Walt Disney Company plans to expand its successful cruise business by
adding two new ocean liners, President and CEO Bob Iger announced today.
Scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012, the ships will more than double
the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â® to meet the sustained
demand for Disney’s family cruise vacations.
company signed a letter of intent with Meyer Werft shipyard, based in
Papenburg, Germany, to negotiate a contract to build the 122,000-ton
new cruise liners, which will be two decks taller than the existing
83,000-ton ships, the Disney MagicÃ‚Â® and the Disney WonderÃ‚Â®.
Each ship will have 1,250 staterooms. Specific design plans and itineraries
for the yet-unnamed ships are still in development and will be unveiled
at a later date.
our maiden voyage in 1998, the Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â® has been a huge
success for our guests and for our shareholders alike,Ã¢â‚¬Â Iger said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It has brought our unparalleled family vacation experience to
the high seas, and has also generated high margins and double digit
returns on invested capital. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re excited to announce the expansion
of our fleet, which is a logical next step in what is a real growth
business for us.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cruise LineÃ‚Â® established the family market within the cruise industry
when the business launched in 1998. The first two ships were purpose
built for families to reconnect and recharge while creating vacation
memories that will last a lifetime. From a theater featuring live musical
spectaculars to a luxurious spa for adults and nearly an entire deck
dedicated to childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s activities, the ships offer something for
every member of the family. Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â® continues to grow
by attracting passengers who say they would not have cruised if it hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t
been for the Disney brand.
on families has been smart business for us,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jay Rasulo, Chairman
of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Ã¢â‚¬Å“More than 95 percent of Disney
Cruise LineÃ‚Â® guests rate their cruise experience as excellent or
very good. Families know they can trust us to provide a quality, immersive
Disney experience. As a result, Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â® continually
sets sail with the highest load factors in the industry of nearly 150
to the original Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â® ships, the new ships will be
a modern interpretation of classic ocean liners of the 1930s. Disney
Imagineers drew their inspiration from the original trans-Atlantic ships
that featured a dramatic black hull with two funnels and porthole windows.
The profile of the ships, with its gentle curves at the stern combined
with sleek angles at the bow, are reminiscent of the art deco designs
of the era. To add whimsy to the classic design, the Disney ships have
the same exterior color palette as Mickey Mouse with black, white, red
and yellow. The new ships will feature elegant, detailed Disney scrollwork
at the bow and will evoke images of the glamour of the golden age of
McAlpin, the President of Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â®, said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This
is an exciting time for Disney Cruise LineÃ‚Â®, and we are looking
forward to working with Meyer Werft to blend our innovation and creativity
with their fine craftsmanship. Meyer Werft has a long tradition of building
magnificent ships. We are confident that the result will be ships that
take the immersive Disney family-focused cruise experience to an entirely
Cruise LineÃ‚Â®, which traditionally offers 3-, 4- and 7-night Caribbean
cruises, has also enjoyed strong demand for new itineraries. Trips to
the Mediterranean and to the West Coast have recently set booking records
within the company and booked 30-50 percent faster than the existing
itineraries at higher prices.
a larger fleet, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have greater flexibility to offer a variety
of itineraries,Ã¢â‚¬Â Rasulo said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a business that our
guests love, and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re pleased to give them more options to explore
the world with Disney with two new ships.Ã¢â‚¬Â