(1:15 p.m. EDT) -- The speculation is over: At a press conference today at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Disney Cruise Line revealed its 2011 itineraries for Disney Wonder and Disney Magic -- and announced that, yes, it will indeed offer its first-ever Alaska cruises that summer.
For four months (May 3, 2011 through September 6, 2011), Disney Wonder will depart roundtrip from Vancouver on weeklong cruises calling on Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway with a Tracy Arm sail-by.
Disney also released new information about its Los Angeles-based sailings for 2011. Disney Wonder will return to the Mexican Riviera for the first time since 2008, cruising Mexico's Pacific coast before and after the Alaska summer season. It's not big news that the line's basing a ship in Los Angeles -- we reported on this back in March. But the itinerary information had been kept under wraps until now. These seven-night cruises will call on Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
And what about Disney Magic? Disney will return to the Mediterranean in the summer of 2011 with 10 Disney Magic sailings starting May 28, 2011; these 10- and 11-night cruises depart roundtrip from Barcelona and visit Malta, Tunis, Naples, Civitavecchia for Rome, La Spezia, Ajaccio and Villefranche. The rest of the year, the ship will alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral (St. Maarten and St. Thomas, and Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, respectively; both include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay).
Of course, with all of these sailings comes an assortment of repositioning cruises, including a 15-night Panama Canal crossing, two 14-night transatlantic voyages, one five-night and one six-night cruise between Los Angeles and Vancouver with first-ever stops in San Francisco and Victoria, and 10- and 11-night holiday sailings to the Mexican Riviera and Eastern Caribbean.
These 2011 cruises go on sale September 28, 2009.
What Disney hasn't revealed yet are the itineraries for its 128,000-ton, 2,500-passenger Disney Dream, due out in the first half of 2011 -- but with Magic and Wonder globe-trotting, we won't be surprised if the new-build is assigned to handle more of the line's bread-and-butter Caribbean and/or Bahamas sailings. A sister ship, Disney Fantasy, will launch in 2012. Stay tuned.
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
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It's Official: Disney Will Cruise Alaska in 2011!
September 11, 2009