Disney gets keys, takes new ship for a spin

new disney shipIt’s been a while since Disney Cruise Line launched a new ship. 1999 to be exact was when the line so closely linked with a magical and enchanting cruise experience for children of all ages drove off the lot with a new build.

Under construction for nearly two years, new Disney Dream officially became the property of Disney Cruise Line as the ship was handed off at Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany. Next week the new ship will be Port Canaveral bound where her first revenue cruise will begin on January 26.

“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.”

Making space for Disney Dream at a newly-updated cruise terminal at Florida’s Port Canaveral moves Disney Wonder to the West Coast where sailings will include voyages to Alaska, a first for the line and a move applauded by fans of cruise vacations.

Disney Dream is scheduled to sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas. Sister ship Disney Fantasy, one of several new ships due out from an assortment of cruise lines, is currently in production at the Meyer Werft shipyard. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to set sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries in 2012, also from Port Canaveral.

New Disney Dream cruise ship sails out to sea

The Disney Dream, the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, is now under its own power, conducting tests out on the North Sea.

The Dream left the Meyer Werft shipyard and was towed by tugboats 26 miles down the River Ems to Eemshaven, The Netherlands. This conveyance is unique to ships built at Meyer Werft, because it is so far inland. Some railroad bridges across the river had to be dismantled to allow the ship to pass.

Of course, the whole thing was done Disney-style, with fireworks and Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck waving from the decks to residents gathered to watch the spectacle.

After the North Sea tests, known as the “test-and-adjust period,” the Disney Dream cruise ship will be dry-docked for a short time in Germany before being officially delivered to the Disney Cruise Line.

The Disney Dream will sail 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Florida. The inaugural cruise is set for Jan. 26, 2011.

A fourth Disney Cruise Line ship – the Disney Fantasy – is also under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard. The Fantasy will be completed in spring 2012.