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Monday, April 26, 2010 - 3:37am

Cruise Line May Not Land In Savannah

A spokesperson for Jacksonville's port authority says, officials in Savannah are premature to suggest a Carnival cruise ship might be looking to jump ports.

The Carnival cruise ship Fascination currently docks in Jacksonville in a space the Jacksonville port authority has given to the shipping giant Hanjin.

Efforts to build a new cruise ship terminal there have been slow.

That's led some to suggest an opportunity for Savannah, should Carnival look to port the 2,000 passenger Fascination elsewhere.

Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas has been leading the push for the cruise ship industry in Savannah.

"If Carnival is considering leaving Jacksonville, we would be very interested in Savannah in talking to them," Thomas says. "Maybe this is an opportunity for Savannah."

Jacksonville port spokesman Nancy Rubin says, any talk of the Fascinating leaving is speculation.
She believes Carnival will stay.

"The intention is to keep cruise in Jacksonville," Rubin says. "We're strongly committed to our cruise business."

Rubin denies Jacksonville is foot-dragging in building its cruise customer a new terminal.

She says, there have been challenges, especially the economy.

"It is a complicated process with a lot of questions yet to be answered," Rubin says. "We're hard at work answering those questions."

If the Fascination left Jacksonville for Savannah, it would be the first major cruise ship to call on the Georgia coast.

Savannah has been seeking to build a cruise ship industry in recent years.

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