This Week in Cruise: New Ship Updates From Disney, Seabourn and Viking

disney cruise lineDisney Cruise Line's big order for two new ships capped a run of new ship updates from major lines in the cruise industry this week. 

Thursday the Walt Disney Company announced that it had entered into a memorandum of agreement with Meyer Werft in Germany that calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023. The ships will be slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, with plans to include about 1,250 guest staterooms. Plans for amenities, names and itineraries are still in development. 

In terms of new ships under construction, Seabourn's upcoming Seabourn Encore just passed another big milestone as the ship touched water for the first time. 

Following a traditional ceremony to commemorate the occasion, the ship floated out from its dry dock to its outfitting dock at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy, where it will undergo final construction until the ship is delivered at the end of 2016. 

The ship, designed by major hospitality industry figure Adam D. Tihany, is meant to build on the line's Odyssey-class ships, which launched between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn said the Seabourn Encore will have a staff-to-guest ratio close to one-to-one, one additional deck and expanded public areas over the Odyssey class, and a private veranda for every suite. The ship is expected to have a capacity of 600 guests based on double occupancy. 

Finally, Viking River Cruises launched some new Longships of its own -- six of them. At a waterfront christening ceremony in Amsterdam, the line honored six travel partners by naming them godmothers to the new ships. 

Four of the new ships will be deployed on Viking’s most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, while the remaining two will sail the Seine River on Viking’s Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary. Later this month, Viking will also debut a seventh new river ship for 2016, Viking Osfrid. That ship will be specifically built for the Douro River, bringing the company’s total number of ships in Portugal to three.

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