The news that we have been waiting so long for is finally here. Disney Dream is to set sail on June 29, 2021 for a test cruise.
Finally the sign that we have been looking for that Disney Cruise lines will begin sailing again soon.
Don’t all go rushing to sign up as voluteer passengers though. The guests on this cruise will all be Disney volunteer staff. I am sure there was no shortage of volunteers.
The first ship to sail will be the Disney Dream. Sailing out of Port Canaveral, this will be a two night cruise.
Why is Disney sailing on a test cruise? They, like all other cruise lines sailing out of the US, have to sail a test cruise to satisfy the CDC requirements. This is part of the conditions set down so that any cruise line can start sailing in the US.
Cynthia Martinez, Disney Cruise Lines Public Affairs Director said:
“We have reached an important next step toward our gradual and responsible resumption of service, and are grateful for the productive dialogue with state, local, and federal officials, the CDC, and others in our industry that has made this possible. We look forward to our amazing crew once again creating magic for our guests and to helping the many workers who support our industry get back to work.”
Right now all Disney Cruises are cancelled through July 31, with the exception of the Disney Wonder which is next scheduled to sail out of Vancouver on July 12.
We know that the Disney Wonder will definitely not be sailing out of Vancouver as Canada has a ban on cruise travel which extends out to 2022.
However, six major cruise lines have now announced that they will be sailing to Alaska out of Seattle. This has been made possible by President Biden signing a temporary suspension of the Passenger Vessel Services Act.
What is this? It is the 135 year old law that has meant up to now that all cruise ships sailing from a US port must have a port stop in a foreign port before returning to the US.
Clearly this antiquated legislation was never meant to cover the cruise ship industry as it didn’t exist at the time. However, it has had huge impact on all cruise lines sailing out of the US.
For example, it isn’t possible to go a circular Hawaii cruise, unless the ship is registered in the US. It is extremely rare for this to happen – so there is actually only one cruise line, Norwegian, which offers a round trip Hawaii cruise.
However, what does this mean for the Disney Wonder? It seems likely that following the test cruise, Disney could be sailing again soon.
But is the test cruise soon enough for the Disney Wonder to sail by July 12,2021?
It is possible, but the Disney Wonder will have to start sailing towards Seattle pretty soon if she is going to get there by July 12.
Right now the Disney Wonder is in Port Canaveral. She will have to sail through the Panama Canal, and then north up the West Coast to Seattle.
The Panama Canal cruise usually takes 14 days, although she would sail faster with no port stops. The Disney Wonder would not be able to take passengers on this sailing as there is a ban on cruises for more than 7 nights.
The sailing from San Diego to Vancouver usually takes 5 nights. Again, there would be no port stops so this could be shorter.
It may be that Disney decides that they will take passengers for this part of the repositioning cruise. I am sure there would be no shortage of people wanting to book this Disney Cruise. Me included!
So let’s say that in reality, Disney Wonder needs at least 16 days to get to Seattle. She will have to start sailing towards Seattle in a few weeks to make it to her summer home port.
Let’s hope that soon we will be annoucing that Disney Cruise lines is cleared to sail. It has certainly been a very long time in coming.
Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.