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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail:


Port Has Brush with Celebrity on Cruise Ship's First Call

Ship to Sail Direct from Charleston Makes Inaugural Visit

Charleston, SC - The 1,898-passenger Celebrity Mercury made its inaugural call in the Port of Charleston today, offering a preview of the beautiful ship that will begin a series of cruises sailing from the Holy City in February.

The Celebrity Mercury will offer seven sailings direct from Charleston starting in February and running through April, including alternating 10- and 11-night Caribbean voyages with visits to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Tortola on the eastern series, and Key West; Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico, and Nassau on the western lineup.

Celebrity will also offer one 16-night transit through the Panama Canal that disembarks in Los Angeles, California. Beyond next year's schedule, the ship is also slated for a series of five sailings from Charleston in 2011.

“We are pleased to welcome the Celebrity Mercury to the Port of Charleston and eagerly await her return in the coming months,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), which owns and operates the Port of Charleston's cruise terminal. An updated master plan for the cruise terminal is underway.

On adding Charleston, Celebrity Cruises said that its travel agent partners and guests repeatedly say that they want more options to sail with Celebrity from the Eastern seaboard. According to the cruise line, the Charleston sailings represent very attractive new cruise options for Celebrity's loyal base of cruisers.

“Celebrity is a world-class cruise line and this is a world-class ship,” said Newsome. “Its reputation and the amenities it offers its guests is a perfect fit for Charleston and what our cruise market wants.”

The ship's next port-of-call in Charleston is December 14, before starting the embarkations on February 15 and 26, March 8, 19 and 29, and April 9 and 19.

For more information or to book a cruise, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

Celebrity Mercury Facts

About Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale vacation experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for four of the top 10 "Top Cruise Ships in the World" in the large-ship category, as voted by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (February 2009 readers' poll), Celebrity's fleet - including the new Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, will be joined by Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $62 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit

For more information:
Byron Miller, S.C. State Ports Authority
- 843-577-8197 or
Tavia Robb, Celebrity Cruises - 305-539-6721 or