Today in Germany, Disney Cruise Line took possession of its newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, in a traditional maritime ceremony. The Meyer Werft flag was lowered, while the Disney Cruise Line flag was raised, transferring ownership from the shipbuilder to Disney.
The Disney Fantasy will sail on her maiden voyage on March 31, 2012 from Port Canaveral, Florida, also home to her sister ship, the Disney Dream.
“Today we celebrate the culmination of a wonderful partnership, as we take possession of the Disney Fantasy and prepare for the journey home to Florida. This ship is the result of the superb craftsmanship from the master shipbuilders at Meyer Werft and the innovation, imagination and ingenuity of the Disney team, who have partnered together so beautifully to bring this ship to life,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “We are eagerly anticipating our guests, who will experience storytelling in enchanting new ways onboard the Disney Fantasy while making magical memories that will last a lifetime.”
The ship will remain in Bremerhaven for another week while additional crew members board, and supplies and provisions are loaded. The Disney Fantasy is then scheduled to depart on Feb. 16 for its transatlantic voyage to the U.S., with an expected arrival to its homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida on March 6. Prior to its Florida arrival, the Disney Fantasy will have its Christening in New York on March 1.
Captain Tom Forberg will officially take the helm of the Disney Fantasy for Disney Cruise Line. As part of the Disney Cruise Line ship construction team, Captain Forberg has been with the company for more than 15 years and was responsible for launching Disney’s first three ships, the Disney Dream, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
Meyer Werft and Disney first signed a contract to build two new ships in April of 2007. Shortly thereafter, planning for the design of the ships began and construction started on the Disney Dream, the first of the two new ships, with the first steel cutting on March 2, 2009. Since the recent completion of the ship’s float out and conveyance on the River Ems, the test-and-adjust period has been in full swing.
The Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries beginning in 2012, from Port Canaveral, Fla., where she will join sister ship, Disney Dream, sailing three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas.