Cruise operator Disney Cruise Line will soon become the owner of one of the world’s largest cruise liners — this will give it the opportunity to break into the fast-growing Asian tourist market.
The Florida-based cruise division of travel giant Disney announced late on Wednesday that it was buying a huge, half-finished vessel that until recently was being built for the Asian-based company Dream Cruises.
Work on the ship, which was to be called Global Dream, was halted after the collapse of Dream Cruises, along with the subsidiary brands Star Cruises and Crystal Cruises. All of them belonged to the Asian-based company Genting Hong Kong, which went bankrupt.
Disney said it would work with the German shipyard Meyer Werft to complete the vessel.
With a displacement of 208,000 tons, Global Dream would become the seventh largest cruise ship in the world if it entered the market today. However, it is ready to accommodate a record 9,000 guests. A large number of passengers became possible due to the presence of cabins on the ship, which can accommodate families of four people.
However, in its announcement, Disney said that the ship will accommodate only 6,000 passengers, implying that the configuration of the ship’s cabins will be changed.
Experts note that both the size of the vessel and the projected number of passengers are atypical for a Disney ship. The operator’s five vessels have a displacement of 83,969 to 144,000 tons. And they can accommodate no more than 4,000 passengers.
Among the features of the Global Dream vessel, which was designed specifically for the Asian market, was a huge casino with one and a half decks. Until now, Disney has not had a casino on any of its five ships.
Disney also announced that the exterior of the ship will be decorated in iconic colors inspired by Mickey Mouse and other characters.
Buying an unfinished ship, originally intended for another cruise brand, is a very unusual step for Disney. The company likes to control the process of designing and building its resorts both on land and at sea from the moment they are laid.
However, Disney Cruise Line is in the process of expanding. The brand already has an order for the delivery of two new vessels in 2024 and 2025. The ships will be the sisters of the recent Disney Wish.
But the updated Global Dream will be ready to go to sea no earlier than 2025.