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What Cruise Lines Depart From Charleston


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Idell Krieg



Charleston, South Carolina, known for its rich history, charming architecture, and vibrant culture, is not only a popular tourist destination but also a bustling hub for cruise ships. Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or planning your first voyage, Charleston offers a variety of options to set sail from its picturesque port. From family-friendly ships to luxurious vessels, there is a cruise line to suit every taste and budget.


Departing from Charleston allows travelers the opportunity to explore the stunning coastlines of the Eastern Seaboard and the nearby Caribbean islands. Cruising offers a unique and convenient way to experience multiple destinations, all while enjoying the comforts and amenities of a floating resort. With a range of cruise lines to choose from, passengers can embark on adventures tailored to their preferences, whether it’s relaxing on pristine beaches, exploring historic sites, or indulging in gourmet cuisine and entertainment onboard.


In this article, we will guide you through the cruise lines that depart from Charleston, highlighting their unique features and what you can expect from each. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a fun-filled family vacation, or a solo adventure, there’s a cruise line that’s perfect for you. So, grab your sunscreen, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey from the enchanting city of Charleston.


Cruise Line 1: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line is one of the most well-known and popular cruise lines in the world, offering a wide range of itineraries and ships to suit every traveler’s needs. Departing from Charleston, Carnival Cruise Line offers various options for those looking to explore the Caribbean or the Bahamas.


With a focus on providing a fun and vibrant atmosphere, Carnival Cruise Line ensures that guests of all ages can enjoy their time on board. The ships boast a multitude of activities, including water parks, live entertainment, casinos, spa facilities, and kids’ clubs. The dining options are diverse, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining restaurants, serving a variety of cuisines to cater to every palate.


Depending on the itinerary, Carnival Cruise Line offers excursions to destinations such as Nassau, Freeport, and Half Moon Cay. Whether you want to relax on stunning beaches, explore underwater caves, or immerse yourself in local culture and history, Carnival Cruise Line has something for everyone. Additionally, the ships feature a range of amenities, including pools, fitness centers, and theaters, ensuring that guests are entertained and well taken care of throughout their voyage.


When it comes to accommodations, Carnival Cruise Line offers a variety of stateroom options, from cozy interiors to spacious suites with private balconies. With dedicated and attentive staff, guests can expect exceptional service and a comfortable stay.


In summary, Carnival Cruise Line provides a lively and exciting experience for travelers departing from Charleston. With a focus on entertainment, dining, and an array of destinations, Carnival Cruise Line ensures that guests have a memorable and enjoyable vacation. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a fun-filled escape with friends, Carnival Cruise Line has you covered.


Cruise Line 2: Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is a renowned cruise line known for its innovative ships and wide range of itineraries. Departing from Charleston, Royal Caribbean offers unforgettable cruise experiences to destinations in the Caribbean and beyond.


One of the standout features of Royal Caribbean cruises is their state-of-the-art ships. These floating resorts boast exciting amenities designed to cater to all types of travelers. From thrilling water slides and rock climbing walls to ice skating rinks and Broadway-style shows, there is never a dull moment onboard. The ships also offer a variety of dining options, ranging from casual cafes to specialty restaurants, where guests can savor delicious cuisine from around the world.


Royal Caribbean’s itineraries from Charleston include stops at stunning destinations such as Nassau, CocoCay, and Key West. Whether you’re looking to relax on pristine beaches, partake in water sports, or immerse yourself in local culture, Royal Caribbean offers a range of shore excursions to suit every interest. Plus, with their exclusive private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, guests can enjoy thrilling water slides, relaxing beach cabanas, and other exciting activities.


Accommodations on Royal Caribbean’s ships are spacious and well-appointed, offering a comfortable retreat after a day of exploration. From interior staterooms to luxurious suites with private balconies, there is an option to fit every budget and preference. Guests can also take advantage of the attentive and friendly staff, who are committed to providing exceptional service throughout the voyage.


