Bob Iger Announces Two New Disney Cruise Ships Launching in 2021 & 2023

During today’s Walt Disney Company Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Bob Iger revealed that Disney Cruise Line will be expanding their cruise ship fleet with the addition of “two more phenomenal ships”. Meyer Werft in Germany will build Disney Cruise ship #5 which will launch in 2021 and Disney Cruise ship #6 will follow in 2023.

The new ships will have about 1,250 staterooms and will be around 135,000 gross tons, slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Below is a closer look at the renderings of the newly announced Disney Cruise ships along with the current fleet.

DCL Ship 5 Ship 6

DCL Ship Expansion 2016 2021 2023

At this time, this is all the information that has been made available. Well, other than the rumors that have been ebbing and flowing over the last few years. New pages have been added to the site for Ship #5 and Ship #6. As information becomes available we will pass it along.

Full Disney Cruise Line Press Release

The leader in family cruising will grow its award-winning fleet with imaginative innovations that are uniquely fun and distinctly Disney

CHICAGO (March 3, 2016) – The Walt Disney Company announced plans today to build two additional cruise ships, each of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver.

The company has 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.

“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,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

Each new ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tons – slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – 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 is already dreaming up exciting new ways to create the world’s most magical oceangoing adventures.

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has provided a quintessential family cruise vacation experience that combines the magic of Disney with the thrill of exploring different parts of the world. Guests step aboard majestic and beautiful ocean liners to enjoy legendary Disney entertainment, exquisite dining, spacious and well-appointed staterooms and magnificent public spaces.

The company also has been an industry leader in innovation and game-changing creativity. With the launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in 2011 and 2012, 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.

Plans for the expansion of Disney Cruise Line come during a period of momentous growth and innovation for Disney properties around the globe.

“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,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

More details about the Disney Cruise Line fleet expansion and onboard offerings will be announced at a later date.

You May Also Enjoy:

70 thoughts on “Bob Iger Announces Two New Disney Cruise Ships Launching in 2021 & 2023

  1. Gina

    I am so curious as to where the home ports will be and where these new ships will sail! It would be so awesome to get a ship permanently on the west coast. Also, some new and exotic ports would be great!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      If I remember correctly, they’re contracted to have their newest ships at PC. So if they put anything on the west coast, it’d be the Dream or Fantasy.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        That was for the Dream and Fantasy only. The contract runs out in 23 I think, and mentions the DReam and Fantasy by name for the first 5 years of the their service life. After that, it reverts to 2 DCL ships with a given amount of sailing. It was a ploy by the port to keep DCL there, and to get the port to pay the lions share of the upgrades. There was some other things there, and until one of the DCL bigwigs called the port president 1 on 1, DCL just about left PC.

        Reply
  2. Magen

    That is so exciting! I think I read somewhere that the Dream and The Fantasy had contracts with Port Canaveral that they had to sail out of that port for several years, is that true? If so, when is that contract up?

    Reply
    1. Dave F.

      That’s probably a non-issue. If Disney called up and said “Do you mind if we replace the Disney Dream with the Disney Yoda instead, I’m sure they’d agree.

      Reply
    1. Dennis C

      From what I understand the Chinese market is beginning to soften a bit. Europe and Australia may be more lucrative.

      Reply
  3. Vero

    West Coast! West Coast! I’d be perfectly happy- with the smaller/older ones, even- that’s permanently out of the West Coast. I hope Disney is listening 🙂

    Reply
  4. Pam

    A number of years ago just before the Dream and Fantasy launched, I recall hearing that DCL wanted larger ships to be able to sail across the Pacific Ocean over to Hawaii, the South Pacific and on to Asia. Considering the fact that Disney now has 3 theme parks over there, it makes perfect sense. To embark from a West Coast port and take guests over to Asia to experience the three Asian theme parks is completely logical, in my opinion. The other part of the equation is the expansion of the Panama Canal. I have been surprised that DCL has not tapped into those markets (except Hawaii) with either the Dream or Fantasy. Although I realize the current limitation of the Panama Canal, but with larger ships I think it’s entirely within DCL’s ability to offer longer cruises that sail around South America. So I clearly see that Disney will offer sailings of 14 days and longer over to those areas. The only bummer is that I see the longer cruises as being so much more expensive! I suppose I need to start saving now, huh? LOL

    Reply
    1. Pam

      My guess for names would be the Disney Wish with Tinkerbell as the atrium statue and the Disney Adventure with Peter Pan as the atrium statue! Both names could be used in clever marketing ads.

