Charleston group forms international coalition to address cruise issues

  • Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013 3:58 p.m., Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 4:02 p.m.

Charleston Communities for Cruise Control has formed an international partnership with groups in Venice and Florida to address issues with cruise operations in historic port cities, officials announced today.

The Charleston group will work with No Grandi Navi in Venice and Key West Committee for Responsible Tourism to form an international coalition to establish “appropriate standards for cruise industry activity in historically scaled port cities,” officials said in a written statement.

“The issue is about balanced co-existence and being proactive,” said Carrie Agnew, executive director of Charleston Communities for Cruise Control. “Historically, Charleston has done that, but with the cruise issue we are risking a great deal with no legally binding regulations in place.”

The dispute over cruises has been raging for several years.

It started to come to a boil in 2010 when Carnival Cruise Lines permanently based its 2,056-passenger liner Fantasy at Union Pier, giving the city a year-round pleasure-ship industry for the first time. Previously, a handful of seasonal cruises originated in Charleston.

Charleston Communities for Cruise Control is among numerous preservationists and neighborhood associations that have filed lawsuits to block the S.C. State Ports Authority from opening a new $35 million cruise terminal at the north end of Union Pier in downtown Charleston. The groups allege that the new terminal will bring more tourists, traffic congestion and fumes to the historic district.

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