Former France Awaits Scrapping

In a sad scenario, the Blue Lady—the former ocean liner SS France, which subsequently sailed as Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norway—arrived late last week in Indian waters to await scrapping by Indian workers at the "ship breaking" yard of Alang. Efforts to scrap the vessel are being delayed over concerns of environmental groups. Reportedly, 900 tons of asbestos must be removed before workers dismantle the luxury vessel. The Blue Lady will remain off the coast awaiting an Indian Supreme Court committee's review of whether the 46,000-ton ship can be dismantled safely. It's a sad end for one of the great ocean liners. The liner was launched by Madame Charles De Gaulle on May 11, 1960. Several generations of Americans also sailed on the ship as NCL subsequently operated it for many years as the Norway. A tragic boiler accident several years ago killed seven NCL crew members and injured many others, signaling the end of the aging liner's service as a cruise ship. NCL tried to find a buyer for the ship, but to no avail, and she was sold to a ship breaking firm during the past year.

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