      Reply
        1. Jerrod

          I like those names! Or maybe Disney Inspiration? Super excited to wee what they come up with. Disney Imagineers definitely have the best imaginations!

          Reply
      1. Jay

        I thought of those two names and also something along the lines of Disney Imagine or Imagination.

        Tinkerbell is the Godmother of the Disney Wonder (the only fictional character to be so of any of the four ships), so not sure if they might choose to use her for a statue. However, I can see one more of Mickey’s friends or perhaps another Princess (Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Elsa, etc.).

        Or perhaps they use one of the Pixar characters.

        Whatever they choose, it will be exciting to see the ships built!

        Reply
      2. Grant

        Blue Fairy/Gepetto and Pinocchio for painting on the name. The Bow Mickey should be Tailor Mickey. Peter Pan could make a stern character for Disney Adventure with Mulan, Hercules, Aladdin in the lobby. Then for the Bow Mickey, him in either a pirate or Jungle Cruise-ish Skipper Costume.

        Reply
    2. BartmanLA

      After Mid 2016 the Panama Canal Expansion will allow ANY Disney Ship to transit the Panama Canal, so the Dream Fantasy and even the Magic will be able to go to the West Coast and Asian or Australian ports after the new ships come online. So we’ll see! Basing one on the West Coast makes a lot of sense, Disneyland is 30 Miles from the World Cruise Ship Terminal in San Pedro, CA (Los Angeles) so going to DL then on a cruise would make for a very fun vacation for many!

      Reply
  5. Dave F.

    Living in Maryland, I’ve seen Carnival and Royal Caribbean have plenty of ships leave from Baltimore. I’m hoping they move the Wonder or Magic to Baltimore and let the newer ships take their spots in the bigger ports.

    BTW, this extends my goal of cruising on all four ships (been in the Dream taking the Wonder this month)…now I need to take 4 more cruise instead of 2. Life is rough.

    Reply
    1. Jen

      I’m hoping that either the Wonder, Dream or Fantasy could come to Baltimore. That would be much easier for us Marylanders to get on either one without going to Port Canaveral. I like the Fantasy because it has the AquaDuck on it. I think that Captain Fabian (who is currently on the Wonder) should go on the Fantasy.

      Reply
  6. Dennis C

    Best guess is that the Wonder will call the West Coast home. Even with the expansion of the Panama Canal it can’t handle ships as large as the Dream or Fantasy. The West Coast is also underserved with limited options for sailings to Mexico and Hawaii.

    The rest of the fleet will likely remain sailing out of Florida and Galveston with the occasional foray into the Northeast out of New York (the New York cruises for this fall are all sold out).

    Expanding the fleet was long rumored and this would seem to indicate that DIsney Cruise Line is a net positive for DIsney’s bottom line.

    Reply
    1. Brent Bolte

      The new lock chambers of the Panama Canal are 1400 ft long, 180 ft wide and and 60 ft deep. They are more than large enough to fit the Fantasy and Dream which are 1115 ft in length, 137 ft wide and have an average draft (depth) of 29 ft. Probably would be large enough for the new ships as well. I think the big thing with moving those large ships through the Panama canal would be cost. I’ve been on two Panama Canal cruises on DCL and if I remember correctly the cost to go through the canal with those ships one way was in the 300 to 400 thousand dollar range.

