Celebrity continues to embrace a “drive-in-ports” embarkation strategy as it announces it will launch sailings from Charleston for the first time. The cruise line, which has already scheduled voyages out of Baltimore -- another East Coast port -- will dispatch Galaxy to Charleston for a handful of 10- and 11-night Caribbean cruises. Sailings begin on December 3 and run through March 7 (2003) and offer alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.
Carnival Cruises pioneered the “drive-in-ports” strategy years ago in an effort to widen embarkation/disembarkation options in order to appeal to travelers who want to drive to, rather than fly to, cruises. Carnival's long gone beyond the traditional Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and New York options -- by gradually placing its ships in numerous seaboard port cities. These include Newport News, Va., Charleston, S.C., New Orleans, Houston/Galveston, and Pt. Canaveral.
Royal Caribbean, like sister Celebrity, is also promoting drive-to ports, sailing from New Orleans and Houston/Galveston, for instance.