New Routes for Disney Cruises

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Disney Cruise Line

Looks like Mickey, Minnie and friends should invest in some warm parkas. Disney Cruise lines just announced a brand new Alaska itinerary for the 2,400-passenger Disney Wonder, USA Today reports. The cruise will set sail from Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning in May 2011 and will stop in the port towns of Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway in Alaska. The seven-night trip will also make the most of the state's scenic byways and natural wonders by traversing the Inside Passage and the Tracy Arm fjord, which is home to the twin Sawyer Glaciers.

There is much industry buzz about Disney's Alaska itineraries, and not just because it's the first time one of their ships has made it to the country's northernmost reaches. Alaska's waterways will be much emptier starting in 2010 when Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian Lines, and Cruise West are all set to chop their trips to the 49th state. The other lines cite a new $50 tax for each passenger and additional regulations that make it more difficult to do business there.

The regulations are not deterring Disney, though, which has scheduled 18 sailings between May and August. Once the Alaskan summer ends and the cold weather really sets in, The Wonder will naturally head to warmer climes for yet another new itinerary, this time along the Mexican Riviera, as reported by Gene Sloan in his USA Today cruise log. The seven-night cruises depart from Los Angeles and will take the family fun south of the border to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. These cruises will mark the line's first sailings to this stretch of the Pacific since 2008.

The Wonder goes into dry dock this October, giving Disney plenty of time to spruce up the ship for its new journeys. The biggest change will be the addition of a panoramic lounge on deck 10. The 2,500-square-foot Outlook Café will have curved floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for whale watching on both ends of the coast. Not that the 964-foot-long ship wasn't already packed with activities. The Wonder boasts three pools, six youth clubs, nine restaurants, and seven lounges and bars. Plus, you can expect lots of the requisite Disney-themed entertainment, from character meet-and-greets to a live musical retrospective of some of the studio's most famous creations.

The Alaska sailings will start at $939 per person for an inside cabin while the Mexican Riviera trips start at $639 per person.

The Wonder isn't the only Disney vessel that will be unveiling new ports of call in 2011. That's when its sister ship, the Disney Magic, will start plying the waters of the Mediterranean for the first time. The ship is based in Barcelona and until now has stuck to Spain, Portugal, and the UK (when it's not wintering in the Caribbean, that is). The first of the 10- and 11- night Mediterranean cruises departs Barcelona on May 28, 2011. The long list of stops on the trip include Tunis in Northern Africa, Napoleon's birthplace on Corsica, and the French Riviera, as well as Italy's greatest hits: Naples plus day-trips to Florence and Rome form their closest ports. Inside cabins will start at $1,739 per person.
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