Meyer Werft, Maker of Disney Cruise Line Ships, Suggests Timeline for Delivery of New “Triton” Class Ships May be Delayed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all areas of the entertainment and tourism industries, though perhaps its most lasting impact may be on the cruise ship industry, if the manufacturers of a number of Disney Cruise Line’s ships are to be believed.
According to Seatrade Cruise News‘ Frederik Erdmann, Meyer Werft, the German shipbuilding firm responsible for the creation of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, has said in a video aimed at staff that they are anticipating that the massive losses that the cruise ship industry will result in no new orders coming in until 2023 or 2024, and in an effort to keep the business operational beyond its current order book, they are renegotiating deals to delay delivery of new ships.
While no particular cruise lines were mentioned, this could impact Disney Cruise Line. Meyer Werft is currently planned to build the Disney Wish, along with two more new “Triton” class ships for Disney Cruise Line. While the Disney Wish was announced to launch in January 2022, it’s possible that it may be delayed.
The shipyard company’s Thomas Weigend, citing market observers, expects that only 50 to 75 percent of the world’s cruise ships would resume operations this year, causing massive losses for the industry for 2020, with cruise lines breaking even in 2021, not turning a profit until 2022.
Of course, that doesn’t factor in what happens should one or more cruise lines go bankrupt as a result of the pandemic. Should cheap, secondhand ships enter the market, that could delay new orders even further, hence the need to stretch out new orders. Weekend and overtime work has been eliminated for the foreseeable future, with a reduction in contract staff.
As owner Bernard Meyer explained, a customer told Meyer that they wouldn’t need new ships, and they would just be satisfied with being able to run their current fleet. He stressed the unprecedented nature of this pandemic on the industry: “Never before has the complete cruise fleet with over 400 ships stopped operating.”
Keep reading WDWNT for continuing coverage of this ongoing story.