Charleston, South Carolina - American, USA & Canada Cruises

Nestled on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast, the colonial port of Charleston is the oldest city in the state and claims to be one of America’s loveliest. Originally an important seaport and major slave trading centre, today the cobblestone streets of Charleston’s large downtown district are lined with tall, narrow houses flaunting ornate iron balconies, wooden shutters and shaded porches - timeless features of southern architecture.

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Our Ships

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Christened by her namesake, Her Majesty The Queen in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth is the newest Cunard ship and the third to bear the name. Modern and spacious, she has everything you’d wish for on board.

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

The newly Remastered Queen Mary 2 is the epitome of a luxury liner. The flagship of the Cunard fleet offers the last word in travel luxury – from the largest ballroom at sea to the sumptuous Commodore Club.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria is exactly what a Cunard ship should be. She’s sleek and contemporary, with a traditional red and black exterior. Inside is all about warmth and luxury, privacy and comfort.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Middleton Place & Charleston

    Discover the charm of Middleton Place, a national historic landmark, combined with an overview of Charleston.

    Middleton Place & Charleston

    Built in 1755, Middleton Place is an 18th century plantation that has been carefully preserved and is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens.

    A guided tour will take you through the remaining wing of the house, furnished with heirlooms from the Middleton family who have played an important part in America’s history. You’ll have the opportunity to stroll through the magnificent formal gardens with its rare camellias, azaleas, magnolias and ancient oak trees. The Stable Yard, a living outdoor museum, offers an insight into the lives of plantation workers in the 18th century and you’ll see exhibits of animals, artefacts and local crafts. At the end of your visit, you may wish to browse the gift shop for a souvenir of your visit.

    Your return drive will take you through Charleston, passing by scenic Ashely Road to view the beautiful homes along Murray Boulevard and East Battery including Rainbow Row. Your city drive will also show you the ‘four corners of the law’, featuring St Michael’s Episcopal Church, City Hall, the State Court House and the Federal Court House.

    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves approximately 1¾ hours of leisurely walking. There are also steps to negotiate at Middleton Place to access the 2nd floor of the house. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised.

    Tour code

    CHS_019

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Magnolia Gardens

    Magnolia Gardens are described as one of the most beautifully romantic gardens in the world with over 325 years of history.

    Magnolia Gardens

    Magnolia Gardens were once a great cypress swamp area and prior to the war days were turned into these now beautiful gardens by Rev John Drayton. They have now been in the Drayton family for over 3 centuries and each generation takes pride in expanding the gardens and adding to their variety.

    After spending time walking the numerous paths the gardens have to offer, you’ll board your open-sided tram for an hour-long tour of the swamp areas. Here, in their natural environment, you’ll have the opportunity to perhaps spot alligators, turtles and egrets. You never know what you may see in these natural wetlands and marshes.

    Enjoy some free time to visit the petting zoo. The owners work with local animal rescue groups to provide a home to orphaned deer, raccoons and birds. A wonderful tour to experience some truly natural gardens and swamps.

    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking included in the gardens on flat natural paths.

    Tour code

    CHS_010

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Walk The Walled City

    Do the Charleston walk and let your guide show you the delights of the city.

    Walk The Walled City

    Discover a bygone era with a walk around the historic district with its hidden alleys and cobblestoned streets spanning 300 years of history. Stroll with your knowledgeable guide down lovely streets and lanes and view the marvellous architecture of homes built more than a century ago. Peek into the lush private gardens of this quaint old city and breathe the aroma of tea olive and Magnolia. Originally settled by the British in 1670, by 1704 Charleston was a walled city built in the European style with houses constructed intimately close together.

    During your walk, you will learn about the unique relaxed culture of this grand old place as you gaze at beautiful historic homes and buildings which have stood the test of time. Within what was the walled city, you’ll stroll past stately historic churches, the Dock Street Theatre, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon and many other historic points of interest.

    This tour is conducted entirely on foot to and from the quayside. Pavements can be slightly uneven in parts.

    Tour code

    CHS_006

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    2 hours

  • Charleston Carriage Ride

    Hop aboard a carriage and enjoy the sights of Charleston, a seaport that has remained the cradle of southern history and charm.

    Charleston Carriage Ride

    Originally settled by the British in 1670, Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the few cities in North America that can boast a wealth of history and elegance. Take a leisurely ride through narrow streets and alleyways as you’re carried past carefully restored 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. Your knowledgeable guide relates 300 years of history to the accompaniment of the clip clopping of hooves along the road. The scent of tea olive from nearby gardens lingers in the air while you capture images of Charleston during this relaxing scenic tour.

    This tour will operate by carriage and on foot. Guests are advised that they are required to walk half a block to the carriage loading area as the horses are not allowed into the docks. To board the carriage there is a large step up. The carriages are 16 seat surreys drawn by two horses or mules

    Tour code

    CHS_003

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    1 hour

  • Charleston Tea Plantation

    Discover the Charleston Tea Plantation on a guided tour and trolley ride, and sample an American classic tea.

