Disney Cruise Line’s new ship, the Disney Dream, sailed into its homeport of Port Canaveral the morning of Jan. 4 after a 16-night trans-Atlantic voyage from Germany, where it has been under construction for nearly two years. Beginning with a maiden voyage on Jan. 26, the Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas.
The launch of the Disney Dream brings economic benefits to Port Canaveral and the region, given the increased capacity of the new ship over the current Disney ships. According to an economic impact study by Martin Associates, the new ship is expected to generate nearly 450 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area, and attract thousands of additional cruise guests to the port.
“We are delighted to welcome the Disney Dream to its new homeport,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “As we grow the Disney Cruise Line business, not only does this mean a positive economic impact for the region, but this allows us the flexibility to provide even more options to our guests. With new innovations onboard and new destinations to explore, ultimately we’re providing even more ways for guests to enjoy a family cruise vacation.”
The recent construction project for Disney’s cruise terminal and dock area in Port Canaveral has also delivered economic benefits. Enhancements include an expanded dock area and terminal facility, along with the construction of a new parking garage connected to the terminal by a sky-bridge walkway.
In addition to the expansion at Port Canaveral, Disney has enhanced its private island, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, with extended beaches, more dining locations, private beach cabanas and Pelican Plunge, a floating water play structure with water slides.
Preparations are under way the traditional christening of the vessel. Other Disney Dream inaugural events include a Jan. 21-23 benefit preview cruise in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
Accommodating up to 4,000 guests, the 130,000-ton Disney Dream features the AquaDuck water coaster and Magical Portholes that transform inside staterooms into rooms with views. A sister ship, the Disney Fantasy, is under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and will arrive in early 2012. It will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, also from Port Canaveral.