Disney Cruise Line to set sail for Europe
Mickey and Minnie Mouse finally are planning a cruise to Europe. Next year, Disney Cruise Line will wade abroad with eight sailings in the Mediterranean. For Disney fans and family vacationers that's news to squeak about.
The 877-passenger Disney Magic will sail four 11-night itineraries, departing Saturdays: May 26, June 16, July 7 and July 28, 2007. The ship's four 10-night itineraries will depart Wednesdays: June 6, June 27, July 18 and Aug. 8, 2007. The itineraries will begin from Barcelona, Spain. The only difference for the Wednesday- and Saturday-departing cruises: one sea day.
On each sailing, the Magic will call at eight popular ports: Palermo, Sicily; Naples, Italy (gateway to Pompeii); Olbia, Sardinia; Civitavecchia, Italy (for Rome); La Spezia, Italy (for Florence and Pisa); and Marseille and Villefranche, France, before returning to Barcelona.
After nearly a decade of sailing this side of the Pond, Disney decided to add the Magic "by popular demand" to the vessels plying the Mediterranean, says cruise line president Tom McAlpin. "Our guests have told us they would love to take a European vacation," McAlpin explains, "but all of the planning and logistics can be daunting."
The Magic is tailored to families. Most staterooms aboard the Disney ship feature "a bath-and-a-half with two separate areas, one offering a shower and sink, the other a sink and toilet," notes the line's announcement.
The Magic also sports nearly an entire deck dedicated to kids. For parents wishing time alone, an experienced staff that cares for infants and toddlers is a welcome amenity.
As might be expected from a company whose name is synonymous with entertainment, the Magic's Walt Disney Theatre is a showplace of state-of-the-art sound, lighting, staging and set design. For the European cruises, the line plans to develop products that are distinctively Disney, but which integrate European influences, McAlpin says. He cites such things as a shore excursion to a gelato stop in Florence. The line may add lower-key family options that allow passengers to soak up the local culture, such as a beach experience in Sardinia or a Villefranche stroll.
Because Europe sailings are longer than the average Disney cruise, new offerings will augment the line's entertainment, McAlpin says.
In addition to the Mediterranean cruises, two 14-night trans-Atlantic sailings will bookend the 10- and 11-night itineraries. The eastbound route will depart from Port Canaveral, Fla., on May 12; the westbound will set sail from Barcelona on Aug. 18.
Starting rates for Disney's 10- and 11-night Mediterranean cruises range from $2,399 to $3,499 per person, double occupancy.
Details: 1-888-325-2500 or disneycruise.com.