Carnival Cruise Lines officially launched its new, year-round cruise schedule from the historic city of Charleston today. 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. In 2011, Carnival will also offer a series of Bermuda cruises from Charleston on the Carnival Fantasy.
The Carnival Fantasy sailed into the city’s port early in the morning, accompanied by a fleet of local maritime industry vessels. The Spirit of South Carolina, Charleston Water Taxis, Moran Tug Company, SpiritLine Cruises and the Charleston Harbor Pilots all joined in welcoming Carnival Cruise Lines to the port and celebrating the city’s unique maritime history.
Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director John Heald emceed the luncheon event, with City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, South Carolina State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome, and Carnival Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Berra on hand.
“Charleston is a beautiful, historic 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 Jim Berra. “The events today were a celebration of the fun and excitement that both Carnival and the City of Charleston will provide to our guests.”
In the spirit of Carnival’s “Fun For All. All For Fun” mantra, several Charleston area leaders and Carnival team members participated in competitive races down the 82-foot-long dual racing water slides.
“Carnival Fantasy’s year-round service is a welcome addition to the Port of Charleston and fits well within the context of the internationally acclaimed Charleston tourism market,” Jim Newsome said. “Cruise business benefits Charleston because it provides a positive economic impact in the form of jobs, investment and visitor spending. We look forward to continuing our successful, long-standing relationship with Carnival.”
“Carnival’s year-round service provides an important opportunity not only to enhance our local economy but also to introduce new visitors to our historic city,” said Mayor Riley.
The 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy features a host of on-board amenities and facilities including a 12,000-square-foot health spa, extensive children’s facilities for kids in three age groups, a variety of formal and casual dining options and 12 lounges and bars.
Also featured is Carnival WaterWorks, an expansive, all-ages aqua park featuring a 300-foot-long water slide, 82-foot-long dual racing slides and a splash zone. Carnival Fantasy also offers Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat, and a resort-style main pool area.
Carnival Fantasy will sail this afternoon on a five-day voyage from Charleston to Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas.