Disney acquires a partially completed ship to add to the Disney Cruise Line fleet

22 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday November 16, 2022 4:19pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today announced the acquisition of a partially completed ship to expand the Disney Cruise Line fleet and to travel to new global destinations from 2025.

Disney will work with the Meyer Werft shipbuilding company to complete the cruise ship previously known as the Global Dream in Wismar, Germany. The ship will be renamed with certain features reimagined by Walt Disney Imagineers and is expected to set sail in 2025.

“Our cruise ships give us the unique opportunity to bring Disney magic to fans no matter where they are, and the addition of this ship will make a Disney Cruise Line vacation accessible to more families than ever before,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

The new ship, to be based outside the United States, will feature innovative Disney experiences and the exterior will be adorned in the iconic, Mickey Mouse-inspired colors of the fleet, complete with signature red funnels.

The 208,000-gross-ton ship is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol, one of the lowest emission fuels available. Disney Cruise Line expects the passenger capacity to be approximately 6,000 with around 2,300 crew members. In comparison, the new Disney Wish can carry 4000 passengers.

Construction will be completed at the former MV Werften shipyard in Wismar, Germany, under the management of Meyer Werft, the Papenburg-based company that built the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish. The ship’s previous owner filed for bankruptcy before completing the vessel, enabling Disney Cruise Line to secure it at a favorable price and within the capital expenditure guidance The Walt Disney Company provided on its recent earnings call. The project also secures employment for hundreds of former MV Werften employees and will provide opportunities for numerous maritime industry suppliers in the region.

More details about the maiden voyage, itineraries and onboard experiences will be announced at a later date.

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Haymarket17 hours ago

Wow this is great stuff. Thanks so much!

Andrew C18 hours ago

SplashZander18 hours ago

For one massive ship, it’s very unlikely to see a dedicated cruise port, they will likely just lease ports like they do in Europe, Alaska, and the west coast. Building or buying a specific port locks them into a particular region, which is not ideal. And I don’t see an Asian castaway equivalent coming to fruition. If any land-based infrastructure comes of this, I’d suspect it happens at Hong Kong Disneyland, which was originally intended to have a cruise port. If they do a 4-day, 3-day format, they could easily do a port dock in Hong Kong Disneyland on Mondays and Thursdays, with a 4-day cruise starting on Saturday and three day cruises on Wednesday. This would inject nearly 10,000 people on slow days at Hong Kong Disneyland from an outside audience. I’m not sure where these itineraries would run from, but regardless, it would be possible to run cruises from Hanoi, Vietnam; Manila, Philippines; Taipei, Taiwan (I have no idea the reality of a Taiwan-China cruise, but it would allow the Taiwan populace a very decreased barrier of entry for visiting HKDL); and Shanghai, China. Instead of doing 3-day and 4-day cruises, and instead, you do 7-day itineraries, you have a much wider opportunity to get people to Hong Kong. Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, and Korea are all within 7-day itinerary reach from HKDL. An itinerary from Singapore could stop at the Riau Islands, then Ho Chi Minh city, then have a sea day on day 4, be at Hong Kong Disneyland, then stop early at the Paracel islands with an early departure followed by a sea day and then make it back on the morning of day 8. Korea and Japan are similar stories, but you could stop also stop in Shanghai as well on a 7-day itinerary (strategically planned so both visits land on low-crowd week days). Japan has a lot of die-hard Disney fans, that I assume would be very willing to visit Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland, but don’t want to go to China. But a ship like this lowers the barriers of entry. There’s also a lot of itineraries you could do outside of HKDL, so if they do HKDL cruises for a bit of the year, then do a repositioning cruise to Australia, you could easily do a repositioning cruise later on in the year back from Australia to HKDL. I assume the ship will occasionally venture to the northern Indian Ocean, especially on the east side of India.

