DISNEY Cruise Line was clearly aiming to grab the attention of the UK travel trade when its new ship, Disney Wonder, stopped in Southampton last week.
More than 2,000 agents were invited to tour the vessel, which was on its way to Florida ready for its inaugural cruise on August 15.
The company went to the trouble of creating a Caribbean island with sand and palm trees at the port terminal, and co-opting local schoolchildren to play in its kids' facilities in order to make them look authentic.
The president of Walt Disney World Attractions, Al Weiss, who attended the event, stressed the importance of winning the support of the UK trade.
"The UK cruising market is the fastest growing in the world. It increases by 20% a year and is second only to the US," he said.
Disney Wonder will join the company's first vessel, Disney Magic, which carries out three and four-day Caribbean itineraries out of Florida. There are no immediate plans for the ships to offer itineraries to other regions like the Mediterranean, but the company said this would be considered if more ships are built.
"Disney Wonder and Disney Magic are the only two on the drawing board now, but if this business is successful it will grow," said Weiss.
The cruiseline has refused to reveal details of its performance levels, but claims Disney Magic is often sailing full and bookings are healthy.
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