Disney Cruise Line has taken possession of its newest ship – Disney Dream – from the Meyer Werft shipyard in a traditional maritime ceremony aboard the ship in Bremerhaven, Germany. The Meyer Werft flag was lowered, while the Disney Cruise Line flag was raised, transferring ownership from the shipbuilder to Disney.
The milestone closes the book on the ship’s construction journey, which began nearly two years ago in Papenburg, Germany, and signals its readiness to welcome guests on its maiden voyage, set for Jan. 26, 2011, from Port Canaveral, Florida.
“The Disney Dream is an extraordinary ship, in part because of the collaboration of the superb shipbuilders at Meyer Werft and the innovative technology and storytelling that our Disney team has developed and implemented aboard,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “I cannot wait for our guests to experience this newest addition to our fleet, a ship that will delight and surprise all ages.”
From a water coaster at sea called AquaDuck, and inside staterooms with virtual views, to Enchanted Art that immerses guests in stories, and fine dining at Remy, the Disney Dream will deliver exceptional family cruise experiences. The shipboard experience remains focused on the legacy and heritage of The Walt Disney Company’s most known assets – master storytelling, world-class entertainment and legendary guest service.
“It gives me great pride to deliver the Disney Dream, which is the largest ship that Meyer Werft has ever built,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. “Over the last few years, I have seen this ‘dream’ transform from the design phase to a magnificent reality, which guests will soon be able to enjoy for years to come. To make this dream come true, it takes a special partnership. The collaboration among Disney Cruise Line, Meyer Werft and its suppliers has been excellent and very creative.”
Meyer Werft and Disney first signed a contract to build two new ships in April of 2007. Shortly thereafter, planning for the design of the ships began and construction started with the first steel cutting in Papenburg, Germany, on March 2, 2009. Since the recent completion of the ship’s float out from the shipyard and conveyance along the River Ems, the test-and-adjust period has been in full swing, including sea trials and a brief dry dock in Hamburg, Germany. The ship will remain in Bremerhaven for another week while additional crew members board, and supplies and provisions are loaded.
The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on Dec. 19, for its transatlantic voyage to the U.S., with an expected arrival on Jan. 4, 2011.
Captain Tom Forberg will officially take the helm of the Disney Dream for Disney Cruise Line. As part of the Disney Cruise Line ship construction team, Captain Forberg has been with the company for 15 years and was responsible for launching Disney’s first two ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
The Disney Dream is scheduled to sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas, from Port Canaveral. Sister ship Disney Fantasy is currently in production at the Meyer Werft shipyard and is scheduled to set sail on its maiden voyage on April 7, 2012. It will sail seven-night alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, also from Port Canaveral.
Based in Celebration, Fla., the Disney Cruise Line experience is focused on providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and kids can immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create. Most recently, the company was recognized as the top cruise experience by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Disney Cruise Line was voted the No. 1 cruise experience in the magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards in the mega-ship category.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at DCL-325-2500 or contact their travel agent. Travel agents can call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or visit disneytravelagents.com.