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Carnival Cruise Lines' Year-Round Cruise Program Officially Kicks off the Fun in Charleston

Posted on behalf of Carnival Lines.

Carnival Fantasy sailed into Charleston Tuesday, May 18, complete with a maritime escort and water sliding competition between Charleston area leaders and Carnival executives

CHARLESTON, S.C. - On Tuesday, May 18, Carnival Cruise Lines officially launched its new, year-round cruise schedule from the historic City of 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.  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 on Tuesday 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.  During the proceedings, Newsome presented Captain Costi with a traditional maritime plaque to commemorate Carnival Fantasy's arrival in Charleston.

“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.  

Among the sliders were Jim Newsome, City of Charleston Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson, King Street Merchants' Gregg Hoffman, Carnival CMO Jim Berra, Captain Costi and Evan Kelly from ABC News Channel 4.

“Carnival Fantasy 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,” 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.  

After the opening reception and races, guests enjoyed a multi-course luncheon followed by guided tours. While touring the Carnival Fantasy, passengers were introduced to the many on-board amenities and state-of-the-art facilities, including a 12,000-square-foot health spa, extensive children's play zones for kids in three age groups, and a variety of formal and casual dining options, along with 12 lounges and bars. Event attendees were also given an exclusive look at Serenity, the adults-only retreat, and the resort-style main pool area. 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 will sail this afternoon on a five-day voyage from Charleston to Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas.

About Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 15 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, New England, Canada, Europe and the Panama Canal.  For additional information on Carnival's “Fun Ship” vacations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

Rawle Murdy  Carnival Cruise Lines
Caroline Nuttall  Jennifer de la Cruz
Senior Media Relations Manager  Director of Public Relations
843-577-7327  305-406-5464