Nothing can be more tragic than the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore. The jaw-dropping photographs and video clips of the freight ship striking the bridge and the bridge collapsing moments after are forever carved into the memory of all Americans. It’s merely a scene taken out of a movie script. The bridge has been an intricate part of Baltimore’s transportation system. Unfortunately, the tragic accident has halted cruise ship traffic in and out of Baltimore Harbor. That may be a sad reality, however, the city of Norfolk is now in the spotlight. Cruise ship traffic is now being diverted to the Port of Norfolk. It cannot be a better situation for the city of Norfolk. Like Baltimore, Norfolk has a tourism flavor of its own. The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse could spell success for Norfolk in the long run. How so? The list of attributes below says it all.

5) Transportation accessible: So, the Baltimore Cruise Terminal is closed until further notice. There’s no need to worry. Norfolk is rail and air transportation accessible. Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) is a twenty minutes bus ride away from the Baltimore Cruise Terminal. Convenient, of course! Transportation in Norfolk isn’t as challenging as Baltimore. Norfolk International Airport (ORF) is too a quick ride away, equivalently twenty minutes. Further, Amtrak serves Norfolk. Amtrak has recently extended its Northeast Regional service to Norfolk, with five trains serving Norfolk daily. This increased service has been in effect since July 2022. Even better, the Port of Norfolk is just five minutes away from the Norfolk Amtrak station. Amtrak schedule information can be found at With regards to transportation, cruise passengers should consider themselves fortunate. Given the transportation details, cruise passengers should consider themselves more than fortunate. Cruisers should be blessed.

4) Attractions galore: Just like Baltimore, Norfolk is has attractions of all types. Pre-cruise or post-cruise, where does one cruise passenger start? It all starts with the attractions closest to the Port of Norfolk. Just feet from the cruise terminal is Nauticus. Nauticus is uniquely located along the waterfront in downtown. Known for being one of the most unique maritime museums in America, Nauticus provides learning experiences for all ages. Through interactive exhibits, Nauticus uses the museum, the battleship USS Wisconsin, sailing center, and the schooner Virginia to tell the story of the maritime environment, industry, and the military. Ticket information can be found at Among other nearby attractions is the Chrysler Museum of Art. The Chrysler Museum features fifty galleries, a collection of over 30,000 objects, an interactive space for families, and the only glass studio of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region. Information can be found at Topping the list of not-to-miss attractions is the Norfolk Botanical Garden. With over sixty different gardens to explore, the Norfolk Botanical Garden has something for every season and every taste. Additional details can be found at

3) An ideal sports and entertainment city: Built in 1971, Norfolk’s Scope Arena was designed by Pier Luigi Nervi. To present day, the Scope Arena remains the world’s largest reinforced thin-shell concrete dome.  The venue’s concrete dome and twenty-four flying buttresses make it an eye-catching and iconic landmark in downtown Norfolk. Scope Arena is the host to a wide variety of events and is currently home to the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals. The Scope Arena is the hosting venue of the MEAC Basketball Tournament. Aside from sports, it hosts conventions, concerts, and family shows. The Scope Arena consists of a flexible main arena and modular exhibit halls. It even has large meeting rooms that can accommodate both small and large groups. All-in-all, the Scope Arena is the perfect setting for enjoying a sports or music event in the company of friendly Virginians. Additional arena information is available at

2) A theatre fan’s city: The Virginia Stage Company at Wells Theatre is the ideal place for theatre fans looking for the perfect place to see a play. Virginia Stage Company is a professional, producing theatre company. It’s ongoing mission-to enrich, educate, and entertain the region by creating and producing theatrical art of the highest quality. The Wells Theatre was built in 1912 and is an outstanding example of Beaux Arts theatre architecture. The Wells Theatre has been the home of the Virginia Stage Company since 1979. In 1980, the Wells Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Similar to experiencing the theatres in New York City’s Broadway district, the Wells Theatre is must-see for architecture lovers. Theatre schedule information is available at

1) America’s Naval Base: The Norfolk Naval Base is the oldest Naval base in the United States. Home to some of the most notable Naval vessels, including aircraft carriers, the Norfolk Naval Base is the where America’s Atlantic Fleet stands at the ready to take the battle to any enemy, anywhere on the globe. It is the only Naval base that offers guided tours. Visiting the Norfolk Naval Base is a must-do and a must-see. Having visited the Norfolk Naval Base will truly make anyone feel all-the-more proud of being an American. Atop that, it warrants visitors to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to the Naval servicemen and women for their sacrifice and unwavering service.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge tragedy will be remembered for a long time. The gripping images of the tragedy are forever engraved in the memory of Baltimore area residents. The Francis Scott Key Bridge is also a structure to be missed by all cruisers, both first-time and seasoned. Now that cruise ship traffic has been diverted to the Port of Baltimore until further notice, the city of Norfolk has the opportunity to welcome cruisers with open arms. Now more than ever, it is time for Norfolk to put on a show. From being rail and air travel transportation friendly, to being a go-to city for sports and entertainment, to being a history lover’s destination, to taking in the wonders of mother nature, Norfolk welcomes those seeking adventure of all sorts. At best, Norfolk is home to a Naval base that puts pride in the hearts of all visitors. The Francis Scott Key Bridge tragedy is not the end of the world. The Francis Scott Key Bridge tragedy is actually the “beginning” of a new era for the city of Norfolk. Cruisers should not feel disappointed about Baltimore. They should be all-the-more excited that they have a port city that’s ready to share its ‘love’ for out-of-town visitors. Without a doubt, cruisers are sure to extend their love, enthusiasm, and gratitude in return.

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, David also writes for the publication On, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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