Fairytale ending for unfinished German cruise ship
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Stuck in a dockyard on Germany's Baltic coast for months, a part-completed mega-liner has been saved from the scrapheap by the American entertainment giant Disney.
The ship, known up until now as the "Global Dream", was left unfinished when the Asian-owned shipyard it was being built in filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of the year.
MV Werften docks and its owner, the Asian operator Genting HK, went under as demand for cruises collapsed as a result of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
The construction of the ship would now "be completed at the former MV Werften shipyard in Wismar... under the management of Meyer Werften", which built a number of Disney's fleet of cruise ships, the group said in a statement Wednesday.
The turnaround was a "bridge to the future" for the shipyard, local IG Metall union chief Daniel Friedrich said Thursday.
The union hoped the restart of works on the cruise ship would mean "as many jobs as possible" were saved in Wismar.
The MV Weften docks along the Baltic coast were sold off piecemeal by administrators, with some locations being snapped up by industrial groups like ThyssenKrupp and others nationalised by the German army.
The sale of the unfinished cruise liner has dragged on with potential buyers needing to invest an estimated 600 million euros ($622 million) to complete the project.
The purchase by Disney meant the works in Wismar and local employees had new "prospects", said Rheinhard Meyer, the economy minister for the local region of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
The cruise ship, which will be renamed, would be finished with "know how from north Germany", Meyer said.
Some features of the 342-metre-long cruise ship, set to become one of the world's largest pleasure liners, will also be "reimagined", including a "Mickey Mouse-inspired" paint job, the group said.
Disney expects "passenger capacity to be approximately 6,000" for the finished ship with a further 2,300 crew.