That fake PRESS pass Chuck gave me proved it's worth once again when I was invited to join the media boat welcome as the cruise ship Carnival Fantasy sailed into the harbor bright and early this morning. How tremendously cool is that?! I joined the teams from Channel 4 and 5 at the pilot boat house on Concord St. and figured this was well worth sneaking into work a little late for.
The festivities noted the first cruise line to be based in Charleston.
Carnival Fantasy will operate five-, six- and seven-day voyages to The Bahamas and Key West, Fla., from the Passenger Terminal in historic downtown Charleston beginning May 18, 2010. Including Charleston, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate from 20 North American homeports in 2010, with 12 year-round departure points - the most in cruising.
The new year-round departures from Charleston dramatically expand upon Carnival’s decade-long relationship with the port. Previously, Carnival has operated seasonal voyages from Charleston, including two five-day departures on the Carnival Triumph this year and two on the Carnival Glory next year.
Charleston’s centralized location within the southeastern U.S., as well as the city’s strong appeal as a tourist destination, were key factors in the decision to launch year-round service aboard the Carnival Fantasy.
“Charleston is an extraordinary city within easy reach of millions of U.S. residents who will now have convenient access to Carnival’s fantastic and affordable cruise vacation options year-round,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “Our past experience with the Port of Charleston, which has a very efficient and conveniently located cruise terminal, has been outstanding.”
Thanks to Captain John Cameron and Caroline Nuttall for including me this morning. I had wild wind blown hair and a grin on my face all morning. I work with hundreds of people who go on cruises every year who are delighted to welcome the Fantasy to Charleston.
More photos here.