One thought on “Cruise Liners Come to Charleston

  • Taillefer

    Will the arrival of more cruise ships ruin historic Charleston?From USA TODAY by Gene SloanWill the arrival of more cruise ships in Charleston, S.C. disrupt the "delicate balance" between locals and tourists in the historic city? A leading voice in Charleston's conservation movement raises the issue today in an opinion piece in Charleston's Post and Courier."Cruise ships often degrade the cities they visit," writes Dana Beach, executive director of the Coastal Conservation League. "Large and frequent ships contribute noise from public address systems, horns, engines and passengers. Diesel engines burning the dirtiest fuel available belch a constant stream of toxic soot while the ship is at berth. Cruise ships … can dump sewage and ground-up waste directly into the harbor."Beach's broadside comes as industry giant Carnival gears up to offer the first year-round cruises from the city starting in May. The line is moving the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy to Charleston from Mobile, Ala.Also ramping up sailings from Charleston this year is Celebrity Cruises, which will offer a series of 10- and 11-night voyages to the Eastern and Western Caribbean on the Celebrity Mercury starting in February. It's the first time the line has sailed out of Charleston since 2003.Beach worries about the size of the ships, which she notes will "tower over the historic skyline, in direct conflict with Charleston's precedent-setting efforts to achieve the proper 'height, scale and mass' of its buildings."The sheer number of cruise passengers visiting the city all at once is an issue, she adds. "The nature of tourism declines with 'hit and run' visitors who spend just a few hours in the city, generally around the Market.Beach says the city must move quickly to set up new rules for cruise ships governing everything from their environmental practices to how they move passengers to-and-from the port.Still, "beyond a certain volume, congestion cannot be managed," Beach argues. "With that in mind, the city … should limit the size, height and number of ships that can call on Charleston."

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