Disney Cruise Line
Specifications of Global Dream
|Year of build||2025 new ship|
|Builder||MV Werften (Wismar) Germany|
|Building cost||EUR 940 million (USD 1,1 billion)|
|Speed||23 kn / 43 km/h / 26 mph|
|Length (LOA)||342 m / 1122 ft|
|Beam (width)||46 m / 151 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||208000 gt|
|Passengers||4700 - 9500|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
|Operator||Disney Cruise Line (via Magical Cruise Co Ltd)|
Global Dream Review
Review of Global Dream
The 2025-built MS Global Dream cruise ship (currently under construction in Germany) is the first of two GLOBAL class units ordered by the shipowner GHK-Genting Hong Kong (1993-founded/2022-defunct) for the company's Asian subsidiaries/brands Dream Cruises and Star Cruises. The first liner (Global Dream) was scheduled for launch in 2020 (inauguration in December) but, due to the Coronavirus crisis was postponed for 2022-Q1.
The second vessel (unnamed sistership/IMO 9808998) was planned for Star Cruises and scheduled for launch and inauguration in 2023) but its name is yet to be announced. However, after GHK filed for bankruptcy in January 2022, Global Dream's construction was paused (reportedly, the boat was ~70% completed).
By passenger capacity (9500 max plus 2200 crew, or total 11700 as initially designed), GHK Global-Class represented the world's largest cruise liners ever built.
The vessel (IMO number 9808986) will be Bahamas-flagged (MMSI number tba) and registered in Nassau.
With redesigned max passenger capacity ~6000, Global Dream is expected to enter service for Disney in 2025 (maiden voyage's date and itineraries are yet to be announced).
History - construction and ownership
On June 11, 2022, Christoph Morgen (GHK's MV Werften's insolvency administrator) announced that the unfinished sistership (the second GLOBAL-class unit/"Global Dream 2") will be sold for scrap. The unit had a completed lower hull with installed machinery Including the engines) and some of the systems. The plan was for the installed systems and machinery to be removed and sold, and the half-finished hull to be separately sold at scrap prices.
On October 6, 2022, NDR 1 Radio MV (part of NDR-Norddeutscher Rundfunk German news agency) reported that the unfinished (~75-80% completed) mega-liner could be purchased by DCL-Disney Cruise Line. In an interview, Christoph Morgen said that there are purchase negotiations with DCL. The vessel will be completed in Wismar (under Meyer Werft's Papenburg yard's management) and could be delivered/inaugurated in 2024-Q4.
While the possible purchase price was not mentioned, the previously stated shipbuilding cost was EUR 1,6 billion. DCL's purchase interest was not officially announced, but on October 4th, Reinhard Meyer (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Minister of Economics, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labor) mentioned "confidential negotiations" and that completing Global Dream will secure the employment of MV Werften Wismar's ~950 former employees. Global Dream's construction was suspended in January 2022 when MV Werften filed for bankruptcy.
Industry experts commented that with Global Dream Disney might enter the Asian market.
On November 16, 2022, DCL officially confirmed Global Dream's acquisition. The unfinished vessel's purchase was announced by Josh D'Amaro (Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences & Products). On November 30th was announced that Disney acquired the unfinished vessel (originally valued at EUR 1,8 billion) for just EUR 40 million.
- Disney took over the newbuild without warranty claims and stated that will complete/rebuild the liner at its own risk and expense.
- Reportedly, Disney plans to invest ~EUR 1 billion for the unit's conversion.
- It was commented that the cheap sale could result in a failure of the guarantees given for this shipbuilding project. Reportedly, GHK-Genting had taken out loans of EUR 650+ million from a consortium of 16 banks for Global Dream. To a large extent, the loans' repayment was secured by guarantees from the federal (Germany's) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state governments.
DCL-Disney Cruise Line is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company (shipowner). The company was incorporated in 1996 as "Magical Cruise Company Ltd". Walt Disney also owns the Bahamian private island Castaway Cay (exclusive port of call - for Disney ships only), an exclusive Cruise Terminal at Port Canaveral (Orlando) Florida USA and the exclusive Lighthouse Point (privately-developed cruise resort complex on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas). Disney cruises are marketed as "family vacations" and feature unique and exclusive activities, such as costumed Disney Characters, adults-only deck areas, dedicated facilities for teens, kids and infants-toddlers, signature (trademarked) shipboard facilities and activities, themed live entertainment.
GHK was a global entertainment, hospitality, and leisure company based in Hong Kong. It ordered two cruise vessels to be custom-built to serve the Asian market, specifically China. With the new Dream Cruises brand, the company started to offer a separate brand for each of its market segments, with the other two being Crystal Cruises (luxury segment) and Star Cruises (contemporary segment).
