NCL's former flagship Norway arrived at Port Klang, Malaysia after an 80 day voyage from Germany. She had been laid up there since she was towed from Miami following a boiler room explosion in May of 2003. The 1,035 ft, former ocean liner was towed to Malaysia from Bremerhaven, Germany by the ocean going tug De Da.
When she left Germany, the official word was that the ship was headed to Malaysia to become part of a resort complex. Specifically, the ship was to be converted into a stationary hotel and casino and then incorporated into a larger resort complex being built near the Singapore cruise terminal.
If the resort plan failed to materialize, the company line was that Norway would be used as gambling ship sailing from Singapore. Under this scenario, her damaged boilers would be sealed off and she would operate at slow speeds powered by two of the remaining boilers. It is unclear how realistic the backup plan is given the state of the boilers and the potential liability of operating them following the explosion in May of 2003 without significant and expensive repairs.
Since her arrival in Malaysia, no additional information has been made available about her fate although rumors are circulating that scrappers have again visited the ship. Skeptics have claimed from the beginning that the announced plan was simply 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, before the ship could be sold to the scrappers the large amounts of asbestos installed during her construction would have to be removed from the vessel. The skeptics claim that the move to Malaysia was an attempt to dodge the environmental regulations and that Norway was never going to become part of the resort.
I'm not sure if it applies to all scrap merchants but I remember recently that a ship waiting to beached at Alang, India. (I think) was actually forbidden by the India government to be scrapped because the owners of the ship had failed to remove hazardous materials prior to the delivery. I'm not positive if it was just asbestos because I have seen the workmen handle that stuff by hand in the past. Anyway if the ship was destined for the scrapyard why didn't they just go straight there instead of Port Klang? I truly hope that this wasn't some kind of sneaky scam. Talk soon!
I am a photojournalist for newsagency. And trying to get the picture of NORWAY. And I know that NORWAY is in Port Klang, Malaysia..but can't locate its location..Anybody have some tips for this? Have tried to call Star Cruise media relation..they claim they dont know anything bout this..
Any detail where is she now? Port Klang has 3 ports, Northport, Westport and Southport.
We know for a fact that she did arrive at Port Klang however the last that I heard was that she was anchored out in the bay and not tied up. The interesting thing is that there have been no photographs of her arrival....at least that I can find. Anyway she should be there, if not she's bound to be close by. A little hard to misplace a 1,035ft. former transatlantic ocean liner wouldn't you say?
I have sailed on the S.S.Norway back in Jan 02 that was my first cruise so the Norway has a special place in my heart, it's sad to see what has happened to the grand old lady. I have two questions though when myself and my family were sailing on her they were doing a documentary about here and photographed my 2 year old daughter on different parts of the ship does anyone know where or how I can get a copy of the film. And second I have been reading alot of stories from other people about the Norway it seems that every one who has sailed on her loves her "exept" for the people who own her surely the historic factor should have been enough, but I guess not lets just hope they don't scrap her
John......do you remember who was doing the video? Was it NCL or someone else? It's been awhile but I remember watching a program on either the Discovery channel or the History channel and it was about modern cruise ships. A good portion of the show was focused on the Norway and even had interviews with certain crewmembers including, I think, Captain Sovsdnes. I don't remember what the title of the show was but I'm sure if you check some websites maybe you can find it. Anyway good luck!
All true cruisers that love "real" ships are sad about the the Norway's situation. I wonder whats really going on with this great liner.? I wish I could sail her one last time. I'll never forget my New Years cruise(the last New Years cruise that she sailed). I knew then that this liner was so special and I enjoyed the ship 100%
After 30 years of cruising and many voyages on various ships and lines this ship has to be number one or close to it on my many happy memories aboard a ship.
Todays cruise ships are just floating hotels (or boxes).
The Norway was a real liner.
Capt Matt ....thank-you for the reply the film crew that was on the ship was not from NCL it was a different film crew (not sure which) in the film there would have been pictures of my daughter in a green tartan dress and other pictures of here by the pool, they took our address and said they would send a copy -but never did- as for Capt Sovsdnes that sounds like the Captain that was on the ship for our cruise not 100% sure. P.S. which web site should I look at. thanks John
John.....I would try looking on both the Discovery and History channel websites. You might have to get creative with the search titles....I don't think putting just 'SS Norway' will find it but by all means try it. You might need to try 'cruise ships' or maybe 'Modern Marvels', etc. If I find something I'll post it here for you. Also if you go onto Ebay and search under 'SS France' and 'SS Norway' you'll find all kinds of neat stuff. A few weeks ago a person was selling a DVD of the ship with recent footage while she had been in Germany. It could very well be the last pictures of her interior as we know it. Unfortunately I didn't bid on it. Every week you'll find interesting items.....more France than Norway but still very neat. I'm currently working on a display showcase of pictures of the ship in my living room. It's sort of like the on they have onboard if you remember. There is a picture of the actual one at www.schiffsphoto.de enter then click on 'N' and find 'Norway' then click and you'll download about 50 nice thumbnails of the ship and interior. Turn up your volume and you'll hear an actual clip of Norway's horns once the page is done. Anyway sorry to ramble on......just wanted to share the information!
