Charleston cruise ship opponents restate objections

With Charleston becoming a year-round cruise ship destination from ships such as the Carnival Cruise Line Fantasy, concerns have been raised about the impact on the city and its residents.

Brad Nettles

A group of Charleston organizations that is suing Carnival Cruise Lines in a dispute over regulation of the cruise business is again calling for a study of the location of a new cruise ship terminal.

The Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association, Charlestowne Neighborhood Association, The Preservation Society of Charleston, and the Coastal Conservation League — the groups suing Carnival — were joined by The Committee to Save the City and Charleston Communities for Cruise Control in calling for an independent study of the cruise terminal location.

The State Ports Authority plans to begin construction this year on a new $35 million cruise ship terminal at Union Pier, near Laurens Street, where there were previously cargo operations. The terminal would replace an older one at the south end of Union Pier, near Market Street.

The SPA’s position is that it has studied alternatives and held numerous public meetings, and concluded that Union Pier is the appropriate location for the new terminal. Opponents have suggested cruise ships should dock elsewhere, such at Columbus Street terminal or Patriot’s Point.

The Charleston Communities for Cruise Control organization, which calls itself C4 for short, also has asked Carnival to voluntarily agree to standards addressing “the size of ships, frequency of visits, air and water emissions, fuel used, noise mitigation, impact fees, local purchasing and periodic reporting on the standards.”