Union Pier Port of Charleston
Cruise operations in the Port of Charleston are part of the South Carolina Ports Authority’s legislated mandate to increase maritime commerce. A study commissioned by the South Carolina Ports Authority projected that cruise operations could support 407 jobs and $37 million in economic benefits in 2010 in the Tri-County, though a follow-up study to determine actual costs and benefits has not occurred. In May 2010, the Carnival Fantasy began home-porting the Carnival Fantasy in the Port of Charleston.
To better handle ships, passengers, traffic and security requirements, the Ports Authority identified a need to improve and enhance the cruise terminal, which opened in 1973. Cruise ships have called Union Pier since 1913. The Ports Authority began hosting meetings, telling the community on how the agency envisioned to best develop an improved cruise facility. Through an extensive public process, including more than 100 meetings with neighbors and other stakeholder groups, the resulting Union Pier Concept Plan was endorsed unanimously by City Council in September 2010.
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