It was a magical moment at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA, on Saturday when Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told the crowd that Disney Cruise Line will add a seventh ship to its fleet. D23 Expo is organized by the Official Disney Fan Club.
The 135,000-grt vessel will be built at Meyer Werft in Germany and launched in 2022. Last year, Disney Cruise Line had announced it will build two other ships at Meyer Werft. Those are slated to launch in 2021 and 2023.
The fifth, sixth and seventh vessels will have 1,250 guest staterooms and will be slightly larger than the line's 130,000-grt Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
"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,” Chapek said.
“By the time all three new ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our existing fleet," he emphasized.
Ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development. What is known is that the three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Michelle Fee, co-founder and CEO, Cruise Planners, Coral Springs, FL, said: "It's always good for the cruise industry when a new ship is announced. There are so many travelers that haven't tried cruising, so it helps to keep reminding them why they should eventually give it a try. We know [that] once they have, they will sail again and again."
Disney Cruise Line first took to water in 1998. The line's first two vessels, the 83,000-grt, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, are its smallest vessels. The larger Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy followed in 2011 and 2012.
With those vessels, the line introduced such features as AquaDuck, an water ride in clear tubing around the top deck, as well as virtual portholes in interior staterooms. Disney promises the new ships will also have innovations and new features.