Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Moving Out of Port of LA

It’ll be anchors away at the end of the year for Disney Cruise Line, which has decided to call it quits on a permanent home at the Port of Los Angeles.

The company announced Jan. 24 that at the end of this year, it’s shifting its 964-foot, 2,700-passenger vessel Disney Wonder from its current homeport in LA to the East Coast.

It was just in January 2011 that the Disney Wonder was repositioned in LA from its former base in Port Canaveral, Florida under a two-year deal that carried a three-year option.

The ship’s final West Coast voyage is scheduled to depart Dec. 2. After that, the Wonder would be repositioned in Miami, where it would be used starting Dec. 23 for cruises to the Bahamas and the western Caribbean.

Disney says the ship will return to the West Coast next year when it’s used for summer cruises from Vancouver, Canada to Alaska. Also, one voyage aboard the Wonder from the Port of LA to Vancouver, Canada is scheduled for May 2013.

Rebecca Peddie, a spokeswoman for Disney Cruise Line, said in a written statement that the shift is due to the company testing new itineraries from year to year, but cruise industry observers have speculated that the move from LA is being blamed on a continued decline in interest in cruises to Mexico, which has suffered from widespread violence over the past five years, due mostly to warring by rival drug cartels.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines discontinued trips to Mexico from LA in 2010.

After the port loses Disney, it would still have three other companies with ships homeported at Los Angeles: Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Overall, more than a dozen cruise lines call at Los Angeles’ World Cruise Center throughout the year, according to the port.