A huge cruise liner that was destined for the scrap yard because nobody wanted to buy it has been snapped up by Disney at the last minute.
The sale price for the 208,000-tonne Global Dream cruise ship was reportedly EUR 1.3 billion (GBP 1.1 billion).
But Disney reportedly snapped it up at a considerably reduced price after it was threatened with simply being sold for scrap.
The vessel – berthed in the Wismar shipyard in Germany – was formerly owned by the now-bankrupt Genting Cruise Lines.
The regional government in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania lost a large amount of money on the deal estimated to be around EUR 260 million (GBP 227 million) after guaranteeing the creditworthiness of the now-bankrupt company.
In a statement confirming the purchase, Disney said they will work with the Meyer Werft shipbuilding company to complete the transformation of the cruise ship. Meyer Werft, is the Papenburg-based company that built the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish.
When completed it will be based outside the United States and before it is relaunched in 2025 is also expected to be renamed.
In a statement obtained by Newsflash, Josh D’Amaro who is the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products said: “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 vacation accessible to more families than ever before.”
The company added that the new ship will “feature innovative Disney experiences along with the dazzling entertainment, world-class dining and legendary guest service that set Disney Cruise Line apart.
“The exterior will be adorned in the iconic, Mickey Mouse-inspired colors of the fleet, complete with signature red funnels.”
The 208,000-gross-tonne ship is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol, one of the lowest-emission fuels available.
Disney Cruise Line expects the passenger capacity to be approximately 6,000 with around 2,300 crew members.
Despite the loss of the local government, the Disney company said that the sale creates a project that “also secures employment for hundreds of former MV Werften employees and will provide opportunities for numerous maritime industry suppliers in the region”.
There was no information about the more detailed itinerary and plans for the ship at this stage.
The Disney Cruise Line fleet sails to world-class destinations in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii and the South Pacific, and recently announced first-ever vacations for guests in Australia and New Zealand beginning in late 2023.