Disney will be sprinkling its magic across Britain’s Ocean City in September 2020, with the inaugural visit of the Disney Magic cruise liner.
The Disney Magic is over 300m long and can accommodate more than 2,800 passengers, which will make her one of the biggest cruise ships to ever visit Plymouth when she arrives on 7 September 2020. This has been made possible thanks to support from Destination Plymouth, Plymouth City Council and Associated British Ports (ABP) Plymouth.
The visit of the Disney Magic is expected to attract a huge amount of attention – when she made her first visit to other UK ports, such as Liverpool, huge crowds turned out to see the ship. As she will be anchored in Plymouth Sound, the Hoe will provide the perfect viewing point for those wanting to catch a glimpse.
Passengers on board will land at both Millbay and Commercial Wharf on the Barbican via tenders. For over a year, local companies and attractions have been working in partnership with ABP Plymouth, Cattewater Harbour Commissioners and the Queens Harbour Master, as well as Plymouth Boat Trips, to develop proposals for shore excursions in and around the city.
Amanda Lumley, Executive Director of Destination Plymouth, said: “We have been working very hard over the past three years in the cruise market, supported by Cruise Britain and with funding from Visit England, to encourage cruise vessels to come to Plymouth.
“This visit is particularly exciting for us both in terms of the amount and type of passengers visiting but also in terms of developing our relationship with the ‘Disney Cruise’ brand.
“Over the next 12 months our cruise liner volunteers will be receiving extra support including additional training, new uniforms and a new base to work from so they are ready to provide the very best possible port welcome in 2020. We will also be working closely in partnership with the city’s businesses to ensure that all those visiting recommend Plymouth as a great place to come back to visit.”
In 2018, four cruise vessels stopped in Plymouth, with seven currently booked to visit in 2019. A further 12 vessels have already booked to berth in 2020, which will equate to around 13,000 passengers. Destination Plymouth aims to increase this post-2020 as a strong legacy of Mayflower 400.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “The news that a company as prestigious as Disney Cruise Lines is now making plans to berth in Britain’s Ocean City is absolutely fantastic news, and it has only been made possible thanks to some brilliant local partnership working.
“Tourism is an incredibly important industry in Plymouth and the thousands of passengers arriving on cruise ships offer a huge opportunity for local businesses.”
Mike Reynolds, Operations Manager at ABP Plymouth, said: “We’re delighted that Disney Cruise Lines have chosen to call at Plymouth. We’ve been working with our partners in the city for the last few years to raise the profile of the port as a great destination for cruise and this call is what we hope will be one of many highlights for cruise tourism in the future.”