Norway Reportedly Headed to Scrap Yard

Star Cruises, parent of NCL Group, confirmed this week that is has sold the Norway, which launched in 1960 as the liner SS France. Shipping sources report the Norway, recently renamed Blue Lady, is already in Asia and bound for a scrap yard at Alang in western India, where old cargo and pleasure ships are broken up so their metal can be sold for scrap. NCL Group and the ship's fans had tried to find a buyer for the historic liner, hoping it could be turned into a casino, conference center or floating hotel, but there were no takers. The ship sailed for NCL in the Caribbean for many years but was removed from service after a boiler accident in 2003 killed several members of the crew and repairs proved too costly to undertake. As the ship apparently heads for the scrap yard, an environmental debate about the controversial practice of breaking up ships in developing countries is also taking shape. Greenpeace says the liner contains 1,250 tons of asbestos and other toxic materials and that any breaking of the ship would be a health and environmental risk for workers. Pending any action by the Indian government, however, it appears the former Norway/France is about to be history.

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