      Reply
      1. Dennis C

        Ah, I hadn’t realized that it had been expended by that much. Even so, the Wonder seems like a natural fit since it already spends roughly a third of the year on the West Coast and can sail out of Seattle and Vancouver (mid-sized ships are pretty much the norm for Alaska sailings).

        Reply
    2. Ana Gaillat

      I agree that the Wonder doing Alaska in the summer and Hawaii in the winter makes sense.
      Even thought the new canal could accommodate the larger ships, Tracy Arm can not, and that is a big attraction!
      (and I would not mind more trips by sea to Aulani!!!)

      Reply
  7. Brian

    My prediction: 2 ships out of Port Canaveral for Bahamian and Carribean cruises, 1 ship alternating between Southern California and Vancouver for Pacific and Alaskan cruises, 1 ship in NY for Canada, Bermuda & Bahamian/Carribean cruises, 1 ship for TX & LA and 1 ship for the Far East. Which ship where? No idea.

    Reply
    1. Louise

      Sounds like a good plan! I would love a New Orleans embarkation! We did a cruise on the Wonder out of Galveston and it was awesome, but NOLA is closer drive for us 🙂 My daughter would go bananas if DCL went to Asia! Better buy more DVC points!

      Reply
  8. steven

    I’m so excited that there are going to be more ships.To the earlier post on Port Canaveral,Disney won’t move from that port cause that’s close to the Disney world and the Dream makes more money than the Fanatsy.Dream sails 2 times a week and Fanatsy 1 time a week. I think they are going to put 1 ship up north like New York or New jesery? They will spread out and there is a long term contract that was reached a few weeks back with port of Miami.

    Reply
    1. jleigh4

      I would love a NY based ship…. would make it very easy for me to get there being I am 2 hours out of NYC right now…. But it would also make sense… if you look at Royal Caribbean, carnival and NCL they are all putting their biggest ships in the NYC metro area…. with 3 major airports plus a wealth of stuff for people to do plus a massive density of people… it would make sense….. In addition, i know i would not be alone in paying a premium for a 7 day cruise out of the NYC area (port Liberty or NYC) if it means i do not need to fly or drive down to PC

      Reply
    2. Grant

      I would expect an expansion in European sailings. Disney has been sailing and using several different home ports in Europe. I think they have been testing. Maybe Med in Winter, Baltic/North Sea in Summer?

      Reply
  9. loriketcherside

    Did anyone else notice that the Aquaduck is missing on the art for the new ships? I realize it’s just concept art, but it is interesting.

    Reply
  10. Jack

    With the new ships coming in to the fleet in 2021 and 2023, It will be time to retire the magic and wonder. Once the first of the new ships enters the fleet, the magic will be 24 years old.

    Reply
    1. Dennis C

      Cruise ships are designed to be in service for a minimum of 50 years. Majesty of the Seas has been in service for Royal Caribbean since 1992 and the Carnival Fantasy has been in service for Carnival since 1990.

      At 24 years the Magic would still have a lot of years left in her for Disney Cruise Line and her overall design has ensured a cruising experience on par with anything else sailing today.

      Reply
    2. Ana Gaillat

      I don’t think that will happen, specially after the Mouse is sinking millions in retrofitting the Wonder in the fall. Both classic ships have a lot of life left in them, and the announcement picture shows all 6 sisters, so I think it’s an expansion and not a replacement

      Reply
  11. James

    My favorite comment so far was the ship getting named the Disney Yoda. That made me laugh. I’m picturing an all green ship. That would really align with the classy understated tones that they have had so far. Maybe the other one could be the Disney Jar-Jar Binks. Or maybe a gold ship and call it the Disney C3PO.

    Reply
  12. David Oakland

    My guess is the Disney Imagination – my son and I even submitted (about a year ago) some of the new innovative ideas they should put on the ship, now we’ll see if it comes to fruition…
    I wonder if they’ll go West Coast and use Disneyland as their marketable port like DisneyWorld is to Port Canaveral…. Although, there’s obviously no Disney Private Island on the West Coast. Hmmm….
    Disney Enchanted
    Disney Imagination

    Reply
  13. John Beck

    It is very unlikely that they will retire either the Magic or the Wonder. They won’t be that old by ship standards and thanks to their vigilant maintenance and constant updating they remain pretty fresh and attractive.

