Disney Cruise Line may be experimenting with new itineraries for its ships, but they won't include Glacier Bay cruising in Alaska in the near future. That's because the family-oriented cruise line has withdrawn its application for a permit to ply the waters of the Alaskan national park, a popular destination for scenic cruising.
Back in August, we reported that Disney had applied for a 10-year permit (valid from 2010 through 2019) to cruise Glacier Bay, indicating its interest in Alaska itineraries. Current regulations restrict cruise ship access to the park, and lines must apply for visitation rights on a designated number of days. A January 14 news release from Glacier Bay National Park indicated that Princess Cruises, Holland America, Cruise West and NCL have been awarded 10-year permits, but that Disney had withdrawn its application.
According to Disney spokeswoman Christi Erwin Donnan, the cruise line withdrew because Glacier Bay doesn't fit into its current itinerary plans -- yet Alaska cruises remain on the radar screen for future consideration.
Disney continues to explore new destinations, however, and the line's fans have several new itineraries to choose from. In 2010, Disney Magic will return to Europe for a second time -- it will sail Western Mediterranean cruises and its first ever Baltic itineraries. Also starting next year, Disney Wonder will switch from three-night Bahamas cruises to four- and five-night Bahamas cruises -- some with two stops in Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.
And with two new ships debuting in 2011 and 2012, the future may bring even more new Disney itineraries. Stay tuned.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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Disney Cruise Line Won't Sail Alaska in 2010
January 21, 2009