In the small town of Papenburg, Germany, home to the Meyer-Werft Shipyard, the first of a new generation of Disney Cruise Line ships, the 128,000 gt DISNEY DREAM, was floated out yesterday evening. Thousands of onlookers gathered along the muddy river bank under a colorful canopy of umbrellas as intermittent showers dampened shoes and cameras lenses. Key Disney executives mingled with press from the U.S., the U.K. and Europe in a special pavilion built just for the event. As fanfare music began to play, the 14 deck high, 4,000 passenger DREAM slowly backed out of her building berth at twilight, guided by three tugs. When the 1,113 foot ship had almost fully emerged, fireworks blasted into the skies above her.
On January 26, 2011, the DISNEY DREAM will debut on her maiden voyage from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and will feature the world’s first sea-going water coaster Aquaduck, separate adult, family and youth areas. The striking, liner-like vessel with two squat, black-topped red funnels, is 50% larger than Disney’s current pair of vessels, the DISNEY MAGIC and DISNEY WONDER and will boast a crop of new amenities in addition to many of the prior ships’ popular features. The ship will also offer the line’s popular and innovative rotational dining in a new restaurant each night as the restaurants change colors or evolve from day to night settings. DISNEY DREAM features Art Deco-inspired decor infused with exclusive and whimsical Disney motifs.
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."