The very beginning - why the France was built.

On an early Sunday morning in 1941 while the "Normandie" was moored alongside pier 88 in New York for conversion into a troop ship, a welders torch lighted some lifejackets which had been piled up nearby. When the fire started on February 9th only a scratch crew remained on board together with herds of workers doing the conversion from a luxurious liner to a troop carrying ship. The fire spread fast and city fire fighters had to put it out without any proper knowledge of the ships lay out. Fire tugs came to assist by pouring water onto the ship, eventually making it top heavy and causing it to capsizes at her berth. The once magnificent ship lay on her side off the berth like big grey and dead whale. She was a total loss and cut up for scrapping.          

Following the devastating loss of the “Normandie” and its burning in New York harbor on February 9, 1942, French Line was given as reparations from the tragedy of the war the German liner “Europa” of 1928. She was renamed “Liberte” and measured in at 49,746 tons. Together with the much loved 44,396 ton “Ile de France”, the pair ran as running mates until it became clear that their days were numbered as a result from air line competition. 

The “Ile de France” was withdrawn from service in November 1958, the same year that the first jet liner made successful leaps over the ocean liner. The “Liberte” remained in service in time for the new projected liner to take over the North Atlantic run. In fact, the two ships meet twice before the “Liberte” was removed from service in 1961 and scrapped the following year.


Apparently, the drawings of a fast new ship for the French Line were made by a Polish architect. The ship would be about 55.000 GRT and travel at speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Autumn 1952

CGT's design office presents the first preliminary plans for a new liner to the yard at Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

November 1953

The shipping line signs a contract with the shipyard to further develop two main projects, a 5-day and a 6-day liner carrying about 2000 passengers, the first at a speed of 31 knots and the latter with a speed of 25 knots. The French government subsidizes the project with one hundred million francs.

1954 - 1955

A lot of controversy is raised on the final design of the new liner, and the French government ends up increasing the funding to 4 hundred million francs and sets a maximum limit to 4 billion francs. CGT officer Charles Offrey was instrumental in the negotiations between the government and CGT, as there were a lot of opposing opinions to the project funding. Some wanted a smaller, and slower vessel, while others wanted two smaller ships. 

End 1955

The question of 2 smaller ships or one larger supership hauled out for nearly 3 years, and finally, CGT agrees to fund the project themselves within the framework of the Shipbuilding Act passed on May 24th 1951. 


The 35000 tons 100 passengers 6-day transatlantic liner project is being dusted off again, and further talks between CGT and French government pursues.  

June 1956

Final bargaining price of 27.360 billion old francs is reached. 19.700 billions francs is funded by CGT while 7.660 million francs makes out the government subsidies to offset the difference between the French price and the International price.

June 20th 1956

French Parliament ratifies the order.

July 25th 1956

The building contract was signed by CGT Chairman Jean Marie for a new-building to be numbered G19 for the French Line.

Early - 1957

Delay occurs when CGT is forced to increase it's contribution on funding to 820 millions francs.

March - May 1957

Different models are tried and tested at the model testing basin in Paris.

July 16th 1957

Parliamentary votes releases the necessary credits to go ahead with the order.

October 7th 1957

First keel plate laid in the same slip as "Normandie" at Chantiers de'l Atlanique, Penhoet, Saint Nazaire, France. Jean Coune was in charge of the building of the hull. For the shipyard, it was crucially important to secure shipbuilding activity in the Normandia region of France, and to keep the technological edge they had afterbuilding the Normandie 30 years before. 


This became the first year in history where a higher number of passengers were carried by planes rather than ocean liners across the Atlantic Ocean.


The first plane with jet propulsion crossed the Atlantic Ocean - the planes were evolving and becoming faster and more popular. The behemoths of the seas were struggling to keep their passengers and many liners sailings were no longer profitable.

January 15th 1958

Keel is entirely finished.

January - August 1958

First four forward boilers fitted onto what was to become the forward boiler room's deck.

May 1958

First part of the extensive frame work assembled.

October 1958

In the space of the last 6 months, some 6000 tons of steel plates were assembled.

December 19th 1958

A pre-fabricated stern post is lifted into place and mounted, at a weight of 52 tons.

End of June 1959

All hull completed as far up as to Promenade deck.

October 24th 1959

Final part of the stem fitted, weight of 32 tons. Some 20.000 tons of plates had by now been fitted.

March 1960

The hull receives the first coating of paint.

May 3rd 1960

The main mast, the radar mast fitted.

May 11th 1960

The S.S. France is christened by Madame Yvonne De Gaulle, wife of French President Charles De Gaulle and launched into the Loine River at 16:15 hours - launching speed reaching 14 knots. There were more than 100.000 spectators to the historical event. A young engineer by the name of Philippe Guitard was the man in charge of actually activating the launching of the ship from her bridge. It was very important that everything went according to rehearsed schedule, and that De Gaulle had to hold his speech AFTER the launch, and not before. 

Charles De Gaulle used the launch of the SS France to make his country a unified and big nation again. 

July 9th 1960

The new liner is being towed to Joubert dry dock to have the launch cradle removed and to have the rudder and 4 propellers fitted.

December 1960

Final assembly of the roof structure is completed.

March 1961

Construction of the funnels are completed in the workshops.

June 17th 1961

The French and International press is given a guided tour of the unfinished liner.

July 1961

Vessel returned to dry dock to fit the four propellers and the stabilizers in preparations for her sea trials.

July 28th 1961

G19 leaves the dry dock.

End of August 1961

Both funnels and their unique winglets are finally fitted.

September 1961

First vessel trials at her moorings alongside her dock.

November 7th 1961

G19 moved from the outfitting dock to the Joubert dry dock for careening and final paint works.

November 11th - 12th 1961

A visit is organized for 8.000 workers and managers of the yard with their families, a total of some 40.000 people.

November 19th 1961

After more than 7500 drawings, and the hard labour of 1300 people over 4 years, the ship was completed. G19 sails for the first time from Saint Nazaire for her sea trials of Belle Isle. The new liner is now regarded as the "France" and the call sign FNRR is dedicated to her name. Her home port is now Le Havre. Seatrail would last 8 days. 

November 22nd 1961

First power and speed tests performed and ship achieves a maximum speed of 34,13 knots at 144.000 hp (note: The book, 303, also states that a maximum speed of 35,33 knots was achieved without any vibrations, at sea trials in December 1961)

In a famous photo shot at the ship’s after deck while the ship was travelling at full speed, without any vibrations, the ships directors were sipping whiskey.

Alfred Lafont, the CGT Director, technical Director Jean-Paul Ricard on the ship’s after deck drinking whiskey. 

November 23rd 1961

France arrives for the first time at her home port when she docks at Joannes Couvert dock, cheered on by a huge crowd of spectators.


January 6th 1962

Owner signs the acceptance certificate, vessel departs for Southampton for final tests.

January 11th 1962

Official innaguration at Le Havre presided over by French Prime Minister Michel Debre.

January 12th - 13th 1962

Reception held on board for travel agents.

January 13th 1962

"Petit Lits Blancs" Charity event held on board.

January 19th - 27th 1962

Maiden voyage with Madame De Gaulle and Madame Michel Debre on board as passengers;- a press shake down cruise from Le Havre to the Canary Islands. Total passengers on this voyage was 1.704 passengers.

February 3rd 1962

Maiden westbound Atlantic crossing from Le Havre with a passenger load of 1.958 passengers. Captain Croicile stated during the crossing that despite the seas being in an uproar for parts of the voyage, the ship hardly moved. The only dancing on the maiden voyage was the dancing of her guests. Alain Mahuzier started working in the ships Reception in 1962, and would be there for the next 13 years. 

February 8th 1962

Maiden arrival in New York, US.

February 11th 1962

Maiden eastbound Atlantic crossing from New York with a passenger load of 1.829 passengers.

February 23rd 1962

Second westbound Atlantic crossing under the theme as a "French Elegance and taste" - crossing.

During the first years of operation, there was three simple rules on board. luxury, effectiveness and punctuality. 

End of 1962

First full year figures: 2 cruises, 44 transatlantic crossings, 159.000 nautical miles sailed and 65.232 passengers transported. On a cruise, 15 tons of meat, 6.000 kg of fish, 50 tons of fruit and vegetables, 78.000 eggs, and 16.000 bottles of wine would be consumed. 

February 1963

First cruise to Rio De Janeiro departing from New York.

March 1963

First Caribbean cruise.

