When the Yorktown Clipper called in Charleston on Friday, October 13, she was the first cruise ship in that city since Hurricane Hugo struck. The city of Charleston was so pleased to have the ship that there was a welcome band playing as she docked.
A spokesperson for Clipper Cruise Line noted that they “had some apprehension from booked passengers about calling in Charleston.” Therefore, the line sent representatives to Charleston to survey the situation. They found that much of the damage was debris, such as fallen trees and broken glass. The Mayor of Charleston issued a statement that the city will be functioning by October 13 which was sent to all passengers, along with a letter from Clipper President Paul Duynhouwer.
“They need our business now, so we did not want to pull out,” said the line’s spokesperson.
In addition to several Caribbean islands, Charleston, South Carolina, has also been involved in clean up efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. According to John Hickman, Assistant Harbormaster at the Port of Charleston, cruise ships can dock in Charleston, but cannot use the passenger terminal due to inside water damage. The building, though, has been deemed structurally sound and renovations include replacement of ceiling and floor tiles. He said that the terminal will not be ready for use until approximately mid-November.
A spokesperson for the Port of Charleston added that the dock and channels are fine. Cargo ships were calling as of October 3 in Charleston; the reason for the delay was that the Coast Guard had to put channel markers back in the harbor.
Most cruise lines scheduled to call in Charleston this month and next are operating as planned with no itinerary changes. These lines include American Canadian Caribbean Lines, Bermuda Star Line and Clipper Cruise Line.
Only Cunard Cruise Line cancelled the Sagafjord’s October 26 call due to the hurricane. The Sagafjord will instead be calling at Newport News, Virginia. The OE2’s early December call though has not been changed.
As for the condition of tourist attractions in the city, the spokesperson said that the city is rapidly reopening attractions such as historic homes and gardens. A number opened up the week of October 9 and many others were scheduled for last weekend. Many restaurants have reopened too; the remaining problem is restoring complete electrical power.