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Best Tourism Scoop 

Abigail Darlington Interviews Carnival Cruise Lines’ CEO

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It was a busy year for tourism reporting. Cops were busting pedicab drivers for allegedly giving illegal historic tours, the late-night bar debate was raging, and the city was cracking down on AirBnB rental hosts. And all the while, preservationists, environmentalists, and downtown residents kept up a steady chorus of opposition against the arrival of cruise ships in the Charleston harbor. They’ve been calling on city officials to cap the number of ship arrivals per year and require them to plug into onshore power rather than idle their massive engines at the dock. Enter Abigail Darlington, Post and Courier reporter and former City Paper intern. When Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald paid a visit to the Holy City in January this year, Darlington scored an exclusive interview in which Donald made the case for his company’s ships. Donald explained the steps his company had taken to ensure that it exceeded antipollution standards, and he even made a surprising statement: he’s not especially concerned about the completion date of a new-and-improved Union Pier terminal. “The existing terminal is small. It’s small, even for the size ship we have here, the Fantasy. And it is aging,” Donald said. “But we go to 700 ports in the world, and they’re not all new and beautiful.”


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