Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) first set sail with its Disney Cruise Line in 1998, providing a family cruise vacation combined with the magic of the Mouse House. Now the company announced that it is adding a couple additional ships to its fleet.
Disney entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023.
Each new ship will be roughly 135,000 gross tons — slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships — and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms. While design plans, ship names and itineraries are still in development, the Walt Disney Imagineering team already is dreaming up exciting new ways to create the world’s most magical oceangoing adventures.
Previously Disney launched a couple of ships in 2011 and 2012, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy respectively. At that time the company introduced several firsts for the industry, including a water coaster at sea (AquaDuck) and virtual portholes in interior staterooms (Magical Portholes) that provide real-time views of the sea as well as sightings of animated Disney characters.
Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney, commented on the addition:
We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world.
Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, added:
The expansion of Disney Cruise Line only adds to our excitement for the unprecedented growth taking place across our vacation destinations, from new Star Wars experiences coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the grand opening of our newest park, Shanghai Disney Resort.
Shares of Disney were trading up 1% at $98.00 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $108.39 and a 52-week trading range of $86.25 to $122.08.