Disney Cruise Line Recovery On Track, Newest Ship Leading the Way

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Among the vast amount of businesses operating under the Walt Disney Company, Disney Cruise Line has been consistently proving itself as one of the highest-rated by guests across the company’s parks and experiences. 

Although the cruise business is still recovering from the pandemic, the future is looking positive, according to Disney executives in a Q3 2022 Results Earnings Call. That positivity comes mainly from the addition of Disney Wish and the release of two sister ships in the coming years.

Disney Cruise Line Business Update

Walt Disney Company is optimistic that Disney Cruise Line can repeat the results it has achieved in the past. The cruise line has historically been one of the highest earners for Walt Disney Company, which is coming back again now with all the ships sailing with increasing occupancy rates. 

The impact of the pandemic is still being felt today; while occupancy rates are indeed higher now than they have been since the ships started operating again, they are not sailing at full capacity yet. 

Christine McCarthy – Senior Executive Vice President & CFO for the Walt Disney Company: “We’ve always said that that business has been the most severely impacted by COVID in terms of duration of disruption to the business. So we’re still coming out of that, but we are focused on the business recovering.”

Disney Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Craig Russell / Shutterstock

Even though the cruise line is still recovering from the pandemic and focuses on bringing full capacity occupancy rates back, the signs are positive.

Bob Chapek – Chief Executive Officer, Walt Disney Company: “Even as our cruise ships and international visitation have yet to fully recover domestic demand at our theme parks continues to be strong and we are seeing continued progress in those businesses still recovering from the pandemic.”

Disney Wish Setting a High Standard

Since her debut on July 14, the innovation that Disney Wish brings to Disney Cruise Line sets the bar very high for the sisterships that are to come, but also for the other ships in the fleet. The vessel is already receiving rave reviews from guests who have sailed on her.

With 40% of guests that have sailed saying they will only sail again with Disney Cruise Line, the cruise line is well positioned to make an even more significant impact in the future.

Christine McCarthy – Senior Executive Vice President & CFO for the Walt Disney Company, said the following: “This is a really interesting comment that we received from our cruise passengers. 40% of them say that they would not have chosen to go on a cruise vacation if it weren’t a Disney Cruise.”

“So we’re a unique product and we’re still a relatively small share of the cruise market and we’re positioned for growth. And the other four ships are all sailing and their occupancy is improving week by week.”

Disney Wish in Port Canaveral
Photo Courtesy: Port Canaveral

Another positive that LNG-powered, 144,000 gross tons Disney Wish has brought for Disney Cruise Line, and The Walt Disney Company, is the competitive position that the cruise line takes in the industry. That brings the opportunity for the cruise line to generate pricing significantly higher than the industry average. 

While this may create a situation where guests may not be able to sail as often as they want, it does make a situation where going on a Disney cruise becomes something special. 

With two more ships scheduled to come out in the coming years, in 2024 and 2025, bringing the fleet to seven ships, Disney is looking at positive growth numbers for years to come. That will undoubtedly be music to the ears of executives of the company. 

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