The colors of German shipbuilder Meyer Werft were lowered and the
flag was raised over the world's newest cruise ship -- the Disney Fantasy.
The traditional maritime ceremony marks the final step of construction before the 4,000-passenger ship makes her way across the Atlantic, eventually arriving to her homeport of
and inaugural voyage on March 31.
"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 Fantasy has been undergoing sea trials in the North Sea for the last few weeks after nearly two years of construction at the shipyards in Papenberg,
. The Fantasy now joins the Disney Dream that debuted in 2010 and the line's two older ships the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
Captain Tom Forberg will officially take the helm of the Fantasy for DCL. Forberg has been part of the ship's construction team, with DCL for more than 15 years and was responsible for launching Disney's first three ships.
"The Disney Fantasy, along with her sister ship, the Disney Dream, are the largest ships that Meyer Werft has ever built," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. "Over the last five years we have developed an outstanding partnership working with Disney, and together, we have seen two magnificent ships become reality. The collaboration among Disney Cruise Line, Meyer Werft and its suppliers has been exemplary."
The ship still has another week in Bremerhaven, Germany while more crew arrive along with and supplies ahead of its transatlantic voyage on Feb. 16. The Fantasy will be in
on March 1 for its christening and then head down the East Coast to arrive at Port Canaveral on March 6. While the exterior of the ship is finished, a DCL spokesperson said the line will be putting finishing touches on the ship all the way up to its debut voyage.
The Fantasy will join the Dream offering a variety of itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas from the port near Orlando while
The Disney Wonder, which has been sailing out of the
, will head to Alaska this summer before repositioning to the