Carnival Extends Voluntary Pause in Cruise Operations Through Feb. 28th

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line has voluntarily extended the operational pause for its Charleston cruise business through Feb. 28.

Carnival is in the process of building a gradual, phased in approach to resume guest operations, which will focus initially on Miami and Port Canaveral.

“As we continue to build and implement our plan to meet the requirements of the ‘Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations Order’ issued on October 30 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we have notified guests that we have cancelled additional cruises for the first part of 2021,” Carnival said in a statement.

SC Ports does not currently have a confirmed date for when the Carnival Sunshine will resume operations in Charleston.

“We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a news release.  “The entire Carnival team appreciates the great support of our guests, travel advisors and business partners, and local officials in our homeports and destinations.”

SC Ports also does not currently have a confirmed date for when Port of Calls will resume operations in Charleston.

SC Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.


Update #9: Carnival extends voluntary pause in Charleston cruise operations through 2020

Oct. 2, 2020 – Carnival Cruise Line has voluntarily extended its operational pause for most of its U.S. cruise business, including in Charleston, through 2020.

The Carnival Sunshine is not expected to return for passenger operations until 2021. This is part of Carnival’s announcement to continue voluntary suspension of cruises for all U.S. homeports, except Miami and Port Canaveral, for November and December.

“As we have said throughout this pause, our return to operations will be gradual and phased in. And while we are not making any presumptions, once cruising is allowed, we will center our initial start-up from the homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a news release. “The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we serve remain the cornerstone of our plans and decisions. The patience and support of our guests and travel agent partners have been a huge motivation to our team as we have worked through this unprecedented situation, and we are dedicated to getting back to operations when the time is right.”

The Cruise Lines International Association has outlined mandatory core elements of a strong set of health protocols to be implemented as part of phased-in, highly controlled resumption of operations.

SC Ports does not currently have a confirmed date for when the Carnival Sunshine will resume operations in Charleston. SC Ports also does not currently have a confirmed date for when Port of Calls will resume operations in Charleston, which could be this calendar year. We will continue to share any updates with the community.

SC Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community.


Update #8: Cruise lines continue voluntary suspension of U.S. cruise operations

Aug. 5, 2020 – Cruise Lines International Association announced today that major cruise lines have agreed to voluntarily continue their suspension of U.S. cruise operations until at least Oct. 31.

This is the third voluntary suspension by cruise lines in response to the pandemic.

“This is a difficult decision as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry,” Cruise Lines International Association said in a news release. “However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior.”

S.C. Ports does not currently have a confirmed date for when the Carnival Sunshine or Port of Calls will resume.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.


Update #7: Carnival extends pause in operations through Sept. 30

 June 22, 2020 – Carnival Cruise Line announced today its decision to extend its operational pause in North America through Sept. 30.

Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy shared this statement: “We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business. Nevertheless, we apologize for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions.”

This follows an announcement from Cruise Lines International Association announcing that all major cruise lines agreed to voluntarily extend their pause in operations through Sept. 15.

S.C. Ports does not currently have a confirmed date for when the Carnival Sunshine or Port of Calls will resume operations in Charleston.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.


Update #6: Cruise lines extend pause in operations through Sept. 15

June 19, 2020 – Cruise Lines International Association announced today that major cruise lines have agreed to voluntarily extend their pause in operations through Sept. 15.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations. … Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers. … The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations,” Cruise Lines International Association said in a news release.

S.C. Ports does not currently have a confirmed date for when the Carnival Sunshine or Port of Calls will resume.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.


May 4, 2020 – Carnival Cruise Line announced today that its decision to pause most of its operations will extend through Aug 31.

Carnival has not yet shared the date operations will resume for the Carnival Sunshine.

“We will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve,” Carnival said in a news release. “We appreciate the understanding and support of our guests and travel agent partners and look forward to welcoming them on board as the environment for travel and tourism improves.”