The financing package for both Global Class units (EUR 2,6 billion / ~EUR 1,3 billion per vessel) was structured by KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH as part of a consortium which also included BNP Paribas (France), Citibank (USA), Credit Agricole Group (France), DescriptionCredit Suisse Group AG (Switzerland) and DescriptionDNB ASA (Norway). The newbuilds are planned for assembly at 3 different MV Werften-owned shipyards. GHK's total investment in this shipbuilding project is ~EUR 3,1 billion (~USD 3,44 billion). The package was backed/guaranteed by Finnvera (Finland).
What is known so far is that the Global Dream ship will be China-deployed the whole year-round leaving on roundtrips from homeport Shanghai. Between April 2019 and March 2020, in Shanghai was also homeported the fleetmate Explorer Dream (managed by Star Cruises). The new Dream Cruises ship Global Dream will be homeported in China during summer, and during winter - in either Australia or the USA-Caribbean.
With GT 204,000 tons and max passenger capacity 9500, Global Dream is one of the largest passenger liners in the world. For comparison, the ever-largest (Royal Caribbean's Oasis-Class) have GT tonnage 228,000 tons.
In May 2019 were unveiled more Global-Class vessel details. The ships will have industry's first theme park at sea, largest cinema at sea, world's longest roller coaster at sea, self-guided robotic assistants, industry's largest standard-category staterooms (sized 20 m2), panoramic Atrium elevators (glass-walled and bottomed lifts) and 8x 2-lane escalators.
Ship's Roller Coaster (named "Space Cruiser Coaster") is the main attraction of the "Dream Park at the Pier" (company's first "theme park" concept), which also includes bouncing activity area, separate trampoline park, various aqua park facilities (including surfing simulator and racing waterslides).
Space Cruiser has 300 m (985 ft) long track and 3 Spike carts (with positive locking devices and powerful electric motors). The roller coaster allows 1+ G (gravitational acceleration almost everywhere on track) and max speed 60 kph (37 mph). Each Spike cart accommodates max two riders (inline seats) and features an integrated throttle control of the speed.
Fun fact is that the Space Cruiser Coaster was first constructed on land for testing. Once completed, the roller coaster was dismantled and transported to MV Werften's shipyard for final assembly. The roller coaster's s builder (Munich Germany-based company Maurer AG / fka Maurer Sohne GmbH und Co KG) specializes in steel construction and roller coaster manufacturing. Space Cruiser Coaster's design is based on Maurer's trademarked "Spike Coaster" (powered coaster) driven by a rack (counter-toothing / row of gear teeth fixed along the track) and pinion (gear on the vehicle that propels it down the track).
MS Global Dream's facilities include:
- The Plaza
- Town Square
- Zouk Beach Club
- Red Tail Social Games Lounge
- Horizon Lounge
- Dream Avenue (multi-purpose outdoor avenue / in-ship Promenade)
- Multiplex Cinema (a complex of 8 theaters, each convertible to a venue for group meetings and themed events)
- The Palace - luxury "ship-within-a-ship" concept
- Luxury Suites
- DFS-T Gallery at Sea (Duty-Free Shops)
MS Global Dream has a huge duty-free shopping mall (DFS-T Gallery at Sea) operated via partnership between Genting Cruise Lines, DFS and Starboard Cruise Services. DFS Group (1960-founded, Hong Kong China-based travel retailer) and Starboard Cruise Services (1958-founded premier cruiseship retailer) are both subsidiaries of LVMH (1987-founded, Paris France-headquartered multinational). The ship's retail shops cover an area of ~18,000 ft2 (1680 m2) and sell ultra-premium merchandise in the categories Food-Gifts, Beauty-Fragrance, Fashion-Accessories, Watches-Jewelry, with product introductions, brand-firsts and unique promotions.
In late-July 2020, Dream Cruises debuted (on MS Explorer Dream) the "Flexi-Feast" - a completely customized shipboard dining (food and beverage) concept that allows passengers to choose from more venues. Upon boarding the ship, cruisers receive a set of complimentary dining vouchers which can be used at designated restaurants, as well as OBC (onboard credits) for ordering meals at specialty restaurants, beverages at bars and also for room-service orders.
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Global Dream Wiki
The financing package for both GHK Global-Class units (EUR 2,6 billion / ~EUR 1,3 billion per vessel) was structured by KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH as part of a consortium which also included BNP Paribas (France), Citibank (USA), Credit Agricole Group (France), DescriptionCredit Suisse Group AG (Switzerland) and DescriptionDNB ASA (Norway). The newbuilds were planned for assembly at 3 different MV Werften-owned shipyards. GHK's total investment in this shipbuilding project was ~EUR 3,1 billion (~USD 3,44 billion). The package was backed/guaranteed by Finnvera (Finland).