July 16th 1964

France sails her 100th transatlantic crossing, and passes 152.232 passengers transported.

August 28th - September 1965

A record number of passengers carried on one round-trip crossing: 4.121. First theatrical production staged and performed on board.

March 1966

Mediterranean cruise is dominated by a stop over at Alexandria, Egypt, where a storm blocked passengers for 3 days.

End of 1966

By the end of the year, some 313.741 passengers had been carried since the liner went into service. Economically seen, so far in the ships life, the income surpassed the expenses and the image of the ship was extremely valuable advertisement for the country and for the operators at CGT. The only black cloud hanging over the ship at this point, was the fact that the building costs had not been paid for in full. 

Life on board the floating palace was a dream for her guests, but for the crew, it was a lot of hard work complicated by long hours, time-changes and working two-weeks worth in just one week. A waiter on board would walk around 25-30 kilometers a day, often carrying heavy trays of cutlery and food. Salaries were often based on tips from guests, and without the tips, CGT would have had to raise the salaries. This would in the years ahead become a difficult root which would have dramatic impact on the ship. 

May 1967

France makes her first voyage to Canada for the Montreal Expo. (Confirmation needed.)

July 13th - July 26th 1967

France was docked at Ile Notre Dame in Montreal, Canada, acting as an additional French Pavilion at the 1967 World’s Fair Expo ’67. (Article on Wikipedia concerning the World Expo, please <see here>.)


This year, a crew payrise was forced forward almost crippling the company’s economy. The first budget deficits started appearing, and crew had to be let go. According to Jean Allaire, to be one of the last Chief Engineers on board, during a crossing, the ship had to be stopped in order to negotiate downsizing of the operation. 

November 9th 1968

France passes her 1.000.000 nautical miles cruising mark.


By 1969, the passenger numbers were starting to fall. 330.000 chose to travel by ship, while 6 millions took to the sky in an airliner. The liner’s deficit increases rapidly and CGT wants to lay off about 20% of it’s crew,  but the unions refuse to accept. The union never thought that the still relatively new ship would stop sailing, so they used hard pressure towards the company. At this time, they also had an office on board the ship. Questions about salary, the use of overtime and other compensation became an ever-increasing hot potato. At difficult times, such as immediately prior to departure from port, wage-demands were often used to pressure the company, in almost an extortion-like way. To avoid delays, quick actions often had to be taken. The crew on the other hand, without clear directions likely never got to see the red numbers and knew little of the serious budget deficits.    

April 1969

Imperial Cruise, a cruise in the footsteps of Napoleon is conducted.

April 19th 1969

The France, on her Imperial Cruise, stops at Saint Helena.

May 26th 1970

France inaugurates her service at Bremerhaven.

December 20th 1970

The SS France departs New York Pier 92 Nord at 23:00 hours for a Noel Caribe Cruise. The ship was commanded by Commandant Christian Pettre. 

Despite trying out the ship on Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises from the 1970’s, the passenger numbers continued to fall, and as if that wasn’t enough, the US$ started devaluating. 

December 22nd 1970

SS France arrives at Port Everglades at 14:00 hours after having sailed a total of 939 nautical miles at an average speed of 26,30 knots. After a short stop, she departed again at 16:30 hours the very same day. 

December 24th 1970

France arrived and anchored off Port Au Prince, Haiti, at 06:30 hours in the early morning having sailed a total of 702 nautical miles from Port Everglades at an average speed of 19.08 knots. The ship departed at 19:00 hours the same evening. 

December 26th 1970

France anchored off Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, USVI, at 07:00 hours in the morning. At the time, she had added another 629 nautical miles to her distance at an average speed of 18,28 knots. She remained at anchor until 18:00 hours same day. 

December 27th 1970

SS France anchored at Fort De France, Martinique, at 07:00 hours in the morning. Distance sailed from Saint Thomas was clocked at 317 nautical miles, average speed 25,77 knots. Departure was at 19:00 hours in the evening. 

December 28th 1970

SS France anchored at Bridgetown, Barbados, at 07:00 hours in the morning, having sailed a total of 122 nautical miles from Martinique, average speed 19,68 knots. Departure at 23:00 hours the same day. 

On December 29th, the ship cruised 08:00 hours to 12:00 noon passed Saint Vincent, Grenadines Islands and Grenade. 

December 30th 1970

SS France called at Caracas Bay, Curacao: anchoring at 08:00 hours. Distance sailed from Barbados was 626 nautical miles, average speed 21,81 knots. 

December 31st 1970

SS France departed from Caracas Bay, Curacao, at 07:00 hours in the morning. 

January 1st 1971

SS France anchored at Phillipsburg, Saint Maarten, at 09:00 hours in the morning having sailed a total of 508 nautical miles from last port of call, at an average speed of 20,32 knots. She departed Saint Maarten at 19:00 hours in the evening. 

January 3rd 1971

SS France docked at Port Everglades at 13:00 hours, having logged some 1077 nautical miles from Saint Maarten at an average speed of 26,32 knots. She departed after a brief stop at 16:00 hours.

January 5th 1971 

SS France returned to New York from her Noel Caribe Cruise, docking at Pier 92 North at 05:00 hours in the morning. Distance sailed from Port Everglades was clocked at 941 nautical miles, average speed 28,64 knots. Total distance sailed during the whole cruise was 5861 nautical miles.   

January 5th - April 10th 1972

France sails her first around the world cruise, based on the theme "Around the world in 80 days" by JulesVerne. Transat was now desperately looking for more profitable areas of operation for the ship. These cruises were in fact quite popular with the rich and famous. 

December 1973

An oil-crisis seriously is starting to have a distastrous affect the operation of the SS France. The oil-prices were quadroupled and with a daily consumption of 600 tons each day of sailing, the impact hit hard. This was to become the “final blow” to the future of the ship. 

January 4th - April 11th 1974

France performs her second around the world cruise, a voyage in which it was first announced (March 1974) that the vessel would soon be withdrawn from service, since French was no longer prepared to subsidize it's operating losses.


The year starts with an astounding 100 million French franc under budget. French government indicates they are not willing to support the ship any longer, and SS France is scheduled to be laid up. But, history intervenes as Pompidou dies on April 2nd 1974. 

Popidou’s successor, Giscard d-Estaing promises during an election campaign that the ship will receive funds to continue operation. But as soon as he is elected, France Prime Minister Jacques Chirac declares that the Government can not cover Transat’s budget deficits. 

July 8th 1974

French government officially announced through CGT / Transat that the subsidies to uphold the Atlantic run would cease and the France was to be laid up starting at October 25th 1974. Nationwide reactions are immediate, and pressure intensifies through the rest of the summer. With the Government on one side and the ship’s crew on the other side, nobody truly wanted to find a solution which would work. The SS France would be used as a tool to maintain a lot of work for many professions.  

August 30th 1974

SS France departs New York, bound for Le Havre, on what was intended to be a routine-crossing. The voyage was the ship’s 202nd voyage. During the crossing, rumors of internal struggles emerges and the Unions prepares to put up a fight. 

September 11th 1974

Almost reaching Le Havre on this crossing from New York, French trade opportunists and her own crew, seized the ship as it approached the Le Havre lighthouse at 9 in the evening. Around 50 persons, mostly from housekeeping department, storms the bridge, and forces Captain Christian Peteret to anchor the ship in the main channel. The Captain refused to take orders, but resistance was futile, as also engineers would not respond to engine manoeuvring requests. The SS France evenetually drops anchor between bouys 10 and 12 at 22:17 that evening, in the channel access to Le Havre. 

September 12th 1974

With the mutiny on board the SS France, the crew was hoping that they could make the government change their mind. Because the ship now blocked the port entrance, nobody on board expected that the arisen conflict would last any length of time. During the first day, the ship’s 1.226 passengers are transferred to the Oslo-registrered car ferry of Thoresen Car Ferries, the "Viking III" (IMO 6511128), for disembarkation at Le Havre. On board the SS France, a total of 989 crew on strike, lead by union-leader Marcel Rolin, occupied the ship. The demand was simple: no dialoge to save the jobs, and they wouldn’t leave their posts. In the ship’s theatre, it was proclaimed that the ship was not for sale and that she belonged to the people of France. "The ship has a value, and is a masterpiece. The ship can not be lost”. 

The ship’s officers withdraw and other leaders step forward to organize the life on board. There was a certain level of euphoria amongst the crew, their hopes the first days were high. 

