Port Canaveral Reups with Disney, Likely Lands Freedom of the Seas

Disney Cruise Line has extended its current contract with Port Canaveral through 2023, meaning its two new ships, scheduled to enter the market in 2011 and 2012, will call the port home. The port also has announced that it expects to finalize an agreement within the next few months with Royal Caribbean to homeport Freedom of the Seas.

As part of the agreement with Disney, the Canaveral Port Authority will expand and modify Disney Cruise Line?s port facility by extending the dock, upgrading the terminal building to allow for more passenger capacity and building a new parking structure. The new enhancements are aimed at providing cruisers a more seamless transition from ground to ship and are necessary to accommodate the new bigger ships, which, at 124,000 tons apiece, are bigger than Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the line?s two current ships.

Since the line?s inception, more than 3.5 million Disney Cruise Line passengers have sailed from Port Canaveral.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean?s letter of intent to deploy Freedom of the Seas to Port Canaveral in May 2009 would make the ship, listed at 160,000 tons, the largest ever to homeport there. (DE)

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