Carnival Sunshine is expected to carry 220,000 passengers from the port each year (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)
Carnival Cruise Line is to bring a larger ship - the 3,002-passenger Carnival Sunshine - to Charleston, South Carolina and offer a year-round schedule of four- and five-day cruises from May 2019.
Carnival Sunshine is expected to carry 220,000 passengers from the port each year. Four-day cruises will visit the Bahamian capital of Nassau, while five-day voyages will feature Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.
“With its strong tourism appeal, Charleston is one of our most popular homeports and we’re delighted to build upon this success with the deployment of Carnival Sunshine,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Sunshine not only provides guests sailing from Charleston with a newer, larger ship with so much to see and do but also underscores our commitment to our year-round operations from this port.”
Carnival Sunshine features a variety of entertainment options, including open-air attractions such as the WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare recreation area, a three-deck-high, adults-only retreat with a waterfall and an adjoining pool.
“The decision by Carnival Cruise Line to homeport the Carnival Sunshine in Charleston is an important affirmation of their success and commitment to operations in Charleston,” said Jim Newsome, South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO. “SCPA’s cruise business is an important part of our maritime commerce mission and diversification of business segments. The Port succeeds through having world-class brands, such as Carnival Cruise Line, as its direct customers and looks forward to continuing this productive relationship.”
In addition to the short cruise programme from Charleston, Carnival Sunshine will operate an 11-day Carnival Journeys cruise roundtrip from Charleston from 3-14 December 2019. This programme will see the cruise ship call at St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay.
Carnival Ecstasy, which currently sails from Charleston, will shift to Jacksonville, Florida, to operate year-round four- and five-day cruises beginning in May 2019. Carnival Elation, currently based in Jacksonville, will reposition to Port Canaveral, Florida, in May 2019, to operate a new schedule of four- and five-day voyages.