Disney has acquired a partially completed ship as part of the latest expansion of its cruise line business. The ship was originally built by MV Werften for Genting Hong Kong’s Dream Cruises of which its parent company later went bankrupt in January 2022.
Disney will work with the Meyer Werft shipbuilding company to complete the cruise ship previously known as the Global Dream in Wismar, Germany. The ship will be renamed with certain features reimagined under the world-renowned expertise of Walt Disney Imagineers and the new ship is expected to set sail in 2025, according to the press release.
The new ship, to be based outside the United States, 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. More details about the maiden voyage, itineraries and onboard experiences will be announced at a later date.
The 208,000-gross-ton 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.
The ship’s previous owner filed for bankruptcy before completing the vessel, enabling Disney Cruise Line to secure it at a favourable price and within the capital expenditure guidance The Walt Disney Company provided on its recent earnings call. The project also secures employment for hundreds of former MV Werften employees and will provide opportunities for numerous maritime industry suppliers in the region.
“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,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of experiences and products at Disney Parks.
Back in October this year, the Bermuda Court has ordered Genting Hong Kong to wind up business, symbolising the last chapter in the history of Asia’s largest cruise operator as an independent business entity.
While back in January this year, Genting Hong Kong filed to close down its business as it said it would run out of cash as of January 2022, although it stated that its operations of cruise lines by Dream Cruises will continue. Shortly after, Malaysian billionaire, Lim Kok Thay, resigned from his position as chairman and CEO for Genting Hong Kong. According to Bloomberg, Lim owns 76% of Genting Hong Kong. Deputy CEO and president, Au Fook Yew, also resigned from his post.
Genting Hong Kong explained previously that it had exhausted all reasonable efforts to negotiate with relevant counterparties under its financing arrangements. However, it failed to reach an agreement with various creditors and other stakeholders. As a result, Genting Hong Kong had no access to any further liquidity under any of the group’s debt documents.
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