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Disney Cruise Lines comes to L.A.

March 30, 2009 1:00:13 PM PDT
Disney Cruise Lines is sailing full steam ahead as it partners with the City of Los Angeles to create new jobs and increase tourism in Southern California. The two announced Monday that the Disney "Wonder" cruise ship will move to the Port of Los Angeles in 2011.

"It will bring about 250,000 passengers through the Port of Los Angeles, create about 2,600 new jobs, and yield for L.A. and the state of California $7 million in state and local taxes," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

According to Geraldine Knatz, director of the Port of Los Angeles, businesses on shore are also expected to benefit.

"The Disney "Wonder" could potentially generate $3.7 million a year in spending by cruise passengers, and about $4 million annual spending by crew members within the five county area," Knatz said.

The announcement comes at a time when Disney is adding new routes in Europe and is building two new cruise ships.

"The Disney Cruise Line is a very successful niche cruise line that families seem to really embrace. We have a great business model. Part of our overall expansion is to make cruises available more easily to more people," Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo said.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners must ratify the two-year agreement this week to make the deal official. The contract includes a three-year extension option, allowing the ship to operate out of the port for a total of five years.

The itinerary for the "Wonder" has not yet been announced, but ABC7 has learned the Mexican Riviera is a strong possibility.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

City News Service contributed to this story.


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