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DISNEY CRUISE LINE TO BUILD A TRIO OF NEW CRUISE SHIPS

DISNEY CRUISE LINE TO BUILD A TRIO OF NEW CRUISE SHIPS

The current, four ship Disney Cruise Line will almost double in size by 2021, after the line comfirmed that it has placed firm orders fior a trio of new builds from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The new ships are expected to come on line for the company in 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. Though no actual size has yet been confimred, it seems likely that the new ships will be slightly larger than the 100,000 ton mark.

An announcment was expected regarding new builds, but most informed guesses suggested another new pair of ships, rather than a trio. The simple truth is that Disney is looking at expanding it's core market, and the present, four ship fleet can be quite thinly stretched during the peak summer seasons in both Europe and the USA.

Thse new ships will emerge at almost exactly the same time as the three new ships being constructed in Italy for start up Virgin Cruises, and will be aimed at pretty much the same market; that of families and multi generational groups of friends. And, like many other lines these days, the temptation for Disney to base a ship out in the Far East must be pretty big, especially bearing in mind the success of the company's theme parks in that part of the world.

But while the Virgin ships look like something out of the space age, Disney has typically opted for a 'retro' look for it's ships, with a sharp prow, cruiser stern, and a pair of large, raked funnels. The attempt from the start was to deliberatly evoke memories of the great transatlantic liners, and from early artistsic renderings, it appears that the new Disney ships will stick very much to that script, albeit on a slightly larger scale than the last pair, Dinsey Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The dawn of these new ships will give Disney enough tonnage to put a ship in both the summer Baltic and Mediterranean markets at the same time- something hitherto impossible for a company that also likes to concentrate on it's core business of short cruises from Florida to the Bahamas. Those short trips were always sold with an option to stay at Walt Disney World, and have been hugely successful.

With these new ships coming on line, plus the Virgin trio, competition for the family market will now be keener than ever. The one thing that it should all translate into is a series of better bargain prices,and that can't be a bad thing for travellers in the end.

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