In summary, Royal Caribbean International is a top choice for those seeking an extraordinary cruise experience departing from Charleston. With their impressive ships, diverse itineraries, and a multitude of onboard activities, Royal Caribbean ensures that guests have an unforgettable vacation. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or as a couple, Royal Caribbean offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and entertainment.


Cruise Line 3: American Cruise Lines

For those looking for a more intimate and personalized cruising experience, American Cruise Lines offers an exceptional option. Departing from Charleston, American Cruise Lines specializes in small ship cruises along the Eastern Seaboard and inland waterways, providing a unique and immersive journey for its passengers.


What sets American Cruise Lines apart is its focus on exploring the hidden gems and lesser-known destinations of the United States. From the historic charm of Charleston to the picturesque coastal towns of South Carolina and Georgia, these itineraries offer a glimpse into the rich history and natural beauty of the region. Guests have the opportunity to visit charming ports of call, experience local cuisine, and delve into the cultural heritage of each destination.


The small and elegant ships of American Cruise Lines provide a more intimate setting, complete with spacious cabins, attentive service, and upscale amenities. From private balconies to panoramic lounges, passengers can enjoy breathtaking views of the passing landscapes. Onboard activities are designed to showcase the local culture and history, with knowledgeable guides leading informative lectures and shore excursions.


In addition to the coastal itineraries, American Cruise Lines also offers river cruises along the Mississippi River and tributaries, allowing guests to explore the heartland of America. From the iconic cities of Memphis and New Orleans to the charming small towns along the riverbanks, these cruises provide a unique perspective on the cultural and historical significance of the region.


American Cruise Lines is known for its exceptional dining experience, with a focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The onboard chefs prepare gourmet meals, showcasing the flavors and specialties of each destination. With open seating and attentive service, guests can enjoy fine dining with a panoramic backdrop.


In summary, American Cruise Lines offers a distinctive and enriching cruising experience departing from Charleston. With their small ships, intimate atmosphere, and carefully crafted itineraries, passengers can discover the beauty and charm of the Eastern Seaboard and beyond. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique and immersive adventure, American Cruise Lines provides an unforgettable journey through America’s hidden treasures.


Cruise Line 4: Fantasy Cruises

Fantasy Cruises offers a unique and memorable cruising experience for those departing from Charleston. With their small ships and intimate atmosphere, Fantasy Cruises provides an exclusive and personalized journey along the Eastern Seaboard and beyond.


One of the standout features of Fantasy Cruises is their focus on adventure and exploration. Departing from Charleston, their itineraries take passengers to stunning destinations such as the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean gems. Whether it’s snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, zip-lining through tropical forests, or exploring hidden coves, Fantasy Cruises offers a range of exhilarating shore excursions to satisfy every thrill-seeker.


The small size of the ships allows for a more intimate experience, ensuring that guests receive personalized attention from the attentive and friendly crew. With comfortable cabins, stylish lounges, and inviting outdoor spaces, passengers can relax and unwind in a tranquil setting after a day of adventure.


Fantasy Cruises also prides itself on its culinary offerings. The onboard chefs create delectable dishes, showcasing the flavors and ingredients of the destinations visited. From fresh seafood to local specialties, guests can indulge in a gastronomic voyage that complements the journey’s cultural immersion.


In addition to the thrilling excursions and gourmet dining experiences, Fantasy Cruises offers a range of onboard activities and entertainment options. From live music performances to educational lectures by expert naturalists and historians, there is something to suit every interest and curiosity. Whether you prefer to relax by the pool, participate in interactive workshops, or socialize with fellow passengers, the onboard atmosphere is designed for relaxation, engagement, and enjoyment.


In summary, Fantasy Cruises provides a unique and adventure-filled cruising experience departing from Charleston. With their small ships, personalized service, and exciting itineraries, guests can embark on a journey that combines thrilling exploration with comfort and relaxation. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind travel experience, Fantasy Cruises offers an unforgettable voyage to create lifelong memories.


