Disney Cruise Line Takes Helm of Disney Dream from Meyer Werft in Ceremony

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Captain Mickey and Donald Duck join Bernard Meyer, managing partner of the Meyer Werft shipyard and Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise LineDisney Cruise Line recently took possession of its newest ship, the 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 family cruise experiences like no other. 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.

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