ORLANDO, Fla. – On the third and last day of Disney’s D23 Expo, the company not only shared big news from Disney theme parks but from its cruise line.
The company said their cruise line is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic but according to a cruise expert, the industry is seeing a comeback in bookings after the CDC guidelines became less strict.
“Getting an additional ship, especially a Disney ship, you know, is gonna generate a lot of interest; it’s gonna bring a lot of people to the area,” Stewart Chiron, a cruise line expert told News 6.
The Walt Disney Company presented its sixth cruise ship, called Disney Treasure, to Disney fans with a first look at a video that featured Peter Pan flying over the cruise ship. The Disney Treasure will weigh 135,000 tons and feature 1,250 staterooms. The new ship is expected to set sail in 2024.
It’s still not known where the new ship will call home, but cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron said history shows any time a new ship comes to Port Canaveral, it means big business. That includes the Disney Wish, which set sail from Port Canaveral this past summer.
“For Port Canaveral, it’s significant because it’s a newer larger ship with all the latest amenities,” Chiron said. “The overall economic impact of a cruise ship into a major port like Canaveral will generate $1 to $1.5 million every time a ship comes in.”
The announcement from Disney comes as a dream come true for the company after the cruise industry suffered greatly from the effects of the pandemic with strict CDC guidelines that have now eased for passengers.
“I’ve done 20 cruises since the restart in June of 2021 and as those restrictions were lifted the ships continued to get fuller,” Chiron said.
It’s an industry that Chiron said isn’t going away and is only seeing more demand. Chiron said prior to the pandemic cruise lines were experiencing record booking levels and he expects to see those levels once again now that consumer confidence is high.
“2022 to 2023 is well ahead of where 2019 was and it’s only getting better. As the cruise lines continue to reach 100% of their ships being in service, the occupancies are certainly heading back to normal,” he said.
For the Disney company, returning to normal sailing also means a new destination. Renderings shown at the D23 Expo gave fans a glimpse of a new island vacation spot located in the Bahamas called Lighthouse Point.
The Disney Treasure will be designed with a brand-new concept unlike anything Disney Cruise Line has done before — adventure being the main theme.