Haymarket20 hours ago

The new ship, to be based outside the United States, will feature innovative Disney experiences along with the dazzling entertainment, world-class dining and legendary guest service that set Disney Cruise Line apart. The exterior will be adorned in the iconic, Mickey Mouse-inspired colors of the fleet, complete with signature red funnels. The 208,000-gross-ton cruise ship is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol, one of the lowest emission fuels available. Disney Cruise Line expects the passenger capacity to be approximately 6,000 with around 2,300 crew members. It looks pretty amazing. I just hope they really do all they can so its exterior matches the others. Not just in terms of the colors, but also the overall look. Are they going to need to buy/lease and "Imagineer" another terminal and private island? Perhaps they'll need Joe Rohde's services again. Does anyone know which countries in Southeast Asia have private islands currently used by cruise lines? Looks like the Shanghai - Sanya (Hainan) - Vietnam - Singapore route is pretty typical., sometimes with stops in Thailand. Maybe there's an island in Vietnam they can lease/buy. I initially though it'd be the Philippines but Vietnam seems the overwhelmingly more popular destination.] Wusongkou International Cruise Port looks like the main terminal in Shanghai for large cruise ships. It's a huge complex: These are the newest terminal buildings. I could see Disney leasing one/part of one and doing its magic to it: It's 45 km/28 miles from Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Looks like a good match.

BrianLo7 days ago

That’s what I meant, they were in a similar situation as Disney, not having really an equivalent product but still being mass market. They may have been interested if the company had a different balance sheet. Though I think NCL and RCCL (who actually build these types of vessels) are drifting apart from other another. NCL is leaning more upscale, almost towards Celebrity. Versus RCCL owning and building this size already may have been the least interested. They really could not market this thing against oasis and icon class releases more or less bookending the built time. It’s going to be more of an enigma for DCL cruises for sure.

CastAStone7 days ago

Norwegian’s biggest ship is relatively small, roughly the size of Royal’s old Freedom class ships. And the new Prima class is smaller than the Breakaway class was. They seem to be avoiding big. Of course you could have said the same thing about Disney until last month…

CastAStone7 days ago

I IIRC the plan was for the Ovation to be replaced by the Wonder of the Seas in Asia. Of course the Wonder (due to Covid) wound up sailing out of Florida, but it sure seems like the final finishing touches were done for the US.

BrianLo7 days ago

Your points are cut throat, but I agree. Self admitted never been on a DCL vessel so maybe I just blatantly don’t understand what I’m missing, but they have never been the leader in this market segment. Far from it. This ship was an excellent move though and I’m really curious to see what becomes of such a large canvas. The only company I think could have found a place for it was NCL, but they have no money.

BrianLo7 days ago

Did they pull quantum and ovation pre-pandemic though? Legitimate question, i thought it was just a pandemic thing, but at the same time there seems no desire to move it back with the Alaska and Australian seasons continuing through 2024 for both. The quantum is surprisingly not really that notably ‘Chinese’. I say this posting from the ships Wi-Fi as we speak. I might find that sort of thing less notable than an American though. Though yes, there is dual signage remnants. I think the greater point you have though is these ships are generally built portably, it’s silly to design it to sail literally one destination unless that’s outfitting ships for something like cold vs warm climates

Disone7 days ago

Disagree on " nice but not different enough" is not the issues with the Wish. It is very different from the first four and struggling with DCL's repeat cruisers for this very reason.

Sirwalterraleigh7 days ago

You have to “wash” it through the dust translator. If you exhale, it’s mostly described as “nice…but not much different” That means the gap on ship amenity hasn’t been addressed much. I get it…Fla/Orlando res with someone working in the compound. I got it…i don’t mind contradiction at all. But flesh it out…not the “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” routine quips, Maverick 👍🏻

peter114357 days ago

You clearly haven’t been looking very hard

monothingie7 days ago

Sirwalterraleigh7 days ago

RCCL’s “Asia strategy” is wrong. It was foolhardy. The good news is I love the Quantum class ships. They are fantastic. So having them off the US or in Europe - I have one in 2024 - is such a good move. You know who else has a bad China strategy that everyone believed was a “no brainer”??