Disney Cruise Line on Wednesday said it will post a dedicated cruise ship in Singapore for cruises around Southeast Asia from 2025.
Keith Tan, Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board, said: “This is an important milestone for Singapore Tourism Board and reflects Disney Cruise Line’s strong confidence in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The new Disney cruise ship will be an attraction itself and is expected to boost the tourism sector in Singapore for many years to come.”
Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of entertainment giant The Walt Disney Co, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Tourism Board which will see their seventh ship be stationed in the ports of the city-state.
As part of the agreement, Disney Cruise Line will keep its cruise liner stationed in Singapore for five years.
“Disney Cruise Line is currently undergoing an ambitious expansion with new ships and new destinations around the world. We are incredibly excited to make Singapore the home port to our seventh-launched ship, which will sail from here year-round starting in 2025,” said Disney Parks, Experiences & Products Chair Josh D’Amaro in a statement.
More details about the maiden voyage, itineraries and onboard experiences will be announced at a later date.
Singapore’s advantageous geographical position, being at the center of Southeast Asia, coupled with its top-notch air transportation and port facilities, has established it as a bustling hub for the cruise industry in Southeast Asia. The region boasts over 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, highlighting its rich and diverse cultural heritage.
Disney Cruise Line currently has five ships in operation around the world.
The new ship to be based in Singapore will have dedicated spaces and activities for guests of all ages, and will boast a passenger load of around 6,000 people. It will also be fuelled by green methanol, a low-emission fuel source.
The Covid-19 pandemic demolished the cruise line industry worldwide in 2020, with the industry now slowly clawing itself back to its former levels. The industry was one of the hardest-hit sectors, with the majority of cruise lines suspending operations in early 2020 as the virus spread rapidly across the globe.
It has taken longer than expected for the cruise line industry to recover, after rampant inflation and elevated oil prices in 2022 scuppered demand recovery.
“2023 is the last ramp-up year with 2024 being the truly ‘normal’ year,” said financial analyst Patrick Scholes of Truist Securities in a note published in mid-March. Truist Securities is a capital market and investment banking firm. Scholes oversees research that covers the lodging and cruise industries.
This was reiterated by Josh Weinstein, CEO of cruise ship company Carnival Corp, in a talk with investors in late March: “We are enjoying a phenomenal wave season, achieving our highest ever quarterly booking volumes and breaking records in both North America and Europe.”
With the global cruise ship industry on the up, Disney Cruise Line is looking to capitalise on the maturing market in Southeast Asia where there are not as many cruise line operators compared to other parts of the world such as Europe, North America, or the Caribbean.
Written by: Greg Roxburgh.