Disney Cruise Line has notified guests booked on two European sailings of Disney Dream that port changes are necessary for their summer sailings. Amsterdam has been removed from both itineraries and replaced with an alternate port, and each cruise has also had Sandness, Norway changed as well.
Disney Dream Summer Cruises Changed
Guests aboard the August 19, 2023 and September 3, 2023 departures of Disney Dream will no longer be sailing the originally published itinerary, as the cruise line has had to make port modifications to both cruises.
Disney Cruise Line reached out to booked guests with the details, informing them of the port change.
The August 19 sailing was to have been a 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise roundtrip from Southampton. While the general route of the ship remains the same and guests will still experience the beauty and majesty of the Norwegian coast, two ports of call have now been changed.
The ship will no longer call on Amsterdam, but instead will visit Rotterdam on the same scheduled day, Sunday, August 20. The cities are close to one another – just 36 miles (58 kilometers) apart – and undoubtedly, some shore excursions will remain the same, though others may need modification.
A second change to the itinerary is that the Norwegian port of Sandness is being replaced with Mekjarvek (Stavanger). Sandness is approximately 15 minutes south along the central-eastern coast, while Mekjarvek is north, at around 20 minutes.
This will mean Disney Dream does not travel nearly so far north along the Norwegian coast, as the other scheduled ports of call – Skjolden and Nordfjordeid, are both also in the southern part of the country.
The September 3 sailing, a 7-night Northern Europe and Norwegian Fjords cruise, is similarly impacted. Amsterdam is being removed from the itinerary and replaced with Zeebrugge, Belgium, and Sandness is again being replaced with Mekjarvid (Stavanger), removing the northernmost extent of the voyage.
Why Remove Amsterdam?
The removal of Amsterdam from Disney Dream‘s itineraries is likely due to ongoing water level issues at the complicated port.
Several cruise lines have made similar itinerary modifications for Amsterdam in recent months, as continued drought has forced operational changes for the lock passage system that make scheduling passenger vessels more challenging.
This is due to high salt levels that impact the city’s water system, and careful management of the lock system is required to maintain water quality.
Because port times in Amsterdam may not be predictable as the water quality changes, cruise lines may opt to change ports of call early to avoid last-minute cancellations when alternate ports may not be available.
Why Remove Sandness?
No explanation has been given for the removal of Sandness as a port of call, though similar water level or water quality issues could be at play in the region.
Disney Cruise Line could also be modifying itineraries in favor of more efficient cruise operations, with distant ports being removed and substituted with closer destinations in the interest of fuel efficiency and lower overall emissions.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made several such changes for sustainability in recent months, shortening port visits or removing ports altogether to optimize ship efficiency.
Compensation for Guests
While the email to inform Disney Dream guests of the upcoming changes, does not outline compensation options, impacted guests have reported changes to their port fees and taxes for the affected sailings. The cruise line will undoubtedly refund any now-cancelled port adventures as well, plus make new tours available for the new destinations.
Because cruise lines have the authority to change or cancel port visits at any time, no further compensation should be expected. The new ports are equally outstanding destinations and offer visitors natural beauty, history, culture, and more, which will undoubtedly equal a fine and magical vacation.
Disney Dream is currently sailing from PortMiami, but will reposition to the Mediterranean and a variety of European homeports in mid-May. In September, the 129,690-gross-ton ship will move to New York for a short series of cruises, and will offer two sailings from San Juan, Puerto Rico, before moving to Fort Lauderdale at least through April 2024.