Disney Cruise Line began construction on two new ships today with a steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The ships are scheduled for completion in 2011 and 2012.
“When we launched our business in 1998, we recognized a need in the marketplace for a cruise experience created just for families,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations. “With these new ships, we are continuing to build upon that vision of providing more families with an unforgettable cruise vacation and the chance to explore new destinations with Disney.”
The first piece of steel cut for the new ships was part of the art deco inspired scrollwork that will grace the bow of the ships. Similar to the scrollwork on the Disney Cruise Line ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the intricate pattern is reminiscent of the classic ocean liners of the 1930s, designed to reflect the glamour of the golden age of cruising with added touches of Disney whimsy, such as the Mickey Mouse medallion in the center of the design.
Since finalizing a contract with the Meyer Werft shipyard to build the two new ships, Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney Imagineering have created a truly distinctive design for the new ships. Over the next few years, construction will continue, bringing the design to reality. The design details will be unveiled at a later date.
Holz noted that the fleet expansion will more than double the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line. Each ship will have 1,250 staterooms and will weigh 128,000 tons. Similar to the existing ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the new ships will be purpose built with families in mind, with specially designed areas and activities for each member of the family. The focus is to provide a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and kids can immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create.
The Disney Magic primarily sails seven-night cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean and, beginning in the spring of 2010, will embark on a season of limited itineraries exploring Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.