Friday, April 22, 2005

From Cruise News April 11th (Norway News)

Norway Escapes Scrapyard?

Word on the street is that Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Norway, will be transferred over to parent company Star cruises and towed to Port Kland in Malaysia to be used in a yet to be disclosed "new venture". The 1,035 ft long, former French Line flagship, Norway (ex France), has been laid up in a German shipyard since soon after she sustained serious damage as a result of a boiler room explosion in May of 2003.

While the news that the cruise ship might have avoided the shipbreakers brought hope to the ship's many supporters, not everyone was convinced that the ship had been given a reprieve. Specifically, the lack of details about the "new venture" led some industry insiders to speculate that the move might be more a way to avoid having to remove asbestos from the ship rather than an genuine attempt to use her again. According to European environmental regulations, large amounts of asbestos installed during her construction must be removed from the vessel before she could be sold to scrap.

According to some, the plan to tow her to Malaysia would allow the ship to be moved from European waters without having the asbestos removed. Once she was outside of the reach of European regulators, she could be moved anywhere, including the notorious shipbreakers beach at Alang, India. We understand that the ship is being prepared for departure as early as this week. Stay tuned as we will provide updates as they become available.

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