The URL above is in French, here is rough translation:
The sale of the ex-France has been cancelled!!!
The difficulties and media surrounding efforts to scrap the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau (due to huge amounts of asbestos aboard the ship) have caused unexpected consequences: on December 27, 2005, the sale of ex-France was cancelled by its owner, Star Cruises.
Star Cruises, current owner of the steamer Norway(ex- France) had previously sold the ship to an American company, Global Marketing System (GMS), which was on the point of reselling it to an Indian demolition contracter with whom it works regularly, Shree RAM Vessel Scrap Ldt, of Alang.
However, the fear of a environmental lawsuit (due to the abestos content of the ship) per the convention of Basel (which prohibits transfer of ships with these risks to non-Basel convention compliant nations, such as India) caused all potential scrappers to drop their potential deals with GMS. The latter subsequently cancelled their purchase, in essence returning the ship to Star.
A few months ago, the departure of the steamer of Bremerhaven, in Germany, obtained the green light of the harbour authorities, because, at the time, Star Cruises stated that the ship was to join an Australian company and be refurbished. This superficially placed it apart from the convention of Basel regulations concerning the abestos on ths ship.
The terms of the sale to American company GMS, stipulating that the steamer was to be demolished, contradicted the first declarations of ise Star Cruises, and left the large door open to attack by environmnetal groups.
In December, legal council of Star Cruises became concerned that if the company persisted in its intention to send the ship to the breakers, it could be seen inflicting as violation the convention of Basel, thus making it liable for penalties of several tens of million dollars!
Star Cruise thus reconsidered the sale and on December 27th refunded the purchaser. Norway is no longer for sale for demolition. It actually contains much more asbestos than the Clemenceau (a spokesman for Star Cruises, Jane Poh, speaks about something in the range of 3,000 tons)!
By drawing the attention of the world to the asbestos contained in the ships, the militants of Greenpeace actually caused a small miracle for those in love with the steamer: they pushed back the end of Norway.
Business to be followed with, undoubtedly, all sorts of new bounces...
For those concerned about the Norway, cautious optimism is a description I would now use Though hearing this development has certainly made my day!
Of course none of this would be have been possible without the hard work of:
- The French Associacion Pour L'ex France
- Greenpeace, Basel Action Network (BAN)
- the extremely hard work of everyone in the Basel Convention Secretariat of the UN
All the people/groups above worked very hard to bring both the Norway and Clemenceau absestos issues to the public light, and focusing on Clemenceau first was definitely the right move.
A group of Norway fans have contacted the Malaysia's Dept. of Environment/Hazardous Substances Division to confirm the report and whether or not the investigation against Star is ongoing or has been dropped.
Unfortunately, in the back of my mind there's always the possibility that this is just another ruse to get a tow contract for her. If she were under Basel violations, no tug vessel flagged in a signatory country would be allowed to tow her. For now I think the situation is mostly under control, because the latest sattelite photographs confirm she's staying put.
Scuttling at sea is always an issue but one which I don't think is very likely because 1) the ship still has over 1K tons of asbestos on board which will eventually be released into the ocean, exposing Star to further legal consequences...and 2) They've got 3 large classic and very popular liners on their hands and their first attempt to scap one has gone awry.
The strategy now would appear to be to find an investor who is willing to put up the money for a complete rebuild, treating the investment as if it were new tonnage altoghether. Unfortunately, there aren't too many people with that kind of scratch laying around who may be willing to do that.
As much as I too would hate any further modifications to the vessel, the fact is that she is lacking in verandah cabins and simply needs more of them to stay competitive. Of all the possible modifications that could be made to accomplish this, installing deck hatches or sliding doors on outside olympic deck cabins would probably be the most minor and reversible of all.
But at least the sword of Damocles seems to have gone away!!
I too would like to sail on the Norway again but given the time that it has been out of commission, the obvious high cost of repairs and the age of the vessel, I think that we all need to resign ourselves to the fact that the Norway will never be available to us again.
I don't think that sending a bunch of letters to the CEO of NCL will change his mind.
Update: Star has "unloaded" the Norway for $12million to an Indian scrapper, but he is being banned from bringing the ship into Bangladesh for scrapping. This is leading to speculation that the ship is being put up for sale yet again, to any party that is willing to keep her afloat. News report below:
While surfing the net this evening, I came across a site for "Marine Transportation Consultants" (www.tug-barge.com) & they in fact are listing the 'Blue Lady' as again available for purchase as the scrap sale was terminated. This news was posted as of February 22, 2006. Like many others, I would make a reservation on her without hestitation given the opportunity.