too – Rukert Terminals displayed a new Tier IV tractor with an attached container chassis that was open for display that guests could walk into. The students at Sollers Point High School constructed stairs for the container (and the display lifeboat on the pier). Consol Energy (CNX) provided van tours of their coal export terminal every half hour.
National Maritime Day is a U.S. holiday created to acknowledge the maritime industry, honoring the contributions of the American Merchant Marine, which has defended the freedom of the United States since 1775. The holiday was created by Congress in 1933 to be observed on May 22, the date that the American steamship SS Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia, on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power.