Disney Cruise Line has taken a giant step toward the launch of its latest vessel with the Disney Dream leaving a German shipyard in Papenburg.
After 20 months of construction, the vessel floated out of the enclosed building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard, completing a major construction milestone.
Pictured: Disney Dream floats out amid a spectacular firework display
The ship was greeted by thousands of visitors lining the shore to see the newest Disney Cruise Line ship.
The ‘Float Out’ is a special maritime event that celebrates the ship’s final stages of construction, where exteriors become complete and final touches are assigned to interiors.
The celebration was punctuated with a fireworks display and the appearance of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
“Today marks a monumental milestone and begins the first of the finishing touches for the Disney Dream as we prepare to welcome guests aboard our newest ship,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line.
“Our guests are counting down to the maiden voyage, and in just 88 days, they will get to experience all that the Disney Dream has to offer.”
The Disney Dream is the first of two new ships being built by the Meyer Werft shipyard, with Disney Fantasy also currently in production.
“Today is a day of great pride for all of us at the Meyer Werft shipyard,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft.
“To finally see the largest ship this yard has ever built floated out and nearly complete is an inspiration within itself, and that coupled with the pixie dust Disney is known for, made this a truly magical moment for all involved.”
Meyer Werft is also signed up to build two Freestyle Cruising vessels for Norwegian Cruise Line.
The Disney Dream will remain alongside Meyer Werft’s outfitting pier in the shipyard harbour for about two weeks, while testing is completed on the ship’s stabilisers, rudders and other functional features, and work on the ship’s interior areas continues.
The ship is scheduled to leave the Meyer Werft shipyard and be conveyed down the River Ems in the second weekend in November, where its destination is the North Sea at the port of Eemshaven, The Netherlands.
The Disney Dream is scheduled to sail its maiden voyage on January 26th, 2011, from Port Canaveral, Florida.