three massive new ships in development, adding to the four ships the cruise line already has. The new vessels will be slightly larger than the two largest ships in Disney’s fleet but have roughly the same number of staterooms, with 1,250 each.
The three new ships will allow the cruise line to expand to new ports but will also mean more use of the Port Canaveral terminal and Disney’s private Bahamas island, Castaway Cay.
Tribune 242, a Bahamas newspaper, is now reporting that Disney is looking at a 700-acre peninsula, currently known as Lighthouse Point, as a second private port.
The cape is on the southern end of the 110-mile-long island of Eleuthera, famous for its pink sand beaches. Just off the northern shore of Eleuthera is Egg Island, where Disney had expressed interest in a second private port years ago, but after careful environmental studies announced in 2016 that they had decided the island was not suitable for large-scale development.
Little is known about what plans Disney has for the new private port. A spokesperson for DCL did confirm with Tribune 242 that the cruise line was interested in expanding its investments in the Bahamas, but declined to give details.
Locals on Eleuthera have begun a campaign to block the development on Lighthouse Point, citing concerns over how the development could impact the local ecology and the rich history of the island. In the exclusive statement with Tribune 242, the DCL spokesperson also ensured Bahamians that would be involved with any future plans the cruise line would have in the nation, noting that cruise line’s commitment to “sustainability, protecting the environment, creating jobs and economic opportunity, and celebrating the culture and stories of the area.”
Since the news broke, McCarroll Real Estate, who initially had Lighthouse Point listed for $20 million, has pulled all mentions of the parcel off of their site.
At 700-acres, Lighthouse Point is slightly smaller than the 1000-acre Castaway Cay but is still over five times the size of Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island port. Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean announced a massive reimagining of that island to include tons of new entertainment offerings including the tallest water slides in North America and the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.
No word on when Disney plans to announce or open their rumored new private port, but the first of the new cruise ships will begin service in 2021 with the final one beginning service in 2023.