In 1690, Charles Towne was the fifth largest city in North America, its port serving as gateway into the growing colony of South Carolina and the rest of the New World beyond. Renamed Charleston in 1783, “The Holy City” has long been renowned for its hospitality and tolerance. Our modern reputation as a relaxed and accommodating vacation destination is grounded in this history– as is the city’s intrinsic bond with the sea.
That bond seemed tested after sea-passenger service to Charleston ended in 1942. A natural resource of jobs, revenue and growth was cast aside for 30 years. Then the terminal at Union Pier opened in 1972. Following such a long hiatus, the benefits of being a port of call grew slowly– from almost nothing in the 80s to thirty-two ships in 2002.
By 2011, that number has grown to eighty-nine. With the welcome addition of Carnival calling Charleston a home port, this established industry now provides an undeniably positive financial impact– made all the more critical by the current economic environment.