Carnival Cruise Ship Kicks Off Sailings from Charleston

Carnival Sunshine restarts sailings from Charleston, South Carolina after recently completing sailings from Florida.

After she covered cruises from Fort Lauderdale and Miami for Carnival Horizon in the last few weeks, Carnival Sunshine has finally arrived in her homeport of Charleston, South Carolina. The cruise ship starts operations from Charleston today, January 13, with the first guests welcomed onboard in true Carnival style.

Carnival Sunshine is the first ship to homeport in Charleston, South Carolina, since the global pause in operations almost 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 Sunshine now sails from Charleston, South Carolina, on the first cruise from her homeport. The vessel has been operating some cruises from Miami and Fort Lauderdale in December and January to replace Carnival Horizon. That vessel was forced to go into a dry dock due to mechanical issues, which impacted her maximum cruising speed.

Carnival Sunshine Welcomes Guests Onboard
Carnival Sunshine Welcomes Guests Onboard (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

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

“We have been sailing from Charleston for 12 years, so we are excited to be back offering guests from all over the southeastern U.S. the opportunity to cruise from this beautiful, historic and charming community, all while providing support to the local economy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

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

Carnival Sunshine will sail on her second cruise from Charleston on January 17. This voyage, one of the Carnival Journeys, offers guests even more choice with itineraries and experiences that you would not usually find on a regular Carnival cruise.

Carnival Sunshine Welcomes Guests Onboard
Carnival Sunshine Welcomes Guests Onboard (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

The 10-day voyage will sail to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin islands first, followed by calls to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. John’s in Antigua, Roast Town in Tortola, and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, after which the vessel will make her way back to Charleston during two days at sea.

Charleston has always been a popular homeport for Carnival Cruise Line. The city is easy to reach by air, car, or public transport and is a fantastic destination to spend a few days and soak up the southern hospitality.

Safety First for Charleston Port

According to the South Carolina ports authority, guests can rest assured that they will find the cruise terminal fully prepared to deal with the thousands of guests who 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 statement: “Following a long-term 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 as cruise operations resume,”

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

Read Also: Reasons to Cruise on Carnival Sunshine

All guests will be required to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before sailing, except if they received a vaccine exemption from Carnival Cruise Line in advance. The cruise line has also implemented extensive health and safety measures such as social distancing, increased sanitation, mask-wearing policies, and more.

Carnival is the only major cruise line to offer cruises departing from Charleston. In the upcoming months, Royal Caribbean does call on the southern city on occasional port calls onboard Enchantment of the Seas.


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