Disney Cruise Lines is adding two new, even larger ships to its fleet, expanding its customer capacity by 2,500 additional floating guest rooms, the company announced Thursday.
Each new ship is expected to be about 135,000 gross tons, slightly bigger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, which were brought into service in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Design plans, ship names, and itineraries are still in development, though you can bet the Imagineering team is on it. The group of creative minds behind some of Disney’s most memorable experiences is “already dreaming up exciting new ways to create the world’s most magical oceangoing adventures,” the company said.
Disney Cruises is known for several cruise industry firsts, including the first roller coaster at sea and virtual portholes in interior staterooms that provide a live view of the ocean outside.
Disney ships have been traveling the seas since 1998, going to locations around the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada, Europe, and the Panama Canal. Until the Disney Dream launched, the cruise line operated with only two vessels with 875 cabins each. Customer capacity more than doubled when the Dream and Fantasy ships launched, and the two new vessels will boost capacity by about 50% again. Though, that won’t be very soon. The new ships are expected to be completed in 2021 and 2023.
The expansion comes as Disney (DIS) is making widespread efforts to grow its live entertainment offerings worldwide, such as the opening of its $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort set for this June.