Access to the occupied SS France was strictly controlled, and even the leader of Le Havre Prefecture, Jacques Gerard, would not be granted access to the ship. During the days of occupation, radical farmer-organizations wanted to supply the ship with fresh vegetables to supply crew diet. They were met by police boats blocking them from approaching the France. Speakers around the prefecture, and in the port area had requested the population to meet in the port of Le Havre at two o’clock in the afternoon that day, to show support for the farmers bringing out vegetables to the ship. Lucien Noland was the leader of the port workers of Le Havre, and he told police that they would not budge. Riot police and teargass were used against the demonstrators, and the entire port was thrown into mayhem. 

September 20th 1974

What the Government had feared now happened: the strike and protests spreads creating further sympathy-protests. People marched in protest and a group of soldiers was deployd to protect mayor of Le Havre, Andre Duromea, which hailed and supported the demonstrators and the ship’s crew on board. Duromea was however not allowed to board the ship by the Government, to show his support. Despite even being allowed to leave the port, he boarded a small boat, and sailed out to the occupied France and spoke words of encouragement to the crew through megaphone speakers. 

September 23rd 1974

Even though spirit is still high amongst the crew, and most people ashore are also supporting the crew, everybody now expects the conflict to be a long lasting conflict. The day ends with increasing winds at the mouth of the Seine. 

September 24th 1974

Due to strong winds and generally bad weather, the Captain is forced to take his ship in the lee of the Cherbourg peninsula, facing Saint-Vaast la Hougue. The ship sails to Contention, Saint Val. There was an opinion amongst many that even though the winds were strong, they posed no critical risk to the ship. Many now felt that Transat used the winds as an excuse to relocated the ship. Tactically, it would be a smart move for the owners and the Government. Nobody seemed to know how to solve the ongoing crisis. 

October 8th 1974

Two weeks after arriving at Saint Val, the strike qucikly looses its momentum. A proposal for agreement is put forward. Of the 496 remaining seamen on board, 385 accepts the CGT Transat deal. 

October 9th 1974

Strike had failed, and the longest conflict in French merchant fleet ends. The SS France returns to dock at Le Havre in the evening. The giant liner was now per-maturely withdrawn from service. 

October 10th 1974

The final crew of the ship disembarks and heads to the local seamen registration offices. By the end of 1974, the reminder of the layoffs are announced. First cuts are for 1160 people from the hotel and service departments. Some of the crew starts their own cafes and restaurants, others are forced to take up jobs at factories or to become taxi drivers. Some went into retirment, bu many are however stranded without a job, and the wounds of Le Havre are evident for years after. 

December 19th 1974

The France departs Joannes Couvert wharf under tow to be moored by a French power station at Quai de L'Oubli (pier of the forgotten). Engineers were kept on board to maintain the engines, together with security guards, a Captain and some navigators. The corridors were now empty, the ship had become dead silent, and the few footsteps on board, sounded like scenes of a horror movie. 

The SS France had completed 377 crossing and 93 cruises (whereof 2 full world cruises: in 1973 and 1974).

The SS France had carried a total of 588.024 passengers on trans-Atlantic crossings and a total of 113.862 passengers on cruises. The total passenger count carried by the SS France would therefore end at 701.886 passengers.

The SS France had sailed a total of 1.860.000 nautical miles on her voyages.

For the French, withdrawing the ship from active duty was like banning truffles and champagne, playing the Marseillaisen as a waltz, forget Jeanne d’Arc in their history books, closing the Louvre, stop eating foie gras, tearing down the Eiffeltower, filling parfume bottles with vinegar, prohibiting crepes Suzette and pouring terpentine over Toulouse-Lautrecs pictures.

December 1975

Michel Sardous releases a song about the fate of the ship, and sells 500.000 records in just ten days. CGT Transat turns a deaf ear to the crowds and are actively looking for buyers of the ship. Ideas to turn the ship into a hotel, a hospital, a casino and even a retirement, home are brought forward. The former Chief Engineer was put in charge of the sale of the ship. 

Medar Cruise was a shipping line with several cruiseships, also showed some interest in the ship. 

August 21st 1977
A bomb-shell is announced: the ship is sold to a Saudi Arabian oil and weapons-trader, billionaire 
Akhram Ojjeh for US$24 million.  

October 1977 (needs further confirmation)

Akhram Ojjeh announces his plans for the ship: keep the name, her qualities and to rebuild her into a floating hotel off the Florida Coast, floating hotel in Jiddah, or even a floating casino in Egypt, Canada….. the ship however remains in her place. 

October 24th 1978 (year needs further confirmation)

The check for 80 million French franc is signed, and ownership is transferred. 

At the same time, Chairman Knut Kloster of Norwegian Caribbean Lines was in dire need of finding new ships for his very successful Caribbean cruise operation. He feared that if a suitable ship could not be found fast, he would have to turn guests away due to full capacity. Knut Kloster also strongly believed that a ship is never dead, and that all ships have a certain soul and spirit. Seeing the SS France together with his wife for the first time, he immediatley felt this spirt and knew this was the ship he had been looking for. Both Knut Kloster and his wife fell in love with the sleeping giant. 

June 26th (or 25th) 1979 (exact date needs further confirmation)

SS France officially sold by Akram Ojjeh to Knut Kloster of Norwegian Caribbean Lines for US$18 million, 77 million French franc.

July 15th 1979

Knut Kloster, Chairman of Norwegian Caribbean Lines, announces to the world that he has purchased the former transatlantic super-liner SS France and that he intends to convert her to a warm water cruise ship. 

Tenders for the conversion job, are requested from shipyards in both France and Germany, but the German offers were a lot more attractive and interresting. A choice had to be made, to have the conversion job done in Germany.  

The choice to have the work done in Germany, was another hard blow for the French, and demonstrations erupt again in Le Havre. Shipyard-workers block the harbour, and the ship is not able to depart.  

August 18th 1979

Eventually, at 8 o’clock in the morning, France departs her lay-up with Captain Kerrignard on the bridge, under 38 towlines forward and aft, as the Norway. At the helm, the Captain had a few able-bodied deckhands and some engineers. As the final lines are let go, new demonstrations erupt as the mooring bollards become occupied by protesters. Police are called in to assist. 

Her new name painted onto the bow but covered to avoid raising further protests. The SS Norway was eventually towed out of the harbour by tugs “Provence” and tug “Bretagne”, in a funeralprocession-like atmosphere. Knut Kloster asked Captain Kerrignard not to hoist any flags for the departure, but as the ship was towed to sea, the Captain again asked Kloster (which was in the port), if he could hoist the French flag. Permission was granted and as SS Norway left the port, the French flag was hoisted to the top of the main mast, with the Norwegian flag below. The final farewell was three long blasts from the giant liner: tugboats did not reply. 

According to the book “Transatlantic Liners” by William H. Miller, Acro Publishing 1981, “The SS France of 1962, The SS Norway of 1979” by William H. Miller and Luis Miguel Correia, published by Liner Books in 2002, and according to “France- Un Reve De Geant” by Claude Villers and Christian Cleres, published by Gleant in 1996, the date of departure from Le Havre under tow, is quoted as August 18th 1979. The book “SS Norway - The Worlds Lagrest Passenger ship - a Tribute in Words and Pictures” by Alf G Andersen, published by Forlaget Nordvest in 1984/5, August 17th is quoted as the departure date from France. 

August 22nd 1979

SS France arrived under tow to Lloyds Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany, for conversion from SS France to SS Norway including reorganization of the complete interior accommodation, installation of supplementary penthouses and de-luxe suites and supplementary swimming pools. Installed a 40.000 HP engine plant. Two tender boats built by Holen Mekaniske Verksted in Norway and installed by Lloyds Werft onto forecastle.

Mid April 1980

Sea trial for the new SS Norway where the ship achieved a top speed of 25 knots. Service speed would be 17,8 knots. SS Norway was registered in Oslo and received the maybe not so fitting call sign LITA (literally meaning 'small').

April 24th 1980

Completed all works at Lloyds Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany. The ship was officially re-christened "SS Norway", handed over, and accepted by NCL. 


May 2nd 1980

Maiden port of call at anchor in Kristiansand to pick up press for a PR cruise to Norway.

May 3rd 1980

Arrived for maiden port of call in Oslo, Norway.

