Japan’s next big tourist craze: Disney cruises

Japan’s next big tourist craze: Disney cruises
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A Disney Magic cruise ship is approching the Royal Walter cruise terminal in George Town port, Grand Cayman, on February 12, 2024.
Disney cruises will start sailing from Tokyo by 2029.

  • Tokyo Disneyland’s owner, Oriental Land, will invest $2 billion to bring Disney cruises to Japan.
  • The cruise will operate year-round from Japan starting in early 2029, serving 4,000 guests per sail.
  • Disney’s cruise business, including parks, contributed 37% to its revenue last year.

Tokyo Disneyland’s owner is doubling down on the Disney magic with a new investment in cruises.

Oriental Land, which owns and operates Disney Resorts in Tokyo, said on Tuesday it will invest $2 billion to launch Disney cruises in Japan.

The Tokyo theme park, which opened in 1983, operates like a franchise. It’s the only park not fully or partly owned by the Walt Disney Company.

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The new agreement with the Mickey Mouse and Toy Story producer will bring year-round cruises to Japan, the company said in a release on Tuesday. The cruise will sail from Tokyo by early 2029.

The 1,250-room cruise will be designed similarly to the Disney Wish, the largest cruise in the Disney fleet. It is expected to carry 4,000 guests.

The new cruise comes as international tourism to Japan skyrockets. In the first three months of the year, 8.6 million tourists visited the country and spent over $11 billion, with more foreigners booking longer trips and spending more because of a weak yen.

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The ship marks Disney’s second cruise in Asia, after the company announced cruises sailing from Singapore in 2025 last month.

Experiences, which include cruises and parks, made up 37% of Disney’s revenue last year — $32.5 billion.

“The cruise business, frankly, is one that has an enormous number of opportunities for us over time, and that is why we’re leaning more heavily into that business,” said Hugh Johnston, Disney’s chief financial officer, on a May earnings call.

Johnston also highlighted “global moderation from peak post-COVID travel” and higher wages as challenges for the company this year.

Disney has five ships in its fleet, which travel to destinations like the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, the South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand. A four-night cruise from Florida to the Bahamas starts at about $900 per guest.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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