Norway - the ship that refuses to die

Dec 6, 2006
Author: P&S

The former cruise liner SS Norway, once the pride of the French fleet when she sailed the Atlantic as SS France, is now firmly aground off the beaches of India but still is refusing to die.

A one-month stay of execution has been granted as lawyers acting on behalf of environmentalists argue that Indian shipbreakers will be exposed to toxic substances if the shipbreaking goes ahead.

This week the Indian Supreme Court issued a one-month delay before cutting can begin to hear argument. These relate to claims from environmentalists who say the ship should never have left Europe. They cite European law which bans European countries from exporting ships containing hazardous wastes to third world countries.

The Indian court has now ordered the Gujarat Pollution Control Board to review the demolition plan for the ship.

While this is taking place a French consortium is desperately trying to raise 100 million euro to repurchase the ship from the Indian breakers and return her to France for restoration. Calling the ship a ‘French monument’ the organisation hopes to return the ship to Honfleur in France where it can be turned into a hotel, restaurant, casino and special seamen’s school.

In another matter concerning cruise ship scrapping, the former MSC Monterey, which was scheduled to spend the summer and winter months cruising out of Durban and Cape Town, has fallen to the scrap torches at Alang in India.

The ship experienced boiler problems while completing her Mediterranean cruise season, which saw one of her boilers taken out of service. On completion she was sold to a Dubai-based company that specialises in shipbreaking, renamed Monte and sailed to India.



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