Carnival cruise ship kicks off departures from Charleston


After covering cruises from Fort Lauderdale and Miami for Horizon Carnival these last weeks, carnival sun arrived in her homeport of Charleston, South Carolina. The cruise ship begins operations from Charleston today, Jan. 13, with the first guests welcomed aboard in true carnival style.

Californiarnival Sunshine is the first ship to make for homeport of Charleston, South Carolina, since the global hiatus of operations nearly two years ago. Guests will be able to enjoy a wide range of Bahamas cruises, as well as longer Caribbean cruises.

Carnival Sunshine sails from Charleston

carnival sun departs from Charleston, South Carolina on the first cruise from her home port. The ship sailed from Miami and Fort Lauderdale in December and January to replace Horizon Carnival. This vessel was forced into dry dock due to mechanical issues, which impacted its maximum cruising speed.

Carnival Sunshine welcomes guests aboard (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Sunshine will depart Charleston for a 4-night Bahamas cruise to Nassau. Guests will have a day enjoying the sea after departure and on the way back to Charleston.

“We’ve been sailing from Charleston for 12 years, so we’re thrilled to be back to provide guests throughout the Southeastern United States the opportunity to cruise from this beautiful, historic, and charming community, while supporting the local economy, said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

As seen on Carnival Ambassador John Heald’s Facebook page, guests were welcomed in true Charleston carnival style. The 102,853 gross ton cruise ship can accommodate 3,002 passengers, but this sailing will only carry 2,097 guests.

carnival sun will embark on her second cruise from Charleston on January 17. This voyage, one of Carnival Journeys, gives guests even more choice with itineraries and experiences you typically won’t find on a regular Carnival cruise.

Carnival Sunshine welcomes its guests on board
Carnival Sunshine welcomes guests aboard (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The 10-day voyage will sail first to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, followed by stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. John’s in Antigua, Roast Town in Tortola and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, after which the ship will return to Charleston for two days at sea.

Charleston has always been a popular home base for Carnival Cruise Line. The city is easily accessible by plane, car or public transport and is a fantastic destination to spend a few days and soak up southern hospitality.

Safety First for the Port of Charleston

According to the Port Authority of South Carolina, customers can rest assured that they will find the cruise terminal fully prepared to handle the thousands of guests that will pass through during embarkation days.

Carnival cruise ship in Charleston
Carnival cruise ship in Charleston (Photo credit: Daniel Wright98 / Shutterstock)

Liz Crumley with the South Carolina Ports Authority said in a press release: “After a long pause in cruise operations since March 2020 in response to the global pandemic, SC Ports has worked with cruise partners and DHEC to align with all CDC requirements and cruise line protocols to as cruise operations resume”,

When a ship is in port, a team of people continuously sanitize high-touch areas, including handrails, doorknobs and other surfaces. Face masks will be mandatory inside the terminal and on board the vessel at all times.

Also read: Reasons to cruise on Carnival Sunshine

All passengers will be required to be fully immunized at least 14 days prior to departure, unless they have received a vaccine exemption from Carnival Cruise Line. The cruise line has also implemented extensive health and safety measures such as social distancing, improved sanitation,

Carnival is the only major cruise line to offer cruises from Charleston. In the coming months, Royal Caribbean will stop in the southern city during occasional onboard stops Enchantment of the seas.

Carnival sunshine in Charleston

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