125′ Harbor Cruise Ship—Port Welcome

Here’s the N scale version of a party ship! She is perfect for small harbors, as similar party ships sailed from docks at small coves, on rivers, and on lakes.

The Port Welcome sailed Baltimore’s inner and outer harbors for nearly 30 years (1960—1989), carrying up to 400 partiers at a time. Since then it’s had a rather checkered history as a restaurant in Detroit, a casino cruise in Massachusetts, and today is at pier in Florida. The N Scale version here is priced at $135 plus shipping for a complete kit, including custom railings and fittings, and $550 plus shipping for a built up.


The Port Welcome in N scale, all of 9.4″ (240 mm) long but as detailed as any larger ship.

The main and second (01) decks are see-through, as is the pilot house! Add your own interior details, from tables and chairs, to the concession stand, to lots of people. I’m proud of the techniques I’ve developed to be able to do this.

Yes, those are custom N scale railings, stairways, life rafts and life boats, along with custom built davits, and a cast resin stack—all designed for this N scale ship. Other details such as anchors, bitts and life rings are from the finest suppliers of pewter or brass castings. There’s also the wrap-around seating on the top deck, storage lockers, masts and flag staffs.


Those are custom lifeboats and dinghy, hot out of my molds. Notice the stack has a hollow shield on the top, which I manufactured from many layers of styrene, each reduced incrementally by the computer. The anchor windlass is custom built from eleven separate parts.

Here’s a head-on view.


There’s plenty of space to add a polaris (compass stand), engine room telegraph, steering gear, chart tables, etc. The Port Welcome had radar, and a 24″ searchlight, each modeled on the pilot house roof.

Another view from the stern, showing the rear verandas, and my new N scale dinghy. 4397PtWelcomeNStern

I built this from pictures and diagrams from one of her captains, Fred Ladd.

One more view, from the 3/4 stern. While not the sleekest party boat that ever sailed, I think it’s rather handsome in its own way.


I’ll produce only 20 kits for this Fall, and my schedule for built ups is filling up quickly, so order now if you’d like one for Christmas! Order cut-off for guaranteed delivery in 2013 is October 15..

I do not have an ordering system on this site yet. I can accept Paypal and credit card orders. Best to contact me at peterknolan@gmail.com.

5 thoughts on “125′ Harbor Cruise Ship—Port Welcome

  1. My grandfather was the 1st captain on her.for 13yrs.he got her when she was brand spanking new! I have a lot of good times spent on her! Going to betterton beach,st michaels md & c&d canal trips.even had my high school prom on her 1973.the model looks great! Pmiklas8@yahoo.com

  2. I went to Echo Hill Camp in Worton, MD from 1963-65. Once a summer we would travel up the Sassafras River from Betterton on the Port Welcome. This brings back great memories!

  3. I went for a tour of the Baltimore Harbor on the MV Port Welcome in the late 60’s or early – mid 70’s. When we were returning my grandfather, father and myself were standing on the bow. As we were approaching the wharf I remember my father stating “He better turn this thing”. What a prophecy. Next thing I know the boat slams the concrete wharf sending chunks of concrete and wood flying in the air and knocking us down. The boat backed up a little and then proceeded forward as I watched the boat anchor dig into a pylon of vertical wood poles in the water. It bent the wood pylon at about a 45 – 60 degree angle until the boat stopped. If it had not been for the wood pylon the boat would have crossed in front of the US Constitution and crashed into the harbor to the west of the US Constitution. The Coast Guard, police, etc. came and made a makeshift ramp to get people off of the boat. People were carried off the boat in neck braces, etc. Turns out the captain was drunk. I was probably in my early teens when this happened. We were all okay, but something I will never forget. Does anyone have anymore information on this accident. I can’t find anything on the internet. Specifically the date. Thx.

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