Cruise Line 5: Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Ocean Cruises, known for their luxurious and culturally enriching voyages, offers a sophisticated cruising experience for those departing from Charleston. With their elegant ships and carefully curated itineraries, Viking Ocean Cruises provides a journey of exploration and immersion in some of the world’s most captivating destinations.


Departing from Charleston, Viking Ocean Cruises offers itineraries that take passengers to breathtaking destinations such as the Caribbean, Europe, and beyond. The focus is on cultural immersion, with guided tours, shore excursions, and onboard lectures that delve into the history, art, and traditions of each region visited. From exploring ancient ruins and UNESCO World Heritage sites to sampling local cuisine and attending cultural performances, guests can truly immerse themselves in the destinations they visit.


Viking Ocean Cruises prides itself on the elegance and comfort of its ships. The spacious and stylish cabins offer ocean views, and some even feature private verandas. The onboard amenities include fine dining restaurants, spa facilities, infinity pools, and theaters showcasing live performances. Passengers can relax and indulge in the luxurious surroundings while enjoying impeccable service from the attentive crew.


The dining experience on Viking Ocean Cruises is exceptional, with a focus on culinary excellence. The onboard chefs create gourmet dishes using the freshest ingredients, often sourced from the regions visited. From fine dining restaurants to casual cafes and specialty venues, guests can savor a variety of cuisines and flavors, accompanied by carefully selected wines and beverages.


Viking Ocean Cruises also offers a range of onboard activities and enriching experiences. From cooking classes and wine tastings to art workshops and talks by guest lecturers, there is always something to engage and inspire passengers. The Viking Resident Historians and Experts provide fascinating insights into the destinations, enhancing the cultural immersion and educational aspect of the journey.


In summary, Viking Ocean Cruises offers a luxurious and culturally enriching sailing experience departing from Charleston. With their elegantly designed ships, curated itineraries, and exceptional onboard amenities, guests can embark on a refined and immersive journey. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of art and culture, or simply seeking a sophisticated and relaxing cruise vacation, Viking Ocean Cruises provides an unforgettable voyage to create lifelong memories.


Cruise Line 6: Pearl Seas Cruises

Pearl Seas Cruises offers an elegant and intimate cruising experience departing from Charleston. With their small ships and carefully crafted itineraries, Pearl Seas Cruises provides a unique and immersive journey along the Eastern Seaboard and the Great Lakes.


One of the standout features of Pearl Seas Cruises is their focus on cultural immersion and scenic exploration. Departing from Charleston, their itineraries allow guests to discover charming coastal towns, historic landmarks, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether it’s sailing along the picturesque shores of New England or experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Great Lakes, Pearl Seas Cruises offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore some of North America’s most captivating destinations.


The small size of Pearl Seas Cruises’ ships creates an intimate and relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to truly connect with their surroundings. The spacious cabins, many with private balconies, provide a comfortable retreat after a day of discovery. Passengers can gather in elegant lounges, enjoy panoramic views from the outdoor decks, and savor delicious cuisine in the onboard dining venues.


Pearl Seas Cruises prides itself on its commitment to exceptional service and attention to detail. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are dedicated to ensuring that guests’ every need is met. From personalized service to informative lectures and guided shore excursions, passengers can expect a seamless and enriching experience throughout their journey.


In addition to the cultural exploration, Pearl Seas Cruises offers a range of onboard activities and amenities. Guests can enjoy live entertainment, educational presentations, and enriching experiences that further enhance their understanding and appreciation of the destinations visited. From relaxing on the sun deck to enjoying a spa treatment or a workout in the fitness center, there are options for every interest and preference.


