The End is Near

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>>I still am not really sure as to why the vessel was deemed unfit for further service.<<

I think the term you're looking for is "Beyond economical repair." While the ship hasn't seen a lot of use and likely has a lot of service life left on the hull, the fact remains that she's over 40 years old and a lot of the parts and componants she would need to repair the boilers came from suppliers that either no longer exist or who don't manufacture that sort of thing any more.

What that means is that the parts would have to be cannibalized from somewhere (WHERE?) or they would have to be custom made, and the defination of "custom made" is "Bloody expensive." She was never very economical to operate in the first place. Ships of State...which the France was...were kept in the black by way of government subsidies and once the subsidies went away, she became a money loser. The only way NCL could make her pay was to essentially mothball half of the plant and install all of the trappings of a cruise ship...casinos, shops and all.

You can read more about her history at

For whatever it may be worth, I suspect if the main propulsion plant had been coverted to diesels, we wouldn't be having this conversation. No boiler explosion would have occured, nobody would have died, and the engines would have been easily repaired in the event of some sort of damage.
The Plot thickens!

Assessment of 'toxic' ship deemed a whitewash

New Delhi - Environmental groups Thursday vowed legal action to try to prevent the scrapping of a ship in western India that they charged is lined with 1 200 tons of cancer-causing asbestos.

and here:

"We have learnt from highly placed sources in the Supreme Court appointed Technical Committee that there was intense pressure on the members to clear the beaching of the ship," Gopal Krishna of Corporate Accountability Desk claimed here.
>>Assessment of 'toxic' ship deemed a whitewash<<

And I wonder what they expected? I don't think that court committee was blind to what's on that ship, but I really doubt they much cared.
I expect that this will not frustrate efforts to make serious big bucks out of "France's" bones. Remember that India is a third world country with the second largest population in the world, and they know it. It is a matter of national pride and economics to get this resource metal into the furnaces. The people working in the asbestos may not object nearly as much as the lawyers do. To quote a line from "The Godfather", "It's business, not personal." I think anything and everything will go into finishing her off. The ship will likely make more money in scrap metal than she would as a floating hotel. I think that is the reality of all this. I hate to see the last trans-Atlantic liner, and one of classic design, reduce to slices of junk, but I doubt anyone is going to stop this process.
They'll make money on a lot more then the scrap metal. Every one of her furnishings and fittings is fair game from the bedspreads to any useful instruments on the navigation bridge. No matter what it is, with few exceptions, there will be a market for it somewhere.
It could go on for awhile or it could be short circuited by next week at the stroke of a pen. How it gets short circuited is anybody's guess. Maritime Matters was asserting that the ship could be beached as early as tomorrow but with litigation underway, I don't expect to see that happening.

All that aside, if Alang ultimately doesn't get the ship, keep an eye out for Chinese interests buying the vessel. They have quite the talant for getting the jobs nobody else will touch, and would just as soon throw activists in jail as talk with them.
Coulda,woulda,shoulda.Yes if NCL had converted the S.S.Norway's propulsion plant from steam to diesel-electric which is the same thing that was done to the Queen Elizabeth 2,the Cruise Liner Norway would still be in service today.When NCL would not spend the estimated I think about $200 million to convert to the Norway to diesel-electric,it does not look good for the prospect of putting the S.S.United States back into service which has a estimated price tag of about $1 billion.So unfortunately and I really hate to say this but unfortunately the fate of the S.S.United States will ultimately the same as the S.S.Norway to be beached and scrapped.Some people still disagree and still believe in the NCL propaganda that NCL will put the S.S.United States back into service.Yeah right when hell freezes over.
I had paid a visit to the ship when she was anchored off Port Klang in Malaysia early this year just before she was moved to India. (My grandfather worked in Malaysia). We could charter a launch for RM50 an hour and go near the ship.

Even with years of rust and negligence, she still looked wonderful, her size was immense when you draw alongside her. It is another great waste of another great ocean liner...the great liners of the 1960s are slowly disappearing one by one...

Scott R. Andrews

Former Member
I have to agree with Jerry regarding the SSUS. The amazing thing, at least to me, is that she hasn't already been dragged off to the slaughter. For one thing, there will be no big hoohah over her departure by the environmentalists, since she was already stripped of all of the nasty stuff years ago when she was sent on that little "vacation" to Istanbul. Basically, she's a prize "catch" for any shipbreaker -- very little in the way of hazardous materials to deal with and chock full of top quality materials, the likes of which are found in very few merchant ships.

Scott Andrews
>>I have to agree with Jerry regarding the SSUS.<<

As do I. All that's left is a gutted hull that hasn't even been all that well looked after of late. Preservation of an active vessel is challanging enough. Trying to restore one that's been lying neglected in the backwater of a closed down shipyard...I just don't see it happening.

Kyle Johnstone

Former Member
According to Maritime Matters, their source on the scene expects Blue Lady/Norway/France to be on the beach at Alang about 7:30am local time, 15 August, right about now as I write this.

Scott R. Andrews

Former Member
"...According to Maritime Matters, their source on the scene expects Blue Lady/Norway/France to be on the beach at Alang about 7:30am local time, 15 August, right about now as I write this..."

I wonder what the chances are that we'll see any photographic evidence of this; given the hullabaloo that has been going on up to this moment, I suspect that the operators of that facility are likely to be a bit hostile towards anyone spotted carrying a camera of any sort. (Not that they were exactly "welcoming" to outsiders taking pictures of their operations prior to this...)

Scott Andrews
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