CHICAGO (AP) — Disney Cruise Line announced Thursday that it is building two new ships.
The new vessels are scheduled to be completed in 2021 and 2023. They will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
The new ships will each have about 1,250 staterooms, and will be slightly larger than Disney's newest ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The company has two other ships as well, Disney Magic, and its first ship, Disney Wonder, which launched in 1998.
Design plans, ship names and itineraries for the new vessels are still in development. The announcement was made Thursday by Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger in Chicago at the annual meeting of company shareholders. The new vessels will be Disney's first ships since Disney Fantasy launched in 2012.
Disney ships are loaded with company branding, including activities, shows, decor and venues all themed on Disney characters and story lines. But they're also known for innovation, like virtual portholes in windowless staterooms that provide real-time views of the sea using video technology. That concept has since been copied elsewhere in the cruise industry. And while families are the cruise line's natural fan base, the ships also attract cruisers traveling without children.
In the most recent batch of annual awards from CruiseCritic.com, Disney Cruise Line won 11 first-place awards, including, for Disney Dream, wins in the categories of best overall large ship, best for families, best cabins and best public rooms.
"Disney is consistently rated one of the top cruise lines on Cruise Critic by our members, and it's a line known for moving the needle with new and state-of-the-art features, so we expect the same high quality touches and focus on innovation will be incorporated on the new ships as well," said Colleen McDaniel, managing editor of CruiseCritic.com.