In summary, Pearl Seas Cruises offers a refined and immersive cruising experience departing from Charleston. With their small ships, carefully crafted itineraries, and attention to detail, passengers can embark on a journey that combines scenic beauty, cultural exploration, and exceptional service. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene and enriching vacation, Pearl Seas Cruises provides an unforgettable voyage along the Eastern Seaboard and the Great Lakes.


Cruise Line 7: Silversea Cruises

For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury and refinement, Silversea Cruises offers an exquisite cruising experience departing from Charleston. With their fleet of small, ultra-luxurious ships, Silversea Cruises provides an unparalleled level of elegance and personalized service.


Silversea Cruises sets itself apart with its commitment to providing an all-inclusive, intimate, and opulent journey. Their itineraries from Charleston take passengers to some of the most exclusive and captivating destinations around the world. Whether it’s exploring the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, immersing oneself in the rich history of Europe, or witnessing the awe-inspiring landscapes of Antarctica, Silversea Cruises creates extraordinary experiences that exceed expectations.


Onboard, Silversea Cruises lavishes guests with luxurious amenities and exquisite surroundings. The spacious suites, many with private verandas, evoke a sense of tranquility and indulgence. With personalized butler service, guests receive unparalleled attention to detail and an elevated level of pampering. The fleet of small ships allows for an intimate atmosphere, meaning fewer guests and more personalized interactions with the friendly staff.


Silversea Cruises is renowned for its culinary excellence, offering a variety of world-class dining options. From fine dining restaurants to casual eateries, passengers can indulge in gourmet cuisine prepared by masterful chefs using the freshest ingredients. The emphasis on gastronomy extends beyond the onboard experience, as culinary-themed shore excursions provide unique opportunities to discover local flavors and culinary traditions.


Beyond the dining experience, Silversea Cruises offers a range of enriching activities and entertainment. From fascinating lectures by expert guest speakers to live performances by talented musicians, the onboard entertainment ensures that guests are engaged and entertained throughout their voyage. Additionally, Silversea Cruises provides a variety of luxurious amenities, such as spa facilities, fitness centers, and swimming pools, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate while at sea.


In summary, Silversea Cruises offers an unparalleled level of luxury and sophistication departing from Charleston. With their small, elegant ships, all-inclusive offerings, and exceptional service, Silversea Cruises creates an indulgent and unforgettable journey. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, seeking an extraordinary adventure, or desiring the ultimate escape, Silversea Cruises delivers an experience that is truly beyond compare.



Charleston is not only a charming coastal city filled with history and culture but also a gateway to unforgettable cruise adventures. From family-friendly cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International to luxurious and intimate experiences with American Cruise Lines and Silversea Cruises, there is a cruise line to suit every traveler’s preferences.


Cruising from Charleston allows you to explore stunning destinations, whether it’s the idyllic beaches of the Caribbean or the charming coastal towns of the Eastern Seaboard. Each cruise line offers its own unique features and highlights, from thrilling water parks and Broadway-style shows to cultural immersion and gourmet dining experiences.


Whether you’re seeking adventure and exploration or a refined and luxurious vacation, these cruise lines deliver exceptional service, comfortable accommodations, and a range of onboard activities to ensure you have an unforgettable voyage. From the excitement of Carnival Cruise Line to the sophistication of Silversea Cruises, you can choose the cruise line that best suits your style and preferences.


Embarking on a cruise from Charleston allows you to leave the stress of daily life behind and immerse yourself in a world of relaxation, entertainment, and cultural discovery. Explore picturesque ports of call, indulge in gourmet cuisine, and enjoy world-class entertainment while being cared for by attentive and friendly staff.


So, whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or planning your first voyage, Charleston offers a range of cruise lines that cater to all tastes and desires. From the thrilling adventures of Fantasy Cruises to the elegance and refinement of Viking Ocean Cruises, there is a cruise line waiting to take you on an unforgettable journey. Pack your bags, set sail from Charleston, and embark on a vacation filled with adventure, relaxation, and lasting memories.