Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that it planned to purchase two ocean liners to more than double its cruise line business.
The 122,000-ton ships are scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012, Burbank-based Disney said. Each will have 1,250 staterooms.
Chief Executive Robert Iger is expanding the Port Canaveral, Fla.-based Disney Cruise Line to bolster growth in the company's resort unit. The move follows a pledge by Iger to boost capital spending at U.S. theme parks by as much as 38% this year. The ships will be two decks taller than the current 83,000-ton Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
"It's a very good move," said David Miller, a Los Angeles-based analyst with Sanders Morris Harris Inc. "People really want to experience this and it behooves them to purchase more ships."
"We have a great opportunity to expand this business," Iger said. He said he was "confident that we will be able to do so in a way that continues the great success we have had."