It is an important signal for Papenburg as a shipbuilding location: The Oriental Land Company (OLC) has commissioned Meyer Werft to build a Disney Wish-class cruise ship for the Japanese market. Bernard Meyer signed the shipbuilding contract on 9 July in Tokyo.

The new ship is scheduled to be delivered in 2028. OLC, which operates the Disney theme parks in Japan, is expected to commence operation of the ship by early 2029. The OLC reached a decision to enter into the cruise business in Japan, and has concluded an agreement with Disney to bring the magic of Disney cruise to the Japanese market for the first time.

‘I am very happy to sign this contract today and win OLC as a new customer from Japan. This order contributes to the long term development of shipbuilding in Papenburg,’ says Meyer.

Bernd Eikens, CEO of the Meyer Group, adds: ‘With this new order, we look forward to continuing our relationship with Disney and working with Oriental Land Company, which also has a long-standing relationship with Disney, as a new customer. This is a strong signal for shipbuilding in Papenburg and shows that companies from all over the world rely on the quality of Meyer Werft.’

Also read: Carnival orders fifth Excel-class cruise ship at Meyer

Meyer Werft in financial trouble

Despite having a well-filled order book for the coming years, Meyer Werft is in dire straits financially. German broadcaster NDR reports that the company still has to pay off more than half a billion euros by November this year. The shipyard is in debt and has to pre-finance 80 percent of new builds, states NDR. It is as yet unclear how Meyer will pay off the debt.

The debts are a remainder of the Covid crisis, risen general and financing costs and the war in Ukraine, as the company revealed with its 2023 results.

Also read: Meyer lands another Carnival cruise ship order

Disney Wish

Meyer Werft has already delivered the Disney Wish, the first ship in the Wish class, to Disney Cruise Line in 2022. The 135,000-GTP Disney Wish features an LNG drive system and has 1250 passenger cabins. The two sister ships, Disney Treasure and Disney Destiny, are already under construction in Papenburg and will be delivered in 2024 and 2025.

Picture: Meyer to build Disney Wish-class cruise ship for OCL (by Meyer Werft).

Also read: C-Job partners with Meyer Group