For the first time in South Carolina, a major cruise line will offer regular cruises from the Port of Charleston. Byron Miller with the State Ports Authority says Carnival Cruise Lines is the first line to offer this year-long schedule for the port.
“This is great new business for the port, for the tourism industry, for local hospitality businesses, and many others. We’re gonna have a ship every five, six, to seven days for the next year. So, you’re talking 60 to 70 annual cruise calls from a home-ported vessel right here in the Port of Charleston,” says Miller.
Miller says the cruises will not only help the local economy, but all of South Carolina will see an economical impact.
“This is great news at a time when we really need it for the economy. Every ship that comes in brings in jobs and business, not only for the local Charleston area, but think these travelers come in from all over the region, a lot of them by car. That gives them an opportunity to see South Carolina, to find out the many beauties and treasures we have here, and hopefully return,” says Miller.
The State Ports Authority has been looking to bring in a major cruise line for, what Miller says, quite some time now. He says Charleston was chosen for several reasons.
“The timing was right, I think Carnival appreciates that Charleston is a world-class city. We have incredible tourism resources here in the city. It’s really easy to access all across the southeast, allowing us to draw cruisers from a broad region, whether its across North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, it’s in a 500 mile radius, literally millions and millions of people. We’re in a great location and a great place,” says Miller.
The cruises will be aboard the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy.
“Carnival is the first ever year-round cruises. We’ve had home ports here before, but they typically were from the fall to the spring, and the summer was left open. Well, now this will be 12 months out of the year,” says Miller.