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An undated photograph of the Disney Wish cruise ship before its its inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from its new home port of Port Canaveral, Florida. Photo: Handout

Mickey Mouse adds a giant liner to his fleet as Disney Cruise Line buys unfinished ocean liner from Genting Hong Kong’s bankrupt unit

  • Originally called Global Dream, the unfinished 208,000-gross-ton ship has the capacity for about 9,000 passengers
  • The ship will be renamed, with the classic Disney look, and accommodate 6,000 guests with 2,300 crew members when it debuts in 2025

One cruise line’s loss is Mickey Mouse’s gain. Disney Cruise Line has announced it will acquire the unfinished Global Dream cruise ship under construction in Germany.

The 208,000-gross-ton ship was being built for Genting Hong Kong, which ran Dream Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises as well as the Lloyd Werft and MV Werften shipyards. That holding group, though, filed for bankruptcy in January, and a court ordered the sale of its assets including the Global Dream.

What was originally targeted to serve the Chinese market, the Global Dream would have had the capacity for about 9,000 passengers. Disney Cruise Line has no intention of cramming that many people on board, but the ship is significantly larger than all of the existing ships in its fleet.

The new Disney Wish, which debuted at Port Canaveral this summer, comes in at 144,000 gross tons with 1,254 staterooms for a 2,508-passenger capacity based on double occupancy, but really aims for 4,000 passengers with the number of children on board, as well as another 1,555 crew.

A view onboard Disney Wonder, the second ship in the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) fleet, featuring an innovated Route 66 area with a dance club and a comedy club. Photo: Handout

Global Dream will get renamed with new plans for a maximum capacity of about 6,000 guests along with 2,300 crew members. The line said it will get a classic Disney look and feel and debut 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 holiday accessible to more families than ever before,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products in a news release.

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The cost was undisclosed, but the release said DCL was able to “secure it at a favourable price.”

The line said it plans to base the ship outside the US. Global Dream’s original target was to sail to Asia, Oceania including Australia and the US West Coast.

A view onboard Disney Wonder, the second ship in the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) fleet, featuring an open-air water slide on the deck. Photo: Handout

Construction will continue at the MV Werften shipyard in Wismar, Germany, which is now run by Meyer Werft, the shipyard company that built DCL’s last three vessels – Disney Wish, Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream. It’s also set to complete Wish’s sister ship Disney Treasure in 2024 as well as a third yet-to-be-named ship in what is known as the Trident class of vessels in 2025.

By the end of 2025, the fleet will have grown to eight ships with the first two, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, having debuted in the late 1990s.

Of note, the ship will run on green methanol, which would make it one of the first in the cruise industry to use the low-emission fuel for the vessel. In an effort to stem environmental emissions, cruise lines have been switching from traditional diesel on new ships including the use of liquefied natural gas, which is what powers Disney Wish.

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The announcement is a boon for the shipyard as well, which faced an uncertain future after the Genting bankruptcy.

Construction of the Global Dream began in 2018 and original plans called for it to have the longest roller coaster at sea, but what exactly will be on board for Disney Cruise Line has yet to be determined beyond that it will “feature innovative Disney experiences.”