May 3rd 1980

United Nations flag hoisted by senior steward Wesley Samuels of Jamaica with the presence of His Majesty King Olav V of Norway. The SS Norway is the only passenger vessel ever that has been allowed to fly the UN-flag. To see an image of the auspicious occasion of the first UN-flag hoisting, please >>see this page<< on CaptainsVoyage.com

May 5th 1980 (also May 6th has been found as her departure date, though not confirmed)

Departed Oslo, Norway, bound for Southampton, UK.

May 7th 1980

Stopped at Southampton, UK, before proceeding to cross the Atlantic Ocean. (This date has been confirmed by “Southampton Shipping” by David F Hutchings, Carmania Press, 2006.)

May 16th 1980

SS Norway maiden arrival at New York, where she eventually docked at pier 88. Historical images from her maiden arrival, taken from slides, show are glittering like a diamond, and is shared with kind permission by Garry Kreines and David J. Kreines. 

Copyright David J. Kreines

Copyright David J. Kreines

Copyright David J. Kreines

Copyright David J. Kreines

Copyright David J. Kreines

SS Norway maiden arrival at New York, as seen in front of the WTC twin towers.
Copyright Philippe P. Brébant

May 17th 1980 (also May 18th has been quoted as departure date, though, this is not entirely confirmed)

SS Norway departed New York bound for Miami, Florida.

May 18th 1980

The ship was originally intended to sail from New York to Bermuda on a 6-day round trip Inaugural Cruise, but it was cancelled due to plumbing problems and in order to finalize some fitting works. 

May 22nd 1980

SS Norway arrived off Miami, Florida, but was prevented from entering harbour due to strong winds.

May 23rd 1980

SS Norway enters Miami for the very first time and docks port side alongside.

May 30th 1980

SS Norway departs on an unofficial sailing from Miami to NCL’s newly acquired “Out Island” to run tests with her two landing crafts. There are also some information that indicates the vessel actually sailed to Little San Salvador. Great Stirrup Cay, a small island in the Berry Islands group, was purchased from Belcher Oil Company in 1977 to be turned into a private cruise island and at the time being readied for the SS Norway. (Confirmation is therefore wanted whether Little San Salvador or Great Stirrup Cay was the destination for this trip, though the latter seems most logical.)

June 1st 1980

SS Norway departs Miami for her maiden voyage inaugural cruise.

August 19th 1980

SS Norway suffers a  20-hour long black out.

May 2nd 1981

The ship experienced a major (electrical break down and?) boiler failure which left the ship adrift 500 miles SE of Miami, with no power for some 24 hours. Several cruises had to be cancelled whilst engineers worked on rectifying the problem. (Further information wanted.)

December 27th 1981

SS Norway suffered a boiler room fire due to a hydraulic fitting failure whilst in Port of Miami.

March 19th 1982

SS Norway experienced a fire caused by a faulty gasket on a lube oil feed pump.

March 7th - April 13th 1982

SS Norway returns to dry dock a month earlier than planned for upgrades and repairs, to Bremerhaven, Germany, at Lloyds Werft. Mainly general maintenance and underwater paint works including works to transfer electrical power supply partly from steam engines. Engine works were quoted at 15 million US$. 

June 25th 1984

SS Norway makes her maiden call at Hamburg, Germany. 


SS Norway returns to Scandinavia for a North Cape cruise.

July 30th 1984

SS Norway visits Bergen on a one day visit.

August 3rd 1984

SS Norway sails in Holandsfjorden, and makes a quick stop by Svartisen Glacier.

August 4th 1984

SS Norway visits Trondheim, Norway. A giant ships-model of the futuristic cruise vessel Phoenix is flown from SINTEF test lab to the ship by helicopter and is placed on the upper deck behind the aft funnel.

August 9th 1984

SS Norway calls at Oslo, her homeport, Norway.

August 18th 1984

SS Norway calls at Hamburg, Germany (click here to see an image by Andreas Busecke from that day).

September 1984

Following the cruise in September 1984, she sails to Bremerhaven, Germany, for dry docking where all 4 boilers in forward engine room were removed and replaced with 2 new electric diesel generators, MAK 35, each producing some 2,25MW of power. All electricity production were now transferred from auxiliary machinery to the new diesel generators. The SS Norway was drydocked in a floating dock. 

November 3rd - 10th 1984

The SS Norway made a one-week charter-special cruise to the Caribbean on behalf of Disney. The cruise was advertised as "Disney FantaSea aboard the S/S Norway”.

February 21st 1987

The cruiseship SS Norway (of Oslo) departs Miami for the last time carrying the Royal Norwegian Poastal Flag and with Oslo across the stern quarters. During that day in Miami, all Norwegian contracts had been "signed off" and the departure was for many a tearful farewell with the iconic Norwegian national ship. Also contracts for the Starward was "signed off" that same Saturday, while Skyward and Southward was done on the following day, Sunday February 22nd 1987. The final ship was the Sunward on Monday February 23rd 1987. From this weekend on, perhaps the biggest pride of Norwegian maritime history was transferred to a Bahamian ship-registry, and Oslo would be replaced with Nassau as homeport. 

1987 02 21 Miami

Picture of unknown origin, supposedly taken on the last departure from Miami under Norwegian flag. 

March 1st 1987

During a flag change ceremony in Nassau, Bahamas, the Royal Norwegian Post Flag was lowered for the last time and replaced with Bahamian flag. Vessel re-registered into Bahamian Ship Register from LITA to C6CM7. Her two tenders "little Norway 1" and "little Norway 2" received the subsequent registration numbers C6CM8 and C6CM9.

September 9th - 23rd 1987

SS Norway dry docked at Lloyds Werf in Bremerhaven, Germany. Underwent repair works and classification work. Renovated passenger areas such as bars, restaurants and shops and de-luxe suites. Enlarged the on board theater.

September 3rd - October 10th 1990

SS Norway dry docked in Bremerhaven, Germany, for major conversion works. 2 new decks added with 125 new de-luxe suites - Sky and Sun deck - and solid ballast filled in five double bottom tanks as compensation, passenger carrying capacity increased to 2.565 passengers. Classification works. Engine plant amelioration. Renovation of public areas.

IMG 2479

September 1993

Dry docking in Newport News, Virginia, USA.

August 31st 1996

SS Norway finishes her one week Caribbean Cruise in Miami, and sets sail for Charleston (S.C.), New York (N.Y.), Le Havre and Southampton. Captain was Haakon Gangdal, Chief Engineer was Steinar Hammervold, Barrie Clarke was Hotel Director and Dottie Kulasa was the Cruise Director. The port call at Charleston was however canceled due to heavy swells. The majority of the passengers embarked at New York, lot of which were French, and on the crossing there were lectures and ship’s tours held in both French and English. The dining rooms also featured special menus every night. 

September 10th 1996

SS Norway arrives for the first time in Le Havre since her 1979-departure as the SS France, an estimated one hundred thousand spectators line the beaches and port entrance to welcome the ship. A video from the arrival can be found on youtube in >this clip<, and in >this clip<. When the ship departed in the evening she was honored with a large fireworks display. 

September 11th 1996

SS Norway arrives early in the morning at Southampton and all passengers had disembarked by 09:00 hours. Three crew members gets arrested by British Police when cocaine worth 3,2 million NOK is found on board the SS Norway when the ship arrives at Southampton.  (Source : Dagbladet, Norway). By 10:30 hours, the Norway was maneuvered into the King George V’s dry dock for her dry docking. 

Dry docking in A&P shipyard in Southampton, UK, for rebuilding of stair towers and gift shops to comply with SOLAS 1992 amendments, resolution MSC 24(60) from Bureau Veritas and US Coast Guard NVIC (4-95).

October 6th 1996

The SS Norway departs Southampton and the Solent, one day late, after having been inspected by divers during the night time, and after having loaded onboard some fuel for the crossing. 

When back in Miami, her tenders, which had been stored at a local shipyard in Miami, was returned to the ship by First Officer Hans Verschoor and Safety Officer Jan-Olav Storli. 

The ship now also sported a new funnel livery (white bottom with a blue top), and an NCL logo painted on the sides at each side. (These logos were removed whilst at anchor in Saint Maarten a few days later). 

Her return date to Miami is at this point unclear, as well as the exact date of her first cruise. 

SS Norway preparing for her first cruise from Miami after the 1996 dry dock. 

August 30th 1997

SS Norway visited Southampton, UK. 

August 30th 1997: SS Norway photographed at Southampton by Rob O’Brien.

August 31st 1997
SS Norway visits Le Havre, France, before starting a eastbound crossing to the United States. 

