The once famous SS Norway was finally sold for scrap in India. For more on the interesting life and history of the SS Norway read our guide…
The S.S. Norway Scrapped in India
Launched by Madame Charles DeGaulle on May 11, 1960, the S.S. Norway began life as the S.S. France in what was considered the twilight of the great transatlantic cruise liners. At the time of her launch, the France was the longest ocean liner in the world. Unlike earlier French liners, the France had starkly modern interiors and utilized materials like plastic and formica. Under the ownership of Compagnie Generale Trasatlantique, the France made her maiden voyage across the Atlantic from Le Havre to New York in February of 1962.
While fellow liners the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary and the S.S. United States struggled to compete with the emerging commercial airline industry, the S.S. France enjoyed full bookings for her voyages. By the 1970s, the France was also struggling and was kept alive primarily with subsidies from the French government. The France was retired during the oil embargo of 1974 as the government was no longer willing to subsidize the cost of her fuel.
In the late 70s, Norway shipping magnate Lauriz Kloster purchased the France for 18 million dollars and spent an additional 80 million converting her from a cold weather ship to a warm weather ship. She was rechristened the S.S. Norway and began a new career as a cruise ship in the South Atlantic and Caribbean. With Las Vegas and Broadway style shows featuring big name celebrity stars, the Norway became a resort destination in and of herself.
Kloster continued refitting and updating the Norway to keep her profitable. During the 1990s she ran regular 7 day Caribbean cruises from her home port of Miami, Fl. During the summer months her schedule shifted to cruises from Europe. In May 1999, a small fire in her aft engine room resulted in termination of her cruise in Barcelona, Spain, but she returned to service on June 12,1999.
In October 2000, Star Cruise Lines, the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Lines, made an announcement of their intention to retire the Norway. She was scheduled to complete a number of farewell cruises. In May 2003, a boiler room explosion killed four crew members and injured 17 in her Miami port. None of the passengers was injured, but an additional four of the injured crew died over the following months. The blast was determined to be an accident.
Initially towed to Berverhaven Germany for repairs, the Norway was laid up until August 13 of 2005 when she was towed to Port Klang, Malaysia. She was under tow for the entire voyage as her damaged turbines were not repaired after the explosion. Reports indicated that 14 scrap dealers from India and Bangladesh viewed her for bids.
Although rumors flourished about investors planning to buy the ship for a static hotel or casino, the S.S. Norway was scrapped in Alang, India in December of 2007.