Disney Begins the Conversion of Gigantic Cruise Ship
The Disney Treasure will set sail in 2024, joining the Disney Wish as arguably the finest two vessels in Disney’s fleet.
However, another mighty watercraft will join the Disney Cruise Line shortly after that.
We recently learned that the conversion process has begun on one of the largest cruise ships ever built. And it’s gonna be a part of Disney Cruise Line!
About This Ship
Sometimes, something fails through no fault of the people involved.
I’m honestly not in a position to say definitively whether that’s what happened with Star Cruises Limited and Genting Hong Kong.
What I can state factually is that this company went all-in on the cruise industry right before a global pandemic shut down cruises everywhere.
Do you know what a terrible business model is? It’s someone paying for the construction of some of the world’s largest ships at a time when they’re not making money.
You cannot pay the bills when your income is zero, and you just bought a boat. It’s math.
Genting Hong Kong learned this the hard way with the Global Dream, which would have been a 9,000-passenger cruise ship.
Alas, Genting stopped paying the shipbuilding company, Meyer Werft. That left a shipyard in an awkward position.
Meyer Werft found itself the owner of a 208,000 gross-ton boat that it hadn’t wanted. That’s how foreclosure works in this industry.
When someone cannot pay for a boat, the shipbuilder keeps it and then hopefully finds another buyer.
Disney Bags a Bargain
That’s where Disney enters the conversation. During the pandemic, Meyer Werft and Disney Cruise Line communicated often.
The shipbuilders needed to update Disney on delays for the Disney Wish.
Obviously, constructing a giant cruise ship takes time.
Think about how much longer it would take with the construction crew honoring social distancing practices!
Meyer Werft and Disney developed a strong bond throughout this process.
So, when the shipyard found itself in possession of an unwanted 9,000-passenger cruise ship, it informed Disney of that fact.
In fact, the shipbuilder provided Disney with an exclusive 60-day bidding window to buy what will be one of the ten largest cruise ships ever constructed.
Disney paid pennies on the dollar to purchase said cruise ship, a decision so monumental I ranked it among the Biggest Business Stories of 2022.
That’s because the Global Dream carried an estimated price tag of $1.8 billion.
Do you know how much Disney paid to buy that cruise ship? $40 million.
That’s like having a coupon for 98 percent off the price of a cruise ship!
The Conversion Begins on the Global Dream
Disney didn’t need its cruise ship to include as many cabins as Genting had.
Also, some of the Global Dream’s designs didn’t fit with the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) aesthetic.
We’ve known since Disney bought the ship that it would perform a conversion to bring the vessel in line with DCL specifications.
I’m happy to report that this transformation has begun!
In August, MV Werften Wismar started the process, which included a reduction in potential passengers to approximately 6,000.
Also, this ship will become one of the first to use green methanol for fuel. It’s one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly fuels available.
The exterior will change to the classic DCL cruise colors, and it’ll add the familiar red funnels as well.
In short, once the conversion has finished, nobody will ever know that this ship originally wasn’t a Disney build.
DCL had previously announced a Southeastern Asia leg starting in 2025.
This latest update suggests that the new DCL cruise ship should open its port in Singapore in 2026.
So, the project has fallen slightly behind schedule, but we’re still no more than three years away from the arrival of Disney’s largest cruise ship ever.
Again, this one will cater to an entirely new market. Unless you travel to Asia frequently, the Disney Treasure news likely impacts you more.
Still, as a Disney fan, the knowledge that Disney just paid $40 million for a $1.8 billion cruise ship is something fun to know and an exciting story to track.
Oh, and Disney just confirmed that the name of its new ship is the Disney Adventure!
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