A rare moment in time when both Norway and Queen Elizabeth 2 spends some time together in Port of Miami on November 15th 1997.
Photo by Rich Turnwald.

April 18th 1998

SS Norway departs Miami bound for Malaga, Spain.

April 21st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Saint Maarten, the Netherlands Antilles.

April 28th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Funchal, Madeira, Portugal (08:00 - 16:00)

April 30th 1998

SS Norway finishes her trans-Atlantic at Malaga, Spain (10:00 - 16:00)

May 2nd 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Marseilles, France (08:00 - ??)

June 7th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Lisbon, Portugal (?? - 17:00)

June 10th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Ajaccio, Corsica, France (12:00 - 18:00)

June 11th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Genoa, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

June 12th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Florence, Livorno, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

June 13th 1998

SS Norway makes an overnight stop at Villefranche, France (13:00 - )

June 14th 1998

SS Norway departs from an overnight stop at Villefranche, France ( - 20:00)

June 16th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Palma, Mallorca, Spain (08:00 - 18:00)

June 17th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Barcelona, Spain (08:00 - 18:00)

June 18th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Marseilles, France (07:00 - ??)

July 8th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Marseilles, France (?? - 17:00)

July 9th 1998

SS Norway makes an overnight stop at Villefranche, France (08:00 - )

July 10th 1998

SS Norway departs from an overnight stop at Villefranche, France ( - 14:00)

July 11th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Barcelona, Spain (09:00 - 17:00)

July 14th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Lisbon, Portugal (08:00 - 20:00)

July 17th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Cork, Ireland (08:00 - 18:00)

July 18th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Waterford, Ireland (08:00 - 18:00)

July 20th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Southampton, United Kingdom (08:00 - ??).

July 27th 1998
SS Norway docks in Oslo, Norway for the first time in 14 years. (NEEDS CONFIRMARTION)

July 30th 1998 

15 people perished when two sightseeing-aircrafts collided in the air over Quiberon Bay about 10 kilometres off the coast near Lorient, France. The aircrafts were making private sightseeing trips to see the liner SS Norway which was at anchor off Quiberon, Lorient, France. 

Amongst the people who perished were also two infants. 

One of the aircrafts was a Beechcraft 1900 from the local company Proteus, and was one the way from Lyon to Lann Bihoue near Lorient. There were 12 passengers on board and two crew. The other aircraft was a Cessna. The Beechcraft had prior to the crash asked for a permission to fly over the SS Norway and was about to land at the airport when they collided. The Cessna belonged to Vannes air-club and was piloted by a retired pilot by the name of Francis Gillibert. The Cessna was also cleared to fly over the SS Norway after take off. The actual crash could not be seen from the liner, but the search and rescue helicopters in the aftermath could be seen. 

See Air Crash Investigation episode 5, season 15: Deadly detour. 

August 11th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Southampton, United Kingdom ( - 17:00)

August 13th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Hamburg, Germany (08:00 - 20:00)

August 15th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Oslo, Norway (08:00 - 18:00)

August 17th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Flaam and Sognefjord, Norway (08:00 - 18:00)

August 18th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Bergen, Norway (08:00 - 18:00)

August 20th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Amsterdam, the Netherlands (08:00 - 20:00) 

August 21st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Le Havre, France (08:00 - 20:00)

August 22nd 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround overnight stop at Southampton, United Kingdom (07:00 - )

August 23rd 1998

SS Norway departs from an overnight stop at Southampton, United Kingdom ( - 17:00)

August 25th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Amsterdam, the Netherlands (08:00 - 20:00)

August 27th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Invergordon, Scotland (08:00 - 18:00). Please go >here< to see an image taken that day of the ship in Invergordon (the Invergordon Archive).  

August 29th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Greenock, Scotland (08:00 - 18:00)

August 31st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Waterford, Ireland (08:00 - 18:00)

September 1st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Cork, Ireland (08:00 - 18:00)

September 3rd 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Le Havre, France (08:00 - 20:00)

September 4th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Southampton, United Kingdom (07:00 - 17:00)

September 5th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Cherbourg, France (08:00 - 18:00)

September 7th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop Bordeaux, France (08:00 - 18:00)

September 9th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Cork, Ireland (08:00 - 18:00)

980909SSNorway01 zps22051263
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SS Norway off Roches Point Lighthouse, Cork, on September 9th 1998 (photo courtesy of Patrick H.).

September 10th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Waterford, Ireland (08:00 - 18:00)

September 12th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Le Havre, France (08:00 - 20:00)

September 14th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Amsterdam, the Netherlands (08:00 - 20:00)

September 16th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Southampton, United Kingdom (07:00 - 17:00)

September 19th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Lisbon, Portugal (08:00 - 18:00)

September 21st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Malaga, Spain (08:00 - 18:00)

September 23rd 1998

SS Norway makes an overnight stop at Villefranche, France (18:00 - )

September 24th 1998

SS Norway departs from an overnight stop at Villefranche, France ( - 20:00)

September 25th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Genoa, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

September 26th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Livorno, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

September 28th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Barcelona, Spain (09:00 - 17:00)

September 30th 1998

SS Norway makes a turnaround stop at Civitavecchia, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

October 1st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Livorno, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

October 2nd 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Genoa, Italy (08:00 - 20:00)

October 3rd 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Ajaccio, Corsica (08:00 - 16:00)

October 5th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Ibiza, Spain (08:00 - 18:00)

October 6th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Majorca, Spain (08:00 - 18:00)

October 7th 1998

SS Norway makes an overnight stop at Villefranche, France (18:00 - )

October 10th 1998

SS Norway departs from an overnight stop at Villefranche, France ( - 20:00)

October 12th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Malaga, Spain (08:00 - 18:00)

October 14th 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Funchal, Madeira (12:00 - 18:00)

October 21st 1998

SS Norway makes a stop at Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, USVI (08:00 - 18:00)

October 24th 1998

SS Norway returns to Miami, Florida (06:00 - )

April 22nd - May 16th 1999

The SS Norway underwent dry docking at Lloyds Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany. General dry docking with repairs and maintenance work including engine works on turbine plant, boilers and propellers. Hotel areas refurbished and competed paint work of underwater hull.

May 28th 1999

The ship suffers from a smaller fire in the aft turbo generator room, near the aft switch board, while entering Barcelona, Spain, and forces the Norway to cancel reminder of cruise (Barcelona was apparently the last stop on this particular cruise). Earlier this cruise, which also were a charter cruise for 1.500 French passengers, the ship had visited ports such as Malaga and Gibraltar. The fire took out power cabling to the port side, and severely damaged generators and switchboard, but was handled within 45 minutes.  For the rest of the day, and when passengers returned from shore excursions, they were sent home to France with busses. Two consecutive cruises were canceled as he ship were repaired alongside in Barcelona during the next two weeks. 

The repairs was estimated to take 20 days but was completed within 17 days. 

Reliable information states that the ship sailed empty (crew only) to Southampton where it took on passengers and resumed cruising. 

It was later determined that the cause of the fire was a leaking weld on a high pressure hydraulic line on one of the steam turbine generators. An oil mist sprayed all over the turbine, and instant combustion occurred. (Further information / details is wanted). 

June 12th 1999

SS Norway returns to service in Barcelona, Spain. (Further confirmation / details is wanted).

June 25th 1999

SS Norway spends a hot summer day under blue skies in Flåm, Norway.

July 24th - 25th 1999

SS Norway visited Oslo in connection with Scandinavian Grand Prix - Class 1 world offshore race. To see a VDO clip from the race posted on Youtube.com (<<<click here>>>)

August 5th 1999

SS Norway departs Oslo, Norway, for the very last time in her career.

October 2000

Star Cruises announces that Norway will be relocated to the Asian market after dry docking at end of year.

May 27th - June 3rd 2001

SS Norway is held back in Miami and a cruise is cancelled because of failure to fulfill requirements of US Coast Guard in relation to repairs of the fixed fire sprinkler system.

September 2nd 2001

A farewell trans-Atlantic cruise departs Miami bound for Southampton. Stops on the cruise includes New York, Halifax, Saint John's Newfoundland, Greenock, Dublin, Southampton and Le Havre - Bremerhaven.

September 5th 2001

SS Norway arrives at New York and spends the day there.

September 7th 2001

SS Norway calls at Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

September 9th 2001

SS Norway calls at Saint John’s, Newfoundland. 

September 14th 2001

SS Norway spends the day at Glasgow (Greenock), Scotland.

