Lower the gangway…in Savannah?

Savannah is looking to expand its already considerable credentials when it comes to tourism by looking into having cruise ships visit Georgia’s First City.

City Alderman Tony Thomas (who is still alive) is leading the effort to ask the General Assembly to fund a study into cruise ships for the city’s famed waterfront.

“When you look at the potential of thousands of people coming to the city, I think all of that adds into entrepreneurial business and job creation,” Thomas says.

More from those good folks over at Georgia Public Broadcasting.


  1. Lawton Sack says:

    Interesting idea. I like that people are thinking outside of the box during this economic downturn. It sounds like there are some legitimate concerns to think about, but I am sure that Savannah would do it in class.

    The nearest ports of departure are Charleston, SC and Jacksonville, FL. Obviously neither is in Georgia, so I think it is feasible to at least look at having cruise ships stop in Georgia. It would benefit Savannah and the entire state.

    I would think that people would also fly into the airport at Savannah and then take cabs or shuttles to the cruise dock, which helps the businesses tied in with the airport and transportation.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Sounds good. Besides would you rather sail from Jacksonville or historic, fascinating Savannah?

      If we ever get the money (maybe around 2020) we could get I-16 lengthened to I-185 (Columbus) and then to Opelika, AL where it would pick up I-85, then continue due west to (I-20) Meridian, MS. For a few hundred miles of roadway, Savannah, south Georgia and Middle Georgia would have an interstate all of the way to Los Angeles.

      Macon, Montgomery, meridian and Jackson (MS) are almost on a straight line. It could increase the viability of manufacturing and assembly in the mid and southern parts of the state and relieve some of the through traffic that paralyzes Atlanta.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        Sorry, I meant to point out that the roadway makes Savannah an even better port option in many cases than Jacksonville which has I-10.

        • Lawton Sack says:

          I agree. I don’t know why our major port city of Savannah is not connected to Columbus and Valdosta by interstates.

          My grandparents lived in Columbus when I was growing up and we made a lot of trips from Statesboro to Columbus. I have been back a few times since they passed away, and I can definitely say that GA-96 has made it a lot more tolerable to travel.

  2. C.G. says:

    This sounds like a great idea. I think the possibility of having commuter rail out to Savannah (in the very distant future) would sync well with this plan. Docking in Savannah and having the opportunity to see the historic areas of Savannah while also exploring the state would be a great economic boon to Georgia and expand tourism outside of Atlanta.

  3. Rick Day says:

    Organized crime will love this move.

    In Key West, Duval Street is infested with Israeli Mafia selling jacked up priced souvenir apparel to unwary tourists. Even I have been a victim of the physical strong arm intimidating tactics, forced to pay 20 times its real worth due to ‘language mis-communication’ .

    Just like military towns like Ft Hood/Killeen, there are two tiers of pricing for everything, from restaurants to shopping: when the boat is in dock, and when the boat is not in dock.

    Savannah deserves the same! Then we can call it Seedy Savannah.

    • drjay says:

      there are already plenty of unwary tourists being solicited on river st. as it is, i think sav’h will be fairly safe from an influx of israeli mafioso…

      incidently tony is a great guy and has been working on the cruise ship sav’h idea for quite a while now…sav’h is a great fit for this kinda opportunity

  4. jaybrd21 says:

    Question? Why does the General Assembly have to fund the study?Savannah’s business’s (Tourism & Trade) will be the main benefit. Shouldn’t it should be their responsibility?

    • drjay says:

      i’m not completely sure but my guess on the state involvement revolves around the port authority (which is a state agency) and all the commercial shipping traffic and the impact one would have on the other…

  5. TheeArgus says:

    Pete…I find your “joke” about Alderman Tony Thomas still being “alive” very inappropriate. I have immediate family who works at the Sugar Refinery and the Tony who passed away was a very close friend of the family. He is missed daily. He was a great man and well respected. There is no humor in bringing that back up now. It’s actually kind of classless. It happened two years ago. Yes, they shared a name. However, those wounds are still healing. It’d be nice if you kept the post to the politics of the situation and stopped trying so hard to be “crafty” with your loveboat and name misunderstanding. Thanks.

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