The keel for the new Disney cruise ship was laid at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and marks a significant milestone in its construction process.
In a press release, Disney Cruise Line said it was excited to have reached a “significant construction milestone marked by the traditional keel laying ceremony of the Disney Wish, the first of three new ships in the line’s fleet expansion.”
The press release also noted that Captain Minnie Mouse will come to life for the first time through whimsical artwork on the bow of the Disney Wish.
The other two new Disney cruise ships under construction have not been named yet.
“As we look to the future with anticipation and excitement for continuing our legacy of creating magical vacations for families across the globe, we are thrilled to reach this significant milestone in the ship building process and to unveil Captain Minnie as the beloved character on the bow of the Disney Wish,” said Thomas Mazloum, President, Disney Cruise Line.
Keel laying takes place when the first block, or section of a ship, is lowered into the building dock, and a newly minted coin is placed under the keel for good fortune.
The coin created for the new Disney cruise ship Disney Wish features Captain Minnie, who made her debut aboard Disney Cruise Line ships in 2019 as part of a collection of initiatives aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the cruise industry.
“In maritime tradition, keel laying is the ceremonial beginning of the ship’s life,” said Philip Gennotte, Portfolio Project Management Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering Germany, who placed the coin at the ceremony.
“Today marked a momentous occasion for the Disney Wish, and I could not be more proud of our Imagineers, the cast and crew at Disney Cruise Line and the team at Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Germany, who are bringing this enchanting ship to life,” Gennotte added.
Disney Wish is scheduled to sail her maiden voyage in summer, 2022 with information on itineraries and bookings for the ship set to be released at a later date.
The new Disney cruise ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas, or LNG, one of the cleanest-burning fuels available and will be 144,000 gross tons with 1,250 guest staterooms, making her slightly larger than Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
Itineraries for the new ship have not been announced, but it’s widely expected that she will sail in the Caribbean out of Port Canaveral on three and four night cruises, with visits to Disney’s private Castaway Cay resort in The Bahamas as well as other destinations in the region.
The new Disney cruise ship is due for delivery in summer, 2022. She was meant to be delivered at the end of this year, but her construction was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused delays at Meyer Werft and other shipyards.