September 15th 2001

SS Norway calls at Dublin (Dun Laoghaire), Ireland. 

September 17th 2001 

SS Norway returns for a one day visit to Le Havre, France

September 18th 2001

SS Norway’s Final Transatlantic Voyage ends in Southampton, UK, when all passengers disembarks.

Three images of the SS Norway at Southampton most likely captured on September 18th 2001, photo courtesy by Andy Blakemore.

September 2001

Star Cruises announces at the farewell cruise that Norway will be returning to the Caribbean market starting on December 23rd 2001 following dry docking.

November 19th - 28th 2001

SS Norway in dry dock at Lloyds Werf in Bremerhaven, Germany. Port and starboard side evaporators removed and refitted. Removed starboard tailshaft and refitted spare shaft. Ships hull cleaned and repainted underwater area. Two new rescue boats, one on each side, installed.

December 23rd 2001

SS Norway resumes cruising out of Miami

February 14th 2002

Speculations emerges that the SS Norway will sail under NCL on her last cruise departing December 29th 2002 and be transferred to Orient Lines.

December 25th 2002

NCL has completed a life viability study and found it both economically and technically possible to extend the ship's service to 2010.

May 25th 2003

An explosion in the ships boiler room cripples the ship shortly after arrival Miami after a 7 day Caribbean Cruise. Captain in command during the fatal explosion was Captain Haakon Gangdahl, which from the crew recieved tremendous support for his calm and actions in the fatal hours that morning. Also the staff at the NCL office in Miami was by many crewmembers hailed for their professional leadership in the critical days after the explosion. Crisis teams were sent on board the ship to consult with the crew-members affected and those that lost friends in the tragic explosion. The Norwegian Seaman's Church in Miami also continously held their doors open to crew who needed asssistance and consultations during the disaster. 

June 27th 2003 (also June 28th has been found as the date, need confirmation)

The SS Norway is towed from Miami by dutch tug Smit Wijs Rotterdam. Destination was still not known, but speculations went towards Bremerhaven.

July 21st 2003

NCL announces that the SS Norway will be laid up at Bremerhaven Lloyd Werft until bids for new boilers has been received.

Date not recorded (need confirmation)

SS Norway arrived at Bremerhaven under tow with 52 remaining crew members on board, under the command of Captain Frank Juliussen. A few weeks later, Captain Juliussen disembarked and Captain Haakon Gangdahl took over the command. Also Captain Ingvar Bjoerk and late Captain Jan Ottesen were in command at various times during the lay up at Bremerhaven. 

March 17th 2004 (awaiting confirmation on March 23rd for same announcement)

Clin Veitch, CEO of NCL, announces that the SS Norway will not return to the North American cruise market and that she will never sail again. They furthermore announced that it had been decided to not re-engine the 42 year old ship due to expenses involved. The company was still continuing to evaluate appropriate options for the vessel. Using the ship as a static hotel vessel was reported being looked into, but not in the United States. She was listed as for sale for $25 million. Ownership transferred to Star Cruises. 

January 2004

SS Norway is being used a housing for people working on their new project Pride of America.

February 28th 2005

Tender boats "little Norway I" and "little Norway II" are off loaded for what would be the very last time and docked in front of the ship.

May 23rd 2005

SS Norway departs Bremerhaven under tow early in the morning, destination Singapore or Port Kelang, Malaysia. The tug performing the tow is the 1979-built ocean going tug “De Da” (which also towed the SS Constitution to the breakers but ended up sinking). 

June 28th 2005 (also reported to be July 1st at noon)

SS Norway passes under tow Cape Town, South Africa, bound for Asia. “De Da” leaves the ship offshore with the tug “Smit Amandala”, while “De Da” pulls into port to take on fuel and stores. 

July 2nd 2005

Tug “De Da” departs Cape Town port and resumes the towing voyage. 

August 10th 2005 (also reported to be on August 13th in the afternoon)

SS Norway anchors off Port Kelang in Malaysia at noon. Position N 02 degrees 49' 22" E 101 degrees 13' 33".

August 2005

Indian scrap merchants arrives to evaluate the ship for scrapping.

December 28th 2005

SS Norway is reported sold to Bangladeshi scrap merchants for the price of $25 million.

January 6th 2006

SS Norway reported heading for scrap merchants in Bangladesh.

Late January 2006

The sale of the ship is cancelled as either no cash came on the table at purchase, or as Malaysian government forbid the sale due to a clause in a contract when the ship was towed from Bremerhaven stating that the ship was not to be sent to scrappers because of hazardous materials on board such as asbestos. An image of the ship emerges with the name “Norway” painted out, and with “Blue Lady” added by stencils. Her golden letters between the funnels had been removed and the NCL markings on the funnels were painted over. 

February 2006:

Bangladesh refuses the vessel to enter its waters for scrapping as the ship had been deemed “too toxic”. Bangladesh scrappers halts all negotiations to obtain the ship. 

March 2006:

New rumors emerged that she had once again been sold to scrappers: no details or confirmations on which scrapper had purchased the ship. 

May 5th 2006

The Blue Lady is towed from the roads of Port Kelang with a 33-persons scrap-crew from India on board by tugboats "Seaways 5" and "Intersurf" with destination cleared out for Dubai, UAE. The tugs are operated by Mubarak Marine in Dubai. 

June 13th 2006

It is rumored that the Blue Lady is towed towards Fujairah, UAE.

June 14th 2006

The tug towing the ship, the “Seaways 5”, pulls into Fujairah, UAE, for repairs and supplies. 

June 16th 2006

Blue Lady is expected to arrive at Alang by end of June. 

June 17th 2006

Blue Lady is said to be departing Fujairah, UAE, bound for Alang under tow by “Seaways 5”. Last minute plans to save the vessel spreads like wildfire through the internet. 

Beginning of June 2006 (not confirmed - ??)

Vessel anchors 120 miles from Indian territorial waters awaiting permission to enter, in order for authorities to come on board to inspect her and make a decision whether to permit her scrapping in at Alang beach or not.

June 24th 2006

Press reports Blue Lady arriving off Alang in a few days time. 

June 26th 2006

Blue Lady, due at Alang is rumored to be delayed due to technical problems on the tug which is making the tow. New arrival rumored in two weeks time. 

June 28th 2006

Gulf newspaper Khaleeji Times reports on their front page that “Dubai bid to save historic cruise liner”. A group of investors has according to the article offered to buy the ship from the Indian scrappers, letting them make a $3 million profit over the profit of scrapping. The investors intend to spend another $100-120 million to refit the ship into a luxury floating hotel and conference center moored in Dubai port. 

June 30th 2006 (also reported to have taken place on July 7th)

SS Blue Lady anchors off Pipavav Port, Saurashtra coast of Gujarat awaiting clearance to proceed to Alang Beach

August 15th 2006

SS Blue Lady semi beached at Alang beach, plot number 1, with the help of two tugs. Stern anchor was lost in the attempt. Vessel sits dry by the  bow on low tide and merely floats at high tide.

August 16th 2006

Vessel secured with 5 cable wires and anchors.

End of week 34 (@ August 25th) 2006

Customs inspection of the SS Blue Lady completed. Vessel is without power and lightening. All tanks on board opened and in progress of being emptied of whatever contents, in example diesel.

Week 36 (@ September 4th) 2006

Vessel owner signs contracts for sale of some of the ship's interiors to a handful of buyers, including some larger International companies and a French museum. Price being quoted in per tons for most items but per item for more historical items.

September 5th 2006

Indian Supreme Court announces that a decision on whether to allow scrapping SS Blue Lady at Alang will not be taken before December 2006.

September 8th 2006

Vessel inched closer to the beach by help of wires and pull winches, pulling her in a zig-zag motion up the sloped beach.

Mid-November 2006

Ship reported to be pulled even closer to the beach. 

December 4th 2006

Indian Supreme Court were to decide whether the Blue Lady could be dismantled at Alang Beach or not. The Indian Supreme Court chose to delay the court decision until March 2007. The Indian Supreme Court also stated that nothing were to be removed from the ship. 

January 2007

Rumors that a report had been put forward indicating that the Blue Lady had suffered severe hull damage and that the ship can not be safely removed from Alang Beach. The report was then confirmed to be originating from vessel's owner - the breaker.

March 2007

The Indian courts ordered a study to be carried out to determine whether the neglected hull could be environmentally dismantled or not. 

May 15th 2007

Permission given by Indian Supreme Court to remove all oils from the vessel which is still beached at Alang.

