Disney’s New Cruise Ship Completes River Transportation
Disney Cruise Line’s new cruise ship, approximately 144,000 gross tons Disney Wishreached a key milestone in her construction on March 31, traveling from the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, to Eemshaven in the Netherlands, where she will complete her final fitting-out and sea trials. Known as Ems Conveyance , the 20-mile trip takes about 10 hours and is a complex maneuver to move the 1,119-foot cruiser down the river and out to the ocean for the first time.
The voyage began on March 30 at the Meyer shipyard with passage through the lock of Papenburg. The passage through the lock and several bridges along the river are a tight fit for the ship which is 128 feet wide. The shipbuilder determined years ago that ships sailing stern-first on the river offer the best maneuverability, but present an unusual sight for onlookers lining certain parts of the river. The cruise ship is accompanied by tugs bow and stern and at one point in the journey passes over the highway which runs under the river in a tunnel.
Construction of the cruise ship began nearly two years ago and marks several milestones. Scheduled to enter service this summer, the Disney Wish is the first new cruise ship to join Disney Cruise Line in a decade. She is also the first major LNG-powered cruise ship for the cruise line and the first for the industry after Carnival Corporation introduced several LNG-powered cruise ships over the past four years for its brands including AIDA, Costa, Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises. Other companies in the industry, including MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, are currently building LNG-powered cruise ships. About a quarter of new cruise ships due to enter service are LNG ships.
When it enters service this summer, the newest Disney Cruise Line ship will offer innovative new experiences infused with Disney storytelling, including Disney’s first-ever attraction at sea, immersive “Frozen”-themed dining experiences and Marvel comics, and a lounge set in the Star Wars galaxy. The company, which relies on its designers who also develop theme park attractions, is also introducing a passenger suite located in the forward funnel.
Disney Cruise Line, launched in 1998, currently operates four cruise ships built by Fincantieri. the Disney Wish will make its maiden voyage on July 14, followed by a season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, Florida. Disney has also ordered two sister ships from Meyer Werft.