There was never a single aha! moment. It was more like a slow-growing realization.

But, as the calendar turned from 2019 to a new year, the State Ports Authority knew its plans for building a state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal and inking a long-term deal with Carnival Cruise Line for year-round voyages leaving Union Pier Terminal in downtown Charleston weren’t going to happen.

The authority, which owns and operates the Port of Charleston, had battled environmentalists and historic preservationists for years over the new terminal plans. Legal challenges at both the state and federal level were grinding their way through the courts.


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