    And like Scott said, those renderings are just that, there is no way we’ll be able to discern ship features from them.

    Reply
  14. Linda

    I think they should name the 2 new ships, Wishes and the other Believe 2 new ships Wow that is great. Can not wait to book the first cruise on the 2021 ship.

    Reply
  15. Chris

    Looking at the little bit of specs that DCL is providing, the new ships almost seem like an improved Dream class. Same number of rooms, the only real difference is in weight. When I talked with Capt Henry about the shape of the Dream class, he explained that the shape comes from the way DCL worded their contract. They wanted a ship at 129000 tons, So long by so big with 1250 rooms. So the shape was dictated by contractual obligations. Now, assuming that the other dimensions stay the same, it seems to reason that the new ship, may not have that floating I beam look to them. They may look more along the lines of the classics.

    Reply
  16. John

    My guess is on the Disney Wish and Disney Imagination. I also think Disney is being very smart on the time frame of the 2 ships, because it gives the company time to tell just how popular the Chinese market really is. Assuming the new ships will sail out of PP…I see one ship probably the Disney Wonder Sailing out of Asia and the US west coast. The Disney Dream heads to Miami and Disney Fantasy Alternating between New York and Europe. And the Disney Magic sailing year round out of Galveston Tx.

    Reply
    1. Brendan

      When the new ships come into service and if dcl does what you thank they may do I hope that they do but if the Asia market is not that big then what would happen to the disney wonder

      Reply
  17. chris

    Firstly, I don’t like this. I worked on the Wonder some time ago and the one thing that made DCL stand out from the rest was the exclusivity. Every sailing was full and sold at full price. “Only” having two ships was special IMO. I loved DCL, I like it now, new ships make it indistinguishable from other larger lines…

    I think you will find the Wonder will do Alaska and Hawaii as is the case. A larger ship (either the Dream or Fantasy) will be permanently positioned in Europe with the other doing departures from various ports (NY, Texas, Miami, etc) – perhaps even ‘home porting’ on the West Coast for the summer. The Magic doing longer, more specialised itineraries (Australia, Asia etc.) . The new ships will do the Orlando departures – new ships = new product = extract more money from previous cruisers.

    Reply
    1. Chris

      Yes they can. The Oasis Class and there maybe 2 or 3 other classes that won’t make it but the Dream class definitely will.

      Reply
    1. Chris L

      I wouldn’t put too much stock into what the crew is saying about the names and whats going into or not going into the ships. I would agree that Wishes and Imagination are possible names, the people in the know would be Commodore Tom, whoever the Chief Engineer is over all of the engineers, and 200 Celebration Place. They would have direct hands on with the design of the new ships, and everything else in it.

      Reply
      1. Scott Sanders Post author

        I learned a long time ago to take any crew rumors with a grain of salt. I’ve even heard cases where rumors were made up just to see how far they would reach on the message boards. I try to keep things on the site grounded with some tangible source to collaborate the story. Obviously, this is not always possible, but plans can and often change leaving once true rumors purely fantasy.

        Reply
  18. Kristyy

    I know this announcement came out a long time ago, but it’s still so exciting! Taking an inaugural cruise would be a dream come true. If I’m a Gold Castaway Club member, do you think I’d stand a pretty good chance of being able to get on the first sailing? Just curious if you had any insider knowledge you could share!

    Reply
    1. Chris

      I booked the Fantasy’s several months after it came up for booking as a gold. There was still availibilty several months later. Maybe up to 6-8 months before the sailing. You should have no priblem. I would plan on booking though as as son as they open up the bookings so you get the best price. If they follow true to past Maidens, the deposit is non refundable.

      Reply

Leave a Reply