CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials have confirmed that the Carnival Sunshine has left the port and will not return for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carnival said that their pause in operations currently runs through June 26.
A spokesperson for the company said:
“As Carnival Cruise Lines moves to safe operational manning levels, the company has begun the process of returning healthy crew members to their home countries using their ships as transport. Carnival Sunshine has departed Charleston to meet up with other ships in the fleet and allow crew members to join the vessels that will transport them home.”
The ship, which was docked at the Columbus street terminal, made several trips out to sea while it was stationed in Charleston, with residents disappointed each time it returned to port. But this time, the ship is not expected to return until cruises resume normal operations.
The Sunshine arrived in Charleston in mid-March after a trip to the Bahamas, and disembarked thousands of passengers, a move that angered many residents.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control released the following statement regarding the passengers:
“A Carnival Cruise Line ship disembarked in Charleston this morning. DHEC worked with the CDC Cruise Ship Task Force and the Senior Ship Physician aboard this vessel to ensure that no passengers were exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All 2,441 passengers have been regularly monitored throughout the duration of the trip, which was to Nassau, Bahamas.”
The ship remained in Charleston for around a month, with all crew members quarantining onboard.