Disney Acquires Genting’s Global Dream from Bankrupt MV Werften
Disney Cruise Line confirmed that it has completed the acquisition of the incomplete cruise ship Global Dream that was being built by MV Werften for Genting Hong Kong’s Dream Cruises when the shipyard and later its parent company went bankrupt in January 2022. The cruise line division of the entertainment giant said it was able to secure the cruise ship at a favorable price and within the corporation’s capital expenditure guidance to investors.
The liquidator for the shipyard had been seeking a buyer for the cruise ship preferring a company that would complete the ship in Germany to also provide employment for the workers of the closed shipyard in Wismar. Disney had emerged as the front-runner in October after a group led by Stena dropped out. Disney reports under the terms of the acquisition it has agreed to complete the ship, which will be renamed, at the Wismar shipyard with Meyer Werft supervising the project. Employees of the former MV Werften will be offered work that would keep them employed until Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) begins operations at the site in 2024. TKS had previously agreed with the liquidators that the yard facilities could be used to complete the cruise ship.
Early rendering from Disney of the redesigned Global Dream (DCL)
Disney plans to redesign the 208,000 gross ton ship cruise ship and will repaint it removing Dream Cruises “hull art” for the traditional black and gold Disney livery with the Mickey Mouse logos. Disney will become only the third cruise line to have a ship over 200,000 gross tons. The Global Dream potentially will be the industry’s eleventh largest cruise ship, behind two classes of ships owned by Royal Caribbean International and a new class of ships being launched by MSC Cruises.
The cruise line says they expect the passenger capacity to be reduced to approximately 6,000 from the maximum of 9,000 Dream Cruises had announced. Areas such as a large casino will be also redesigned in keeping with Disney’s family-oriented cruises. Crew aboard the ship will be approximately 2,300.
One of the more innovative design changes Disney is discussing is the use of methanol for the ship’s fuel. In a brief statement, the cruise line says the ship “is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol.” Meyer Turku began construction in July for another new cruise ship for Germany’s TUI Cruises that is designed for methanol operations and in the United States Norwegian Cruise Line is exploring methanol with MAN for future ships and as a retrofit to its current ships.
The final purchase price of the Global Dream remains confidential. However, in Germany, the speculation is that the price is approximately €1 billion. The German government could suffer a loss of as much as €250 million or more due to loan guarantees to MV Werften and possible concessions for the sale and completion of the cruise ship.
Christoph Morgen, the lawyer overseeing the liquidation of MV Werften has scheduled a press conference for Thursday, November 17 to provide more details on the sale agreement.
Disney Cruise Line said it expects to introduce the new cruise ship in 2025 and that it will be based outside the United States. Separately, the cruise line is also building two LNG-fueled cruise ships at Meyer in Papenburg, Germany. The Disney Treasure, a sister ship to the Disney Wish, is scheduled for delivery in 2024, and the unnamed third ship is due for delivery in 2025.