Do More Disney River Cruises Foreshadow Dedicated Cruise Line?
Photo courtesy of Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney recently announced that it will be adding adults-only river cruises to its 2017 lineup chartered aboard AmaWaterways. The question is, will the company follow the same path on the river as it has on the oceans with a dedicated Disney river line in the near future?
Before the Disney Cruise Line and its four current ships – the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder – set sail, the company similarly partnered with Premier Cruise Line and its “The Big Red Boat” fleet in 1985. Disney licensed the operator to use its characters onboard until 1993, when the line partnered with Warner Brothers for its characters instead.
Clearly recognizing the benefits of having a cruise presence, Disney then approached Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, both of which were also uninterested. This, of course, prompted Disney to then develop its very own line, the one that launched in 1998 and is so successful to this day that another two new ships are planned for launch in 2021 and 2023.
Interestingly, following Carnival and Royal Caribbean’s initial dismissal, both have since licensed Dr. Seuss and DreamWorks characters respectively to now try and catch up with Disney’s signature synergy.
Testing the waters elsewhere is Disney once again with its Adventures by Disney brand and AmaWaterways in Europe along the Rhine and Danube rivers. Its family-friendly cruises aboard the line’s new vessels catering to multiple generations and larger groups have proven popular with more departure dates added to satisfy the demand.
Now, adults-only variations are on their way with an emphasis on food and wine, effectively including age demographic mixing as well as delineation that the Disney Cruise Line effortlessly accommodates at sea. Of course, on riverboats that are much smaller that Disney’s ocean ships, the separation of children and adults in dedicated venues is more difficult, thus the need for completely adults-only sailings.
Seeing that Disney started its very own ocean cruise line after a successful partnership experience, it stands for reason that the company will follow suit once again and eventually launch, say, Disney River Cruises with its own fleet of purpose-built riverboats. There could easily be vessels with larger cabins and kids facilities suited specifically to families, and there could even be adults-only counterparts for when just the parents are looking for a vacation escape.
Surely, Disney knows the benefits of having complete control of its brand from start to finish as the Disney Cruise Line accomplishes, and although Adventures by Disney has always relied on outside vendors and charters to a degree, so too a Disney river cruise line would ensure the utmost in quality control that extends beyond mere software.
Disney riverboats could be entirely new canvases in which to let the Walt Disney Imagineers unleash their creativity on, integrating storytelling into the very nuts and bolts, decor and fixtures, setting the scene for adventures to come.
More by Jason Leppert
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