I recently read at the NCL board at cruisecritic.com that Maritime Matters reports that the France/Norway has just been inspected by 14 Indian scrap dealers while she sits at Port Klang in Malaysia. She could be towed to India in a few weeks.
Click on The Martime Matters ShipNews Weblog which mentioned this story on August 13th. If there's any further developments, my bet is that this is where you'll hear about it first. A sad end for one of the very last of the true transatlantic liners, but not unexpected.
Hmm, wouldn't that make an interesting documentary. The deconstructing of an Ocean liner. In my book collection I have a nice one on the Normandi, and it shows the various stages of the ship being cut up into scrap. I wonder if anyone thought to document the end of the Norway/France?
You know thoe David McCollough books, like "Castle", and "Cathedral"? He did one on a theoretical disassembly of the Empire State Building. He'd be a perfect person to draw such a thing as the breaking of a big liner. The photo shoot of Alang is amazing, and historically, one should see it to get a contextual point of view. It would seem that nothing goes to waste in those breaking yards, except the ship itself.
Wow! I had forgotten about that book on the Empire State building. I read it back in the early eighties. If I recall, the fictional story ended with the dismantled Empire State building being transported overseas when a storm sank the cargo ships, thus loosing the building forever. All except the very top tower which was put back in NewYork as a Statue more or less.
David- In that book -"Unbuilding"- you have the scenario exactly correct. An Arab sheik, bloated with capital from outrageous oil prices, purchases the entire skyscraper as a trophy. The pieces are numbered and carefully packed into the hull of a ULCC tanker. The tanker breaks up at sea and falls to the bottom of the Atlantic, taking the building with it. The tower is all that remains as a park structure in NYC. This is all well before 9/11 and figured in an economic environment when gasoline is priced at about .50/gallon!
Speaking thereof, would preserving one or both of "France's" wonderful funnels be an appropriate monument to the ship? I always hoped she'd be repainted in French Line colors and anchored next to the "United States" as a hotel/convention center on the west side of Manhattan.
Richard, THAT would be a sight! To once again line the New York piers with the Great Liners!
The France ex;Norway, the United States and might as well tow the Queen Mary over seeing that she is once again in chapter 11.
At least being in New York there will be plenty of tourists to visit them. As much as I love the QM in Long Beach, it is terribly isolated from the city.
OH! If you want a thrill, go to the Earth Google site and zoom into Manhattan. The Satelite pic they have shows a bunch of Modern liners at their piers. You can see the intrepid too. You can zoom in so close you can see the planes on the Intrepids deck.
Here is the link. It requires a fast computer though. Dial up speed just won't cut it.
James, I don't recall whether the place in question was Alang, but some years ago I saw a documentary about ship-breaking Alang style. The film makers were given very free access.
The amazing thing is that the breaking is done with nothing much except hammers and wedges. The men find a weak spot in the hull and attack it. They break off a piece and down it goes. Those on the ground must be watchful!
At the time, they had a few oxy cutters that were used for the hard bits. They may be better equipped by now, but there's no point in using expensive gear when the price of scrap steel is low.
The men working seemed to accept that working at ship breaking was better than not working at all. Goodness knows what long term damage they suffer. Asbestos would be only one of the hazardous materials in these ships.
About the only alternative to places like Alang would be to sink the ships in deep water. The greenies would howl, but there's no way of economically scrapping ships under first world working conditions.
As to France, I get the impression she has been quietly taken away under the cover story of making a floating resort or casino. The owners have avoided the protests and cries of "Save the France!" very nicely.
>>Alang is VERY wary about camera's taking pictures, cause of the deplorable working conditions, there. I doubt if there will ever be a film about it.<<
I have to point out that the Discovery Channel did a documentary on Alang which has aired several times this year. Nobody appeared to be camera shy, and a number of the people interviewed were quite candid about what goes on there.
>>I am basing the wariness from what I have read at Maritime Matters.<<
Fair enough. I've never seen anything like that on Maritime Matters but I may have missed something. All I can do is point to that documentary that was produced and there was no effort to hide the camera crews. The attitudes towards environmental industrial/workplace safety is decidedly cavalier compared to western attitudes and they don't much care who knows it.
France/Norway and Windsor Castle, at basically the same time. Sigh.
As the late and greatly talented Freddie Mercury would have said: Another one's gone, another one's gone, another one bites the dust.
What is truly irritating, although perfectly understandable, is that these proper ships are being replaced by things that don't look like real ships at all. I guess that's progress, but I don't have to like it.
I had the same thought, but afterwards she'd be worthy only of scrap. Several thousand people, from that region, in those conditions, in a protracted period of time would render the ship a mess. As soon as systems went down, such as waste water, hoo boy! What a sorry situation. Goodbye, "France".