On March 8, 2018, the vessel's construction officially started with the steel-cutting ceremony held at MV Werften's shipyard in Bremerhaven Germany. Initially, the ship (hull number 125) was allocated to the sister-brand Star Cruises. The shipowner GHK also has an order for a second (Global-class) unit set for delivery in 2021. There were speculations about this one could also be built for Dream Cruises. The shiporder has optional 2 more units of the same class.
On March 8, 2018, MV Werften actually conducted two steel-cutting ceremonies - one at the Wismar Shipyard and another at the Warnemunde-Rostock Shipyard. Vessel's production takes place in both yards, with final assembly in Wismar. The construction process involves around 600 companies (subcontractors / equipment producers and suppliers). The steel-cut ceremonies were attended by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (GHK's CEO and Chairman).
On July 31, 2018, the shipbuilder MV WERFTEN Wismar GmbH contracted Almaco Group to install the new ship's staterooms (pre-fabricated cabin modules) and other equipment. By this deal, Almaco will install all the Wismar Shipyard-produced staterooms (all passenger and crew cabins), various crew-only areas, hallways and staircases. Almaco will manufacture and supply all the ship's suite cabins, which will be installed at the Warnemunde-Rostock Shipyard. The contract was signed by Esko Karvonen (Almaco's CEO).
On September 11, 2018, at the Warnemunde-Rostock Shipyard was held the vessel's keel-laying ceremony, with which officially started its construction. During the special event was lifted and placed the first keel block (bottom hull section) with length 22 m (72 ft), width 26 m (85 ft) and weight 410 tons. This section is nearly half of the entire keel. A total of 30 large-sized sections were pre-fabricated and assembled in Stralsund and subsequently shipped to Wismar for final assembly. At Wismar Shipyard's outfitting quay was installed (specially purchased for GHK's Global-class project) a 125 m (410 ft) high gantry crane.
The ship's midsection (length 216 m, height 57 m, consisting of 145 blocks) was preassembled at WERFTEN Rostock and towed (November 22-23, 2019) to WERFTEN Wismar - approx 80 km to the southwest. The towing was conducted by 5 tugboats.
On October 26, 2018, MV WERFTEN Wismar GmbH signed a deal with two Turku Finland-based companies (Deltamarin and Elomatic) which were contracted to provide Global-Class vessel's design. The contracts; values were ~EUR 16,5 million for Deltamarin Ltd (specializing in ship design, offshore engineering and construction support) and ~EUR 17 million for Elomatic (marine engineering and consulting and software development). Both companies were contracted also to provide shipyard services during the vessel's construction. Both contracts were signed by Janne Uotila (Deltamarin's CEO) and Patrik Rautaheimo (Elomatic's CEO).
In 2018-2020, the Star Cruises liner SuperStar Libra was permanently berthed in Wismar and used as ship hotel for the personnel (yard workers and contractors) involved in GHK's Global-Class shipbuilding project.
GHK-Genting's Global-Class ships feature artificial intelligence technologies (including facial and voice recognition for expedited passenger services - boarding, disembarkation, payments), robots (performing mundane tasks), Cineplex (theme park), Asian spa complex, multiple Asian dining venues (including fast-food), both affordable and premium retail shopping facilities, roller coaster, water park (with 5 slides), surf simulator. Staterooms are designed for Asian families and can sleep 2-4 persons. Most cabins are with two (split) bathrooms. Each ship has 8 sets of escalators and 28 elevators. Technologies implemented in the staterooms also include Bluetooth cabin door locks, touch-screen control panel, smartphone-control of different en-suite functions (mood lighting, air-conditioning, etc).
The vessel's waste and water management system was provided by Evac (the world's leading company building integrated waste-wastewater-water management systems). ’The company's Complete Cleantech Solution package includes vacuum collection system, wastewater treatment plant, dry and wet waste treatment plant, freshwater desalination plants (based on reverse osmosis). The freshwater generation plants have capacity to produce 3000+ m3 of freshwater per day. The contract with Evac was signed on January 3, 2017.
On January 9, 2017, was signed a contract with ABB for the delivery of Azipods (power-propulsion units), automation systems and the marine software for all 5 new Genting ships ordered for the brands Crystal and Star. The 3 Crystal vessels are from the Crystal Endeavor series superyachts (Polar Class 6). These are the first purpose-built ships for the contemporary Chinese market regarding onboard amenities and services (food, culture events, shows, enrichment programs, shopping, tours/excursions.
Global Dream is one of the cruise industry's first methanol-powered vessels.