S.C. Ports does not currently have a confirmed date for the Sunshine to return to lay berth at Columbus Street Terminal.

S.C. Ports also does not have confirmed information on when Port of Calls will resume.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.


Update #4: Carnival Sunshine departs Charleston

April 27, 2020 – The Carnival Sunshine departed Columbus Street Terminal on April 23.

As Carnival moves to safe operational manning levels, the company has begun the process of returning healthy crew members to their home countries using their ships as transport. Carnival Sunshine has departed Charleston to meet up with other ships in the fleet and allow crew members to join the vessels that will transport them home.

Carnival plans to resume cruise operations in Charleston on June 27. This voluntary cessation was made to support the efforts by public officials to manage COVID-19’s impact on global health and commerce.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.


Update #3: Carnival extends pause in operations until June 27

Updated: 04-27-2020

April 13, 2020 – Carnival announced today plans to extend its pause in operations until June 27.

This voluntary cessation was made to support the efforts by public officials to manage COVID-19’s impact on global health and commerce.

The Carnival Sunshine will remain at Columbus Street Terminal for the duration.

The last embarkation was the Carnival Sunshine on March 12, which returned on March 16 for a debark only. The cruise ship has not carried passengers since.

Carnival crew members remain on board to maintain the vessel. Carnival will continue its practice of taking daily temperatures for all crew, encouraging social distancing, and keeping all ship crew on board, except in the event of a medical emergency, which would be coordinated with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and local authorities.

Carnival communicated they would periodically sail the Sunshine out of the harbor for the lawful disposal of gray water and to take on water for their needs. The vessel last sailed offshore Saturday, April 23.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.

Click here to read the latest Marine Safety Information Bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard.


Update #2: Carnival extends pause in operations until May 11

Updated: 04-20-2020

March 30, 2020 — Carnival announced today plans to extend its pause in operations until May 11.

This voluntary cessation was made to support the efforts by public officials to manage COVID-19’s impact on global health and commerce.

The Carnival Sunshine will remain at Columbus Street Terminal for the duration.

Carnival will continue its practice of taking daily temperatures for all crew, encouraging social distancing, and keeping all ship crew on board, except in the event of a medical emergency, which would be coordinated with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and local authorities. The crew have been on board for more than 14 days and remain healthy.

Over the coming weeks, should Carnival disembark crew members so they can return home, that will be done in coordination with authorities and with the cruise line providing transportation from the ship directly to a designated airport.

Carnival communicated they would periodically sail the Sunshine out of the harbor for the lawful disposal of gray water and to take on water for their needs. The vessel last sailed offshore Sunday, April 3.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community. We will continue to share any updates with the community.

Click here to read the latest Marine Safety Information Bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard.


Update #1: Following Carnival’s suspension of operations, vessel remains at Columbus Street Terminal

March 19, 2020

After passengers disembarked from the Carnival Sunshine on Monday, March 16, the vessel shifted to Columbus Street Terminal.

There are approximately 1,100 crew members on board. Carnival communicated to S.C. Ports and Customs and Border Protection that the crew will remain on the ship for at least 14 days. They stated that the crew is all healthy, and that they will remain on the ship for the mutual benefit and safety of both residents and crew members. The ship is provisioned to feed and support the crew.

Carnival communicated they would periodically sail the Sunshine out of the harbor for the lawful disposal of gray water and to take on water for their needs. This action occurred Wednesday, March 18.

Carnival communicated the entire ship will be “open” and the crew will be continuing general maintenance, sanitation and many other ongoing efforts. Carnival stated this will have no impact on fuel consumption; only one engine is utilized for these operations.

Regarding the 30-day suspension of operations, the Cruise Lines implemented this voluntary cessation in coordination with the Trump Administration last Friday, and the CDC was intimately involved as well. As the initial 30-days run, cruise lines are continuing coordination with the federal authorities regarding next steps.

S.C. Ports continues to work with federal agencies and our cruise line partners in support of the Charleston community.

We will continue to share any updates with the community.