    Charleston Tea Plantation

    Situated in the heart of the Low Country of South Carolina, on a stretch of land known as Wadmalaw Island, is the Charleston Tea Plantation. Connected to the mainland by bridge, the island is just 10 miles long and six miles wide and offers the ideal climate for propagating tea.

    Setting off from the port, you’ll take a scenic drive passing by beautiful marshlands and through lovely oak-shaded roads. En-route, your knowledgeable guide will provide an interesting commentary on the large plantations that once occupied the area. Upon arrival at the plantation, you’ll enjoy a fascinating audio visual tour of the Tea Factory and learn first hand how tea is made. Discover how tea planters brought their finest tea bushes from China, India, and Ceylon to the South Carolina Low Country more than 100 years ago, and how the plantation was established. You’ll also take an informative and enjoyable narrated trolley ride though the tea fields. During your visit, there will be an opportunity to try a sample of the tea and perhaps purchase a souvenir from the gift shop.

    Afterwards, sit back and relax and enjoy more of the countryside surroundings on the return drive to the port.

    This excursion will operate by coach, trolley and on foot. This tour involves a moderate level of walking over relatively flat ground, including some steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    CHS_018

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Patriots Point

    Enjoy exploring the world’s largest naval and maritime collection.

    Patriots Point

    Have your camera at the ready en-route to Patriots Point, as you’ll pass by the Cold War Submarine Memorial featuring the actual sail and rudder of the USS Lewis and Clark.

    Upon arrival visit aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the famous fighting lady of World War II. At nearly 900 feet in length and weighing more than 27,000 tonnes, the ship known as ‘The Fighting Lady’ played an invaluable role in World War II as well as in the Vietnam War. It has even earned a place in space exploration history with the recovery of NASA’s Apollo 8 crew in 1968.

    The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum on board USS Yorktown provides an interactive experience to tell the story of the nation’s highest honour for valour.

    You will also see the Vietnam Naval Support Base with its Sea Cobra Helicopter and Huey Helicopters; and the USS Laffey a World War II Destroyer.

    To complete your tour, why not experience what it is like to fly in an F/A 18 by taking a ride in a Navy Flight Simulator.

    There are steps to negotiate to board the USS York Town and steps into the Charleston Naval Shipyard Museum located on the aircraft carrier. In order to fully explore the interiors of all vessels, passengers will be required to negotiate steep ladders, narrow passageways and narrow doorways.

    Tour code

    CHS_009

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Charming Charleston Panoramic

    Tour Charleston, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the south.

    Charming Charleston Panoramic

    Charleston has an abundance of beautiful stately homes with lush manicured gardens, magnificent public buildings and majestic churches.

    Sit back and enjoy the changing scenery as you drive through the 18th and 19th century districts. En-route you will pass by the College of Charleston, founded in 1770 and the oldest educational institution south of Virginia. Travelling through Harleston Village you will see the streets are all named after prominent men of the period, from England and the Province. The city also has a strong military background with The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and the famous Battery with its elegant town houses built by the wealthy planters and merchants of the day. Enjoy a brief photograph stop at the Battery and admire Hampton Park, with its 60 acres of parkland and ancient Oaks lining the pathways.

    Before returning to the ship, you will see the intersection known as the ‘Four Corners of the Law’, due to the institutions representing federal, state, local and ecclesiastical law. St Michael’s Episcopal Church stands on the south east corner, on the north east is Charleston City Hall, to the north west is the County Courthouse and on the south west is the US Post Office, and federal Courthouse.

    This tour will operate by coach. Guests must be able to negotiate steps on to and off the coach. /strong>

    Tour code

    CHS_014

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    2 hours

  • The Ghosts of Charleston Walking Tour

    Discover the history and ghostly tales of Charleston on this fascinating walking tour.

    The Ghosts of Charleston Walking Tour

    The town of Charleston has a rich history and is abound with stories of ‘Charleston Ghosts’, many of which the Charlestonians firmly believe exist. Whether you do or don’t believe in ghosts, by the end of this tour a decision may be made for you!

    Your walk will take you through part of Charleston’s 18th and 19th century historic district. As you stroll through some of the areas where the ‘local’ ghosts are believed to reside, your guide will regale you with the ghostly goings on and tales of paranormal experiences. Discover stories of movements in the shadows, unexplained noises, and the smell of tobacco and brimstone being experienced.

    After your ghostly experience, your walk will take you back to the ship.

    This excursion will operate on foot. Whilst this tour is not designed to frighten but rather to fascinate, it is not suitable for children under the age of 6. It is not a ghost watching tour and is aimed at providing an insight into the ghost stories and their background only. This tour involves 1 1/2 hours of walking over varying terrain including cobbled streets, steps and some slight inclines. Please bring along an umbrella or jacket in case of rain. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    CHS_017

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    1½ hours