Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise LineCruise Ship Showdown: South Carolina Town Votes Tonight on Carnival's Future

Cruise Ship Showdown: South Carolina Town Votes Tonight on Carnival’s Future [Update]

Cruise ships are facing a make-or-break moment in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina tonight. 

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Charleston Carnival cruise ship
Mount Pleasant will vote tonight on resolution to bar cruise ships from Patriot’s Point. Photo 303439310 | Charleston Cruise © Walter Arce |

*Update on 5/15/24: The town council in Mount Pleasant has adopted a resolution that confirms their commitment to a 1970s law that does not permit passenger vessels at Patriot’s Point.

The decision was made Tuesday night and was passed unanimously with just one member abstaining.

The resolution also made clear that Patriots Point could not be used as an “embarkation port, disembarkation port, port of call, or to otherwise load and unload passengers of cruise ships.”

Source: Live5news

Original report:

The town of 95,000 is expected to pass a resolution that will essentially block cruise ships from using a particular area as a building site for a terminal. 

Passage of the resolution is set to happen Tuesday evening.

However, not all council members are on board with the plan to bar Carnival cruise ships from sailing out of the area.

At the end of the year, the contract between Carnival Cruise Line and the Ports Authority will expire.

Carnival Sunshine, the ship that currently calls the port home, will have to move somewhere else.

In fact, the vessel is already on schedule to begin sailing out of Norfolk, Virginia starting in February of 2025.  From there, Sunshine will offer 6- and 8-day cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

With Charleston no longer offering a terminal for Carnival to use, the idea of building a terminal right across the harbor was introduced.

The area in question is a piece of property on Patriot’s Point, where a naval and maritime museum currently resides.

Building a cruise terminal in the area would allow hundreds of local workers to keep their jobs.

According to WCBD-TV in Charleston, Gary Santos is at least one councilmember who supports the idea of keeping cruise ships in the region.

“It’s just good for the businesses here in Mount Pleasant, whether it’s the restaurants or the stores.  It could have a big benefit for the town,” Santos said.

But opponents to cruise ships in Mount Pleasant are pointing to a 1970s law that bans the use of Patriot’s Point from being used for cargo or passenger vessels. 

Council member Jake Rambo spoke with WCBD-TV to state his plan to vote in favor of the resolution which would stop a cruise terminal from coming to Patriot’s Point.

“I am unequivocally against cruise ships in Mount Pleasant. I don’t think it’s right for Mount Pleasant for a number of reasons. Traffic, congestion, ecologically. It would take massive dredging where you could even have a place where you could do that.”

Council member Santos argues a Mount Pleasant terminal would benefit local businesses.

“I don’t know why everyone is so much against it, this is revenue,” Santos said.

Without a cruise port in South Carolina, local residents will have to drive at least 200 miles to Jacksonville, Florida or another 270 miles to Port Canaveral to take a cruise.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise LineCruise Ship Showdown: South Carolina Town Votes Tonight on Carnival's Future


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