Disney Fans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California were surprised with the announcement of a seventh ship for Disney Cruise Line. Last year, Disney had already announced plans to expand their fleet with two new ships and this will bring the total to seven.
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said:
“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” “By the time all three new ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our existing fleet.”
All ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development, with each of the ships expected to have their own unique experiences. The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and be the same size – approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms planned – which is slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
Disney Cruise Line’s current fleet of 4 ships, including the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy added in 2011 and 2012, predominantly sail from Port Canaveral, Florida which is strategically 45 minutes away from Disney World. With this major increase in capacity and almost doubling their fleet, it is likely that Disney Cruise Line will position a ship full-time in Miami, where they can capture a significant number of guests from Central & South America. Already, large groups from these regions regularly cruise from Miami and will be a key demographic for the line. It is also probable that another ship will be positioned on the West Coast in California either year-round or seasonally, to allow them to offer Land & Sea packages that include Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
All of Disney Cruise Line’s new ships will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The completion dates are scheduled for 2021, 2022 and 2023.