Disney Cruise Line announced that it has finalized a contract with Meyer Werft shipyard to build two new ships.
Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin and Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft shipyard of Papenburg, Germany, signed the contract in front of several hundred cheering cast members at a Disney Cruise Line cast gathering this morning.
“This is an exciting time at Disney Cruise Line, and we are looking forward to working with Meyer Werft to build two new innovative ships that will take our immersive family focused cruise experience to an entirely new level,” McAlpin said.
Plans to add two 124,000-ton ships to the fleet were announced in February when executives signed a letter of intent to negotiate a construction contract with Meyer Werft.
Scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012, the ships will more than double the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line to meet the sustained demand for Disney’s family cruise vacations.
The new ocean liners will be significantly larger than the existing 83,000-ton ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder with 1,250 staterooms each. Both ships will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Disney Cruise Line 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 children’s activities, the ships truly offer something for everyone.
Similar to the original Disney Cruise Line ships, the new ships will be modern interpretations 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 gentle curves at the stern combined with sleek angles at the bow, is reminiscent of the art deco designs of the era. To add whimsy to the classic design, the Disney ships feature the same exterior colors as Mickey Mouse, with a black, white, red and yellow palette. The new ships will feature elegant, detailed Disney scrollwork at the bow and evoke images of the glamour of the golden age of cruising.
Disney Cruise Line, which traditionally offers 3, 4 and 7 night Caribbean cruises, has enjoyed strong demand for new itineraries. Trips to the Mediterranean and to the West Coast have recently set booking records within the company.
“Expanding our fleet will give us the flexibility to offer a variety of itineraries in the future,” McAlpin said. “We are looking forward to taking our guests on new adventures to different parts of the world with Disney Cruise Line.”