Disney Cruise Line announced at the D23 Expo that its fleet would grow to seven ships by 2023.
While the line had previously announced two new ships were coming, the news is a third is now on order with Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Also of note, the new order will move up the timetable for when the world will see the new ships. Previously, the ships were expected in 2021 and 2023. Now the three ships are expected in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
“We decided two ships wouldn't be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney," said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “By the time all three new ships are sailing, we'll have nearly doubled the size of our existing fleet."
Disney Cruise Line currently sails four ships: the smaller 2,713-passenger sister ships Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, which debuted in 1998 and 1999, and the larger 4,000-passenger vessels Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, which began sailing in 2011 and 2012.
Dream and Fantasy sail year-round from Port Canaveral while MMagic and Wonder hop around among ports including Port Canaveral, PortMiami, Galveston as well as Alaska and Europe. Where the line plans to deploy its new ships has not been revealed.
In fact, not much detail has been revealed about any of the three new ships other than at 135,000 gross tons, they will be slightly larger than the 130,000 gross tons of Dream and Fantasy, but are expected to have the same number of staterooms: 1,250. Chapek also said that each ship, which have not been given names as yet, would offer unique experiences.
The new ships will also be powered by liquefied natural gas, which is the cleanest fuel the cruise industry has begun to embrace as more stringent maritime emission laws begin to take effect.
While the line won't be getting its first new ship for another four years, the four current ships have all had overhauls since 2013. Disney Fantasy is the most recent to receive dry dock upgrades having debuted this past May new Star Wars and Marvel spaces in its Oceaneer Club, a new ice cream and sweets shop and the first Tiffany & Co. store in the fleet.
The cruise line has also be revamping its on-stage offerings having debuted "Tangled: The Musical" on board Disney Magic and "Frozen, a Musical Spectacular" on board Disney Wonder and preparing a new “Beauty and the Beast" production for Disney Dream this fall.