Md. Fleet Week returns with international ship tours, flyovers, aircraft shows, and festivals around the Baltimore waterfront. Photo: Visit Maryland

Md. Fleet Week: Flyovers, Festivals, Big Ships in Baltimore

Maryland Fleet Week is getting underway in Baltimore, bringing all the excitement of the Bay’s maritime traditions to one place for the first time since 2018.

Spanning six days and locations from Middle River to Port Covington and every part of the harbor in between, there will be vessels and aircraft to see wherever you look. Visiting U.S., British, Canadian, and Danish vessels will be docked for tours at the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, the Under Armour Pier in Locust Point, and the new Port Covington development.

Flyovers by military and historic aircraft will be visible from the Inner Harbor all weekend while visitors tour the ships and hear live music performances. At the harbor there’s a packed schedule of marine-themed presentations from the National Aquarium, Baltimore Zoo, Pratt Library storytime, celebrity chef demonstration, and a crab soup cook-off.

Military aircraft will be on display at Martin State Airport in a festival atmosphere including Navy band music, food, and meet-and-greets with pilots.

Saturday evening at Fort McHenry, the commemoration of Defenders Day is a patriotic display recognizing the successful defense of Baltimore in 1814 and the writing of the nation’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The U.S. Army Drill Team, Fife & Drum Corps, and Field Band will perform, capped off by a fireworks display.

Maryland Fleet Week also includes unique experiences like a “Workout With a Sailor” waterfront wellness program, the ribbon-cutting of Baltimore’s new Water Taxi terminal, and a kids’ costumed parade with stilt walkers, mermaids and a samba line.

This year’s Fleet Week is especially exciting as it only happens biannually, and the 2020 Maryland Fleet Week was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

”We are excited to be one of the first big events taking place in the city since the pandemic,” says Chris Rowsom, Executive Director, Historic Ships in Baltimore, the lead organizers of the event. “We know that residents and visitors alike will delight in experiencing all that this event has to offer. It’s an opportunity to come together and share our common love of history while also learning something new.”

Maryland Fleet Week & Flyover, presented by Northrop Grumman, runs Sept. 7-13. To see the full schedule for the various locations, click here.

If you can’t get there in person, Maryland Fleet Week is offering a “Virtual Experience 2.0” with live Q&As, virtual ship tours and more.

-Meg Walburn Viviano