June 7th 2007

Indications surface that all negotiations have faltered and that the fight is now over, there are no longer any interested parties willing to accept the financial responsibility and risk of re-floating, refurbishing and re-launching such a gigantic project.

July 25th 2007

Final decision expected by Indian Supreme Court whether to allow the break up of the vessel or not (-and site owners  birthday). A new attempt by environmental organizations intended to delay her scrapping emerged: it was stated that all the fire detectors throughout the ship posed a radio active hazard as all the detectors contained a small radioactive amount. Interiors of the ship reported to be plagued with severe mold. 

September 11th 2007

Permission is finally given by the Indian Supreme Court (Indian APEX) that dismantling of the “Blue Lady” at Alang could be done. The ships fate is sealed.

December 2007

While a new court order is pending, an image of the ship is posted at midshipcentury showing her bow snipped off, a sign of imminent dismantling. In addition to the missing tip of the bow, the image of the ship’s port side shows that all the lifeboats have been removed. The ship is well out of the water and both port side stabilizators and bilge keel is clearly visible, and out of the water. Though the image posted is of small size and a larger has not been possible to study (not available from site owner), the port main propeller seems to having been already removed. Open shell-doors on port side appears to be Biscayne Deck; forward midships and aft, Norway Deck; forward luggage door, forward landing, midships landing and the aft luggage door. On the Pool deck, two of the forward windows in stateroom P-094 appears to be cut out, together with the two forward-most windows of North Cape Lounge. On International Deck the lifeboat embarkation doors of lifeboat stations 12, 14, 16 and 24 are open. Also plating above the davits of lifeboat 12 seems removed. 

January 21st 2008

A new image from Alang is publicized at midshipscentury. In this new image, the dismantling has already come a long way. The satellite dome on top of forward funnel is gone, together with the entire Star Deck and the iconic forward main mast, forward Sun deck and Sky Deck, apart from the window frames of Sky Deck staterooms. All the plexiglass windows on Sky Deck suites appears to be removed and a cut is also visible on Olympic Deck, most likely in the officers cabin section immediately behind the Officer Dayroom. Also on Fjord Deck, the bulkhead of Fjord-042 appears cut open. On Olympic Deck, the raft stations are removed together with the lifeboat davits of lifeboats 6 to 10 (aft davit of lifeboat ten still visible). Two additional lifeboat embarkation doors on International Deck have been opened: stations 8 and 10. On Pool deck, there are now holes where staterooms Pool 066 and Pool 068 used to be. One deck beneath, there are holes in the ship side in the vicinity of staterooms Viking 102, Viking 108 and Viking 126 (third stateroom in front of the opulent Viking 140 suite). On Norway Deck, Norway 098 and Norway 142 appears to having been cut open. On Atlantic Deck, two new holes are cut in the area of both Windward and Leeward Dining Rooms.  

February 8th 2008

New image from Alang indicates that a new hole has been cut on port side forward, Caribbean Deck just forward of the Biscayne Deck shell door above. More of the superstructure from the 1990-conversion has been demolished and she now starts to appear similarly to her pre-1990 shape. All of the Sky Deck is gone, only the window frames of the pool area midships stands, and the midships satellite dome on top of stair tower 3 is also gone.  

March 4th 2008

In the March 4th image at midshipscentury, the bridge window frames stand alone, with all of the radio station dismantled and forward Fjord Deck gone. Also a lrge part of the Olympic Deck officers cabins has been gashed out, and the top of stair tower  3 is opened. Only a few of the lifeboat davits remain, and on the bow, port side tender davits are gone together with a part of the hull where the name Norway used to be displayed. Also the plate on the stern where the name of the ship was located, appears to have been cut out. On Fjord Deck, two more stateroom bulkheads have been cut open. 

April 4th 2008

A new image of the Blue Lady appears. Now, the entire forward part of Fjord Deck and the Olympic Deck officers cabins have been cut away. The starboard side tender davits are gone and the window frames in midships pool area have been reduced only to a few windows. The forward part of the forward funnel appears cut. 

April 20th 2008

Since last image of the Blue Lady was posted, the forward half of the forward funnel is missing, cut all the way down to Olympic Deck. Boats is seen in the water around the stern. A new hole is seen on Atlantic Deck, possible in stateroom Atlantic 040. 

May 9th 2008

In the May 9th image posted in the same website, a large part of the hull plating beneath the tender deck down to Biscayne Deck is missing, together with the entire forward funnel, the bridge wing and Olympic Deck forward. Large pieces/sections of the blue tender deck (?) is seen in the water besides the ship. Another large section is seen in front of the bow, possibly being pulled ashore. 

May 12th 2008

A new image is posted with a large square section missing in the hull plating aft: it appears to be a part from International deck to Atlantic Deck, immediately beneath where lifeboat stations 22 and 24 used to be located. 

June 11th 2008

Dismantling has clearly progressed since last posted image: a larger section of the hull plating aft has been removed together with a larger piece of the hull plating under the location of the forward funnel’s location, down to Norway Deck. 

July 4th 2008

Probably one of the very last images of the ship is posted on midshipcentury and shows the ship missing her entire bow section and everything above Biscayne deck from forward to midships. Her aft funnel stands morbidly tall above a section immediately below which has so far been kept. The stern is gone and and the two deck tall windows of Club International is clearly visible from the beach. 

August 14th 2008

A new image is posted on midshipscentury: adn image which shows the ship without her stern, the Club International, the Fjord Deck and with the entire Olympic Deck missing. Standing tall on the stern section, her aft funnel still intact. 

September 13th 2008

Rumors spread from India that everything above Biscayne deck and some parts of Biscayne deck have been completely demolished and removed.

September 14th 2008

A new image is publicized and shows the ship now without her aft funnel. The highest deck now, is a small part of International Deck. Stern and bow is missing and just in front of the Biscayne Deck forward shell door a large hole can be seen all the way through the other side: possibly with the forward engine room visible. 

November 15th 2008

What is probably one of the final images of the Blue Lady is posted at midshipcentury and shows the ship stripped down to only contain parts from Atlantic Deck and down to the keel. The majority of her 48 square meter rudder is out of the water, and the aft propeller is missing. The stabilizers can still be seen retracted in their pockets. Only a tiny piece of her Norway blue hull can be seen, part of Caribbean and Biscayne Deck. 

December 29th 2008

A new final image of the SS Blue Lady is posted on midshipscentury. The only visible remains of the once glorious ship is the two starboard side propeller shafts, her bilge keel, and a three deck tall structure immediately above the forward propeller shaft. Also one of her stabilizers are visible in the image. After one year of dismantling, she is now almost gone. 

Early 2009

During early 2009 the last pieces of one of the greatest liners ever made by mankind, gets hauled out of the water and onto the beach, and the ship only lives on in the memory of those that sailed on her, those that worked on her and those that so dearly loved her. 

November 20th 2011

Long after the last steel that once formed the great liner were cut and hauled ashore at Alang, the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Miami, Florida, opened it’s doors. The center was officially opened by HRH Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway this day, and featured one of the glass murals that once hung in the chapel of SS France. The glass murals had up until the 1990 drydock been in it’s place on board, behind a protective cover (in the chapel of SS France, a room that was used as entertainers dressing room on the SS Norway). Following the 1990 drydock the glass mural had been safely in storage at a Miami warehouse. NCL graciously donated the mural to the church, bringing it out in the light again.  

Visit the website of Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Miami >here<, while a direct link to the photo of the murals can be found >here<.

Ferbuary and March 2013

The last remaining innventory from the legendary SS Norway is still unsold and in storage south of Oslo, Norway. The company which originally purchased the entire inventory has gone bankrupt and the bank is now offering the whole lot for sale. On the website www.konkursnett.no, the innventory was tried sold several times at an online auction. The first time it was listed in the auction, a bid of 51.000 NOK was not accepted, and it was relisted again. 

The new auction which is scheduled to end on March 21st, and with a minimum bid for the entire collection at 300.000 NOK. The estimated value of the collection is anywhere between 2 and 3 million NOK depending on how it is sold onwards. So far, there are few bidders that wants to bid that high on the auction. 

Only time will tell where the innventory will end their days, and how it will be sold on. 

The first auction only managed to raise a bid of 51.000 NOK, and was not accepted. The collection was then relisted with a minimum bid of 300.000 NOK, and a new deadline of March 21st 2013. This is all that is left of the "insides" of a legend of the seas. (Image: Screendump)

March 2nd 2013
With kind permission of Laurel Burnett, the below image was taken at Miami Medical Clinic at the Port of Miami. For all fans of the long lost SS Norway, this is a familiar sight. Whether the picture is still intact today, is not known at this moment. 

