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'High hurdles' to resume cruises but demand very strong: Disney CEO

PHOTO: DISNEY CRUISE LINE CRUISE_Disney_Wonder_Hawaii.jpg
The process to get certified to sail by CDC will result in a 'delay beyond what we had hoped in terms of getting our ships back into service,' Bob Chapek said
Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek described 'really high hurdles' in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's framework for resuming cruises.

The process to get certified by CDC will result in a 'delay beyond what we had hoped in terms of getting our ships back into service,' Chapek said during Walt Disney's fourth-quarter earnings call today.

Disney, like other US-based cruise lines, has canceled sailings through year's end.

Chapek sees an opportunity to create a 'Disney bubble' on each ship.

Extremely strong demand in back half of fiscal '21

'And demand is very, very strong for our cruise ships,' he continued. 'We're seeing extremely strong demand in the back half of fiscal year '21 and all of '22 in terms of bookings. That then creates the demand for the new ships,' Chapek said.

As previously reported, with a delay of six months for those, Disney Wish is expected to be delivered in summer 2022, followed by one ship each in 2024 and 2025.

'We hope and expect the world will be back to normal by then,' Chapek told analysts on the call, 'and ... we think there's going to be so much pent-up demand that we don't expect to have much issues given the love that our guests have for Disney Cruise Line.'

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