According to Travel Weekly, Disney Cruise Line has agreed to sail a ship of at least 3,500 passengers out of Miami on a year-round basis starting in 2023.
The agreement which was approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission on September 6, will give Disney the first rights to build a new terminal on the south side of the port to the east of the existing Terminal J, which currently caters to small cruise ships.
Disney Cruise Line is expected to begin year-round four-day and five-day cruises from Miami in 2023. Disney is expected to followed this with the addition of a second, seasonal ship in January 2024 that would sail three-day and four-day cruises.
As reported earlier Disney is currently building three ships scheduled for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
With this announcement Disney Cruise Line would join Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International a year-round operator out of Miami.
The agreement will guarantee the PortMiami at least 360,000 Disney passenger movements per year starting in 2023. The agreement would yield the county-run port $7.2 million a year.
Disney has cruised seasonally from Miami in the past and plans to bring the 2,700 passenger Disney Magic to PortMiami starting December 4th.
According to reports the construction of a new terminal on the port’s south side depends on widening the ship channel and turning basin on that side of the port along with the acquisition of cargo land currently under lease to Seaboard Marine.
If construction is deemed non-viable or unsuitable, Disney and the port will reportedly explore options on port’s the north side, where all of the larger cruise ships currently dock.
Many cruise line experts have wondered for a while if Disney Cruise Line was exploring other ports for year-round cruises once the new ships were announced in 2017. There have also been rumors that Disney is looking for another private island to stop at because Castaway Cay has been talked about as being at or nearing capacity with the current line of ships.
Even though the new ships are a ways off…for fans of the Disney Cruise Line and their cruises, at least for me, this brings the new ships even closer to reality.