Governor Hogan has announced the state of Maryland will launch a new public-private partnership with the sailing vessel Pride of Baltimore II, using the high-profile schooner to promote economic development opportunities for the state. With the new funding, Pride of Baltimore II will expand its economic development activity in the state, around the country, and in other nations.
“Pride of Baltimore is a wonderful symbol of the rich maritime heritage of both our state and the city of Baltimore, and the ship generates extremely valuable exposure and goodwill wherever she goes,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We are pleased to have a new partnership with the Pride and to have her help carry our message across the state, nation, and globe – that Maryland is open for business.”
Under a new agreement, the state will commit $1.5 million to Pride of Baltimore Inc., the nonprofit that owns and operates the Pride, over the next three years. The organization will use the funds to underwrite the Pride’s activities and expand its focus on selling Maryland as a strong economic market.
“Pride’s mission has been to promote historical maritime education, foster economic development and tourism, and represent the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world,” said Rick Scott, executive director of Pride of Baltimore Inc. “We are thrilled to have a new partnership with Maryland and we will be working closely with the Maryland Departments of Transportation and Commerce to promote economic development here.”
Launched in 1988, Pride of Baltimore II is a topsail schooner that is a replica of the Baltimore clippers that were built in the city more than 200 years ago – fast, sleek vessels that were integral parts of the city and state’s commerce for many years. As one of the most respected tall ships in the nation, Pride of Baltimore II generates excitement at every port and provides a vivid reminder of the state’s rich commercial history and vibrant economic opportunities.
“We know the value the Pride brings to our efforts to market Baltimore and Maryland to business leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Mike Gill, secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce. “The ship is a wonderful ambassador and a piece of our history that will be an incredibly exciting messenger for us around the country.”
The Pride will sail in Maryland during parts of 2016 and has plans to take part in tall ships events on both the East Coast and in the Great Lakes next summer. At each of those events, the ship will share messages about the state. The Pride will also continue to offer educational sessions for school children.
Pride of Baltimore II has spread positive messages about Baltimore and Maryland throughout the world. Its predecessor, Pride of Baltimore, was commissioned in 1977 and sank in a squall in the Atlantic Ocean in 1986. Together, the ships have educated thousands of children and captured the imagination of millions worldwide.