Disney Cruise Line has postponed the launch of its sixth and seventh ships from 2022/2023 to 2024/2025, respectively.
CEO Bob Chapek announced the news during a Q&A session at the company’s financial results conference call.
He blamed the delay on having to go through and adapt to the latest CDC guidelines.
“They really entail some really high hurdles in terms of not only testing by the potential guests that we host on the ships but also a process that has to happen in order to certify our first sailings,” he said.
“Those will necessarily result in delays beyond what we had hoped in terms of getting our ships back in service and making magic for our guests.”
‘Disney Wish’ launch, the cruise line’s fifth ship, was postponed from the end of 2021 to summer 2022.
As for the results, the Parks, Experiences & Products division, which includes Disney Cruise Line, reported revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 of $2.6 bill, a decrease of 61%, while segment operating results decreased $2.5 bill to a loss of $1.1 bill.
As a result of COVID-19, Disneyland Resort and the cruise line business were closed for all of the quarter. Disney estimated that the total net adverse impact of COVID-19 on segment operating income in the quarter was around $2.4 bill.
The cruise line has yet to announce a restart date as it continues to work to move forward under the CDC’s framework for conditional sailing order.
All of the ships are undergoing wet/drydockings at Damen Brest, France. Ultimately, this will add to the expense incurred by the cruise line during the shutdown, Disney said.
As well as delaying the delivery of its new vessels, Disney Cruise Line has announced it is extending its suspension of service through the end of January.
“Our team at Disney Cruise Line remains focused on the health and well-being of our Guests and team members. We continue to carefully review the guidance from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and are working toward resuming operations,” Disney said on its website.
Sailings are cancelled on board the ‘Disney Magic’, ‘Disney Wonder’ and ‘Disney Dream’ through 1st February and ‘Disney Fantasy’ through 6th February, the company said.