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Cruises from Charleston

Only 2 cruise lines depart from Charleston — see our favorite itineraries.

Book cruises from Charleston to the Bahamas, Bermuda and beyond into the Caribbean, visiting dreamy islands like St. Kitts, Aruba, Bonaire and more. Or, book a small ship cruise that sails up to Baltimore or down to Amelia Island, Florida, if you’d rather stay closer to home.

And after you take pictures of Rainbow Row and visit the mansions along The Battery in Charleston, hop aboard a Carnival cruise for a trip to tropical paradise or go with American Cruise Lines for an escapade along the coast.

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, though it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 2021. It recommends that you delay travel if you are not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

When traveling, follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for COVID-19 test results — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

Our favorite cruises from Charleston

Cruise lineLengthItineraryPriceBook
CarnivalThe Bahamas from Charleston — 5 days
  • Charleston, SC
  • Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Charleston, SC
From $319 per personBook now
CarnivalSouthern Caribbean from Charleston — 10 days
  • Charleston, SC
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
  • Princess Cays, Bahamas
  • Charleston, SC
From $769 per personBook now
American Cruise LineMid-Atlantic Inland Passage — 8 days
  • Charleston, SC
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Beaufort/Morehead City, NC
  • Kitty Hawk, NC
  • Norfolk, VA
  • St. Michaels, MD
  • Baltimore, MD
From $3,795 per person
American Cruise LineHistoric South and Golden Isles Cruise — 8 days
  • Charleston, SC
  • Beaufort, SC
  • Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Savannah, GA
  • Jekyll Island/St. Simons Island, GA
  • Amelia Island, FL
From $4,075 per person

Carnival cruises from Charleston

Carnival is the only large cruise line offering cruises sailing from Charleston. If you’ve never sailed with Carnival before, read about its activities and all-you-can-eat restaurants to find out if this cruise line is for you.

Read Carnival review

Bermuda cruises from Charleston

Carnival’s seven-day Bermuda cruises from Charleston also stop at Princess Cays. Plus, an overnight in Bermuda means time to check tourist activities off your list and unwind on the beach. At sea, laugh the time away at the Punchliner comedy club, and zoom across the deck on its myriad of waterslides.

Eastern Caribbean cruises from Charleston

After leaving Charleston, you’ll spend two days at sea before docking at St. Thomas, the gateway to the Virgin Islands. Next, sail to Dutch-French St. Maarten, heavenly St. Lucia, the oasis of St. Kitts, and the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan. Rates for a 10-day Eastern Caribbean escape with Carnival start at less than $100 a person, daily.

Bahamas cruises from Charleston

These four-night cruises to Half Moon Cay are the perfect dose of beach bliss. Brag to your friends about sailing to a private island with Carnival’s exclusive Half Moon Cay. There’s meandering nature paths, two miles of white sand beach and four beachfront bars standing at your service.

Southern Caribbean cruises from Charleston

Let your hair down in Aruba, see a coral nursery in Bonaire, ride an ATV through Grand Turk, and sail a glass-bottom boat through the glittering water at Princess Cays. Carnival’s Eastern Caribbean cruises from Charleston last for seven or ten days — how long you cruise is up to you. You might never want to come home.

Current Carnival cruise deals

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American Cruise Line cruises from Charleston

American Cruise Line is a small ship cruise line that specializes in themed itineraries that focus on the historical significance of each port. Onboard, expect a more intimate atmosphere than you’d get with Carnival, with a complimentary daily cocktail hour and classes, lectures and educational presentations to enrich your experience.

Read American Cruise Line review

Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise

Enjoy a cruise through the intracoastal waterways between charming Charleston and Amelia Island, which is rich in Victorian history. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage along the streets of Beaufort, see dolphins and alligators at The Sea Pines Forest Preserve in Hilton Head. Finally, explore the secrets of Savannah on your way to “millionaire’s village” in Jekyll Island, before finishing up on Amelia Island.

Mid-Atlantic Inland Cruise

These cruises highlight the wilderness and wildlife along the coast between Charleston and Baltimore, ideal for birdwatchers and anyone with an interest in Revolutionary and Civil War history. See where the Wright Brothers launched their first flight in Kitty Hawk and visit the Naval Station in Norfolk, all in the company of expert guides.

How can I find last-minute cruises from Charleston?

The best way to find last-minute cruises from Charleston is to use a site like, to see all the upcoming itineraries in one place. From the home page, choose Last Minute Cruises and select Charleston as your departure city. It shows you the lowest rates for cruises just around the corner.

Booking last-minute isn’t the only way to score cheap cruises from Charleston. It also offers up to 30% off fare for early-bird reservations. Check out Carnival’s Cruise Deals page to see its early-bird offers.

What three-night cruises sail from Charleston?

Unfortunatey, three-night cruises from Charleston don’t really exist. The shortest length is four-night cruises from Charleston, which go to Half Moon Cay or Nassau in the Bahamas.

When it the best time to cruise from Charleston?

Carnival’s cruises from Charleston are available pretty much year round. However, budget travelers should avoid cruising around Christmas or Thanksgiving, when rates spike. Instead, sail in January for the best deals — though it might be chilly for the first night or two at sea.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November, and peaks in September. To be safe from the threat of hurricanes, we recommend sailing in April or May. Accordingly, cruise fare from Charleston tends to be lower in September — and if your itinerary is canceled because of bad weather, Carnival issues a 100% credit to cruise another time.

Getting to the port for your cruise from Charleston

The Charleston cruise port is located at 196 Concord Street — in the heart of the historic district. If you’re driving yourself, there’s parking available nearby for $20 per day.

If you’re coming from Charleston International Airport, expect a 20- to 30-minute drive, depending on traffic. Hail a taxi, or call an Uber or Lyft. Here’s what you can expect to pay for each:

  • Uber and Lyft. $20 to 25.
  • Taxi. About $41.

Carnival offers a shuttle from the Charleston airport to the cruise terminal, but fare is $31.99 per person — each way. So families with kids could end up paying more than $100 each way to ride the shuttle.

Bottom line

From Charleston, cruise to a huge array incandescent island locations, whether you’re looking for a quick four-night escape or are looking to sail away for a longer getaway. Whatever your plans, check for discounts and deals before booking.

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