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A wall at Miami Medical Clinic, Port of Miami (image courtesy of Laurel Burnett). 

March 18th 2013

The innventory of SS Norway was for the third time again listed for sale, and bids was requested starting at 150.000 NOK. A total of 9800+ pieces would be included in this sale. At the end of bidding at 15:00 hours (Norway time), there was still no bids received. Future destiny for this massive collection is uncertain. 

April 2013

Since the liquidation stock of SS Norway still hadn't received any satisfactory bids, the entire stock was once again listed for the 3rd or 4th time. The start bidding price was still listed at 150.000 NOK, and this time, the bidding-round will end at may 9th at 15:00 hours Norwegian time. 

May 9th 2013

The website www.konkursnett.no is once more trying to sell off the last of the innventory from SS Norway. Asking bid is placed at 150.000 NOK, but the only bid recieved hours before the auction ends is a 1/3 of that. 

May 10th 2013

While the latest of several attempts at auctioning off the 9.815 remaining pieces of SS Norway's innventory didn't reach the asking price, the innventory is once again listed in a new auction. The asking price remains at 150.000 NOK, and the end of the auction is set for May 23rd at 15:00 hours (Norwegian local time).

May 25th 2013

It has been ten years since the fatal explosion in Miami which ended the long life of the greatest ship ever built. While ten years have passed, the ship still lives on in the memory of an astounding number of people around the world. Some spent years working on the ship, and some spent their best vacation time on board. One thing that is for sure, is that no ship will ever be built like her - ever again. And while the cruiseline today is a very different company, there are not many links back to the first mega-ship of the Caribbean. 

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May 30th 2013

A Norwegian company-website (www.konkursnett.no) that previously tried to sell of the entire liquidation stock from the company that bought most of the interiors from SS Norway, is now trying to sell off the collection in pieces. Listed for sale, with a bidding deadline set for this afternoon at 15:00 hours (Norwegian time), is a painting by Swedish artist Bengt Berglund, some 2000 lifejackets and one of the "Saga Theater" entrance signs. 

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According to Crhisties auction house in New York, the value is estimated at 15-25.000US$. Bids from 100.000 NOK is requested. 

Some 2000 lifejackets are also listed for sale: requesting bids from 50.000 NOK upwards in 1K increments. 


One of the Saga Theater entrance sign listed for sale: requesting bids from 2.500 NOK. 

June 4th 2013

The first French vessel christened by a French president('s wife) since Madame Yvonne De Gaulle, wife of then President Charles De Gaulle, christened the SS France on May 11th 1960, is performed when CMA CGM Jules Verne was officially given her name on this day. President Francois Hollande christened on June 4th 2013 the 396 meters long, and 53,6 meter wide container-ship. The ship is the world's largest container ship at present. 

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The CMA CGM Jules Verne is historically connected to the SS France by her christening: while the SS France was christened by Madame Yvonne De Gaulle, wife of President Charles De Gaulle on May 11th 1960, the CMA CGM Jules Verne was christened by French President Francois Hollande on June 4th 2013. The first French ship to be christened by the leaders of France since the SS France. 

November 7th 2013

Once again a particular piece of art from the SS Norway re-appears on the auction website konkursnett.no. As this item have been listed several times, it is suspected that they are struggling to meet the expected price. Discussions reveal that this particular piece hung on Viking deck aft. 

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November 7th 2013: A piece from the Norway is once again listed for sale in an online auction. 

November 21st 2013

Once again, the art work from SS Norway is listed on the Norwegian auction site konkursnett.no According to the screendump below, bids of both 10.000 and 12.000 NOK has been declined. The painting is made by Bengt Berglund and is suspected to have hung aft on Viking Deck of the SS Norway. 

December 5th 2013

For the NNth-time, Bengt Berglund’s enamel-graphic artwork (which was made at Gustavsberg, Sweden) from the SS Norway is listed for sale at konkursnett.no. The asking price remains at 40.000 NOK but according to the website, the highest bid recieved so far is 12.000 NOK. This highest bid was declined during the previous listing. Christie’s Auction House in New York estimates the artwork’s value to be somewhere in the vicinity of 90.000 - 150.000 NOK (15-25.000US$). Konkursnett states that the artwork is stored at Christie’s Auction House in New York. 

Screen-dump of Christie’s Auction House catalogue with valuation.

December 19th 2013

Artist Moten Viskum is in the news with his latest artistic creation: this time a center-piece for a Norwegian round-about. Morten Viskum is the artist which previously bought one set of the name-sign of "SS Norway" (the one’s that were placed between the funnels). You can see his latest creation in this VG-article

December 22nd 2013

The website www.konkursnett.no is once again listing two pieces of art from the SS Norway on their online auction. This time, it is the same piece which has appeared all through the year, and another which is belived to come from the Windward dining-room. The new piece (pictured below) measures 213 cm in height, and 295 cm in length, with a depth of 37 cm. The article states furthermore that the frame is original from SS France, while the glass art work was designed for the SS Norway. Originally, these frames held up frosted glass on the SS France. Christie’s Auction House in New York has estimated the value of the item to be between 230.000 and 350.000 NOK (US$40-60.000). 

Asking price is 150.000 NOK while starting bids from 70.000 NOK is accepted. Bidding will end at January 9th 2014, 15:00 hours Norwegian local time. 

Source: http://www.konkursnett.no (link now expired)

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November 12th 2014
Smitwijs Rotterdam, the tug which assisted in the tow of the SS Norway from Miami, met her same fate at the same beach. The tug was beached at Alang to be broken up. 

First week of February 2015

During the first days of February 2015, a couple of images of the SS Norway names-plates from her bow started appearing across the Internet. From the posts where the images first appeared, it is believed that the name-plates now are no longer in Norway, but in the UK. It appears as if both the plates are located with a dealer called The Brixham Steam Packet company in the UK (website currently unavailable, though their FB-page seems to be updated regularly). We have not been able to confirm this. Click FB image below to find their FB page. 

Mid-March 2015
A Norwegian auction site for bankrupt businesses listed 17 new collectible items from the SS Norway. One of these items, will after delivering a winning bid, be included in my personal collection. The 17 items on offer were the following items from the ship: two wall-lamps from the Roman Spa, two large shell-shaped wall-lamps from the Club International, a table with light from the North Cape Lounge, a Champs Elysees “promenade”-signage, a glass panel from either the Casino or the Bistro, artwork from the ship, Roman Spa decorations, a stateroom dresser (which I had the winning bid on), wall-panels from the Leeward Dining Room, some engraved panels, instruction books and drawings from the SS France, a 5,54 meter long NORWAY-pennant, a deck chair and the sign from Sven’s Ice Cream Parlour.  

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2015 03 11-SSNORWAY-sale

April 15th 2015
Another attempt at auctioning 8 colleactible items from the now long gone SS Norway is made by the Norwegian auction site www.konkursnett.no


Wednesday August 5th 2015
The highly respected Captain of the SS Norway, Captain Haakon Gangdal, is laid to rest in funeral ceremonies at Jondal in Hardanger, Norway. Captain Gangdal was one of the ships longstanding masters, and also the Captain during the fatal boiler explosion in Miami. Captain Gangdal was very much loved by his crew, and all his passengers and will be forever remembered for his outstanding professionalism, warm smile and generousity and always calm appearance. 

 Summer 2015

SS France makes an appearance as a backdrop at New York harbour in a new movie about the Minions. 

April 6th 2016

The last big, remaining piece of the SS Norway, the tip of her bow (image missing), was once again listed for sale on the Internet, with an 100.000 - 120.000 Euro asking price. It had been on display at a yacht club in Paris for several years. 

August 4th 2019

25 years exactly on the day, SS Norway anchored off Munkholmen, Trondheim, on her 1984 North Cape cruise. This image taken on August 4th 2019 - 25 years later - serves as a commemoration of the auspicious anniversary. 

February 2020
Little Norway II as seen alongside Norwegian Brakeaway at Great Stirrup Cay by Jeff Macklin. 

Disclaimer: All above informations as listed above are believed to be correct but not in any way guaranteed. Should you have any additional information, tips, corrections or know of any other items not listed, we wish to hear from you to get this timeline as complete as possible. In advance, we thank you so very much for your help and understanding.

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