Carnival announces cruises from Charleston to Cuba beginning in 2019

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that a ship which will soon call Charleston home will make a call in Cuba.

The Carnival Sunshine will offer a four-day cruise with a day-long call in Havana departing from Charleston on Nov. 21, 2019. Eight five-day cruises featuring Havana will depart Jan. 6, Feb. 3 and 17, March 2, 16 and 30 and April 13, and 27, 2020.

Carnival says the visits to Havana will comply with regulations of the U.S. Treasury Department that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in permitted activities. Carnival officials say all their shore excursions meet all U.S. government regulations.

The 3,002-passenger ship will be the largest cruise ship ever to call Havana when the service begins.

For more information about cruises departing from Charleston's port, go to and click on "cruise."

"Cuba has proven to be extremely popular with our guests and we're delighted to provide even more opportunities to experience and explore this fascinating destination with these new voyages departing from four key East Coast home ports, including the first Cuba cruises from Charleston," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“I’m getting used to hamburgers and french fries. I’d be interested in going,” Charleston resident Carlton Hudson said.
He reminisced on staring at the big island from his South Florida home thirty years ago.
“We could see 90 miles away from Key West parts," Hudson said."Never knew what kind of ship could get us there.”
“I’ll definitely need to bring my dad back some cigars. I think the place is cool and we should be able to go explore other places,” Charleston resident Kristen Rattley said.
Charleston locals say the new cruise destination is a win-win.
These trips will allow Americans to explore the Caribbean's largest island while helping boost the Cuban economy through tourism.
Charleston is very familiar with the help the tourism industry can bring.
“When I was a girl and my grandmother was doing sweetgrass baskets before Charleston was so popular, we lived very poor. Now, it makes me feel so proud that our work has made it to the Smithsonian and beautiful hotels are decorated with our baskets,” Sweetgrass Basket weaver Trudy Hicks said. “Speaking from our culture with baskets, I feel like the people in Cuba could have that same experience.”
“It should help them better their resources, more jobs, more people moving there to help them industrialize such a beautiful country,” Hudson added. “I look forward to taking a Carnival Cruise to Cuba.”

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