Disney Cruise Line has extended the suspension of all cruises until December 6th, 2020 and has confirmed the much-anticipated delay to the delivery of its new cruise ship Disney Wish.
The cruise line said that the extension of its pause in operations would facilitate its ongoing development of new health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic, while also giving it the flexibility to respond to any new directives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC’s No Sail Order for US-based cruise ships will expire at the end of this month, but with cases in the US continuing to grow, its widely expected that it will be extended.
Even if the CDC does not extend the ruling, the Cruise Lines International Association, of which Disney Cruise Line is a member, has voluntarily suspended all US cruises until the end of October.
The extension into December impacts all four Disney cruise ships with cancellations on Disney Fantasy through December 6th, the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder through December 11th, and the Disney Magic through December 12th, 2020.
Disney Cruise Line also confirmed that the delivery of Disney Wish will be delayed. Although the cruise line said it is still in talks with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany to confirm dates, it’s likely the new delivery date will be in the first half of 2022.
The new cruise ship for Disney was originally scheduled to be delivered toward the end of 2021.
Disney Wish joins a string of other newbuild projects that have been delayed due to a combination of lockdowns in Europe and social distancing rules that reduced worker capacity at the leading European shipyards, as well as cruise lines’ reluctance to commission new ships amid a global shutdown of the cruise industry.
Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world, has indicated that it will be delaying newbuild deliveries and selling off older tonnage as it seeks to conserve cashflow and make the company more efficient for a future in which demand for cruises is likely to be hampered by the virus.
Royal Caribbean, the second-largest cruise company, has also confirmed that it will be delaying newbuild deliveries, and said it was looking at ways to increase efficiency through ship sales and scrapping.