On 26 January 2011, Disney Dream will depart Port Canaveral, Florida on her maiden voyage after sailing across the sea from Bremerhaven. Over a period of twenty months, the Meyer Weft Shipyard in Papenburg have built the largest ship in its, and Germany’s, history. Spanning 14 decks, the Dream is 1,115 feet in length, has a draught of 7.92m and is a maximum width of 125 feet. At 128,000 tonnes, she has 1,250 staterooms and can accommodate 4,000 passengers as well as 1,458 crew members.
It has been a long 11 year wait since the Disney Wonder, sister ship of Disney Magic, was launched and Tom Forberg, who has been with the cruise line since the beginning and was at the keel laying ceremony in Papenburg, will be Master of Disney Dream. The float out on 30 October 2010 at the Meyer Weft Shipyard was witnessed by 10,000 on-lookers at the quayside, some of whom had camped out in caravans overnight to see the ship emerge from its massive construction shed. Having undergone testing on its functional features before the float out, work continued on the interior areas until her conveyance 26 miles down the River Em to the port of Eemshaven on the North Sea. Here she will undergo sea trials, after which, Disney Dream will have a short dry dock in Hamburg before being delivered to Disney Cruise line in Bremerhaven.
The most iconic feature of the ship, the red and black aluminium funnels, weigh in at 200 tons, are 98 ft long, 41 ft wide and 65 ft high. The aft funnel will stand out even more because of the 765 feet of clear tubing wrapped around it and the entire upper deck. Disney Cruise’s Aqua Duck water coaster will propel inflatable rafts, each holding two people, down the tubes in a high speed jet stream of water. Though many of the innovative new features have been kept under lock and key, one that has been revealed are Magical Portholes. These portholes are inside stateroom ‘virtual’ windows which will provide a view of the outside via a real-time feed from high definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship. With the exception of animated starfish and other characters floating past, the appearance of these portholes will be realistic.