Speculation Abounds About Norway's Future

March 2, 2005

NCL has not yet found a buyer for Norway -- which suffered a boiler explosion in May 2003 that killed eight crew members, and put the venerable vessel out of service -- and seems to be running out of patience.

In a statement issued by the cruise line, NCL, which has been shopping the ship as a floating hotel, notes that if a legitimate buyer does not surface before the end of this month it will take action. "Reluctantly, if that does not happen, the company has no other choice but to bring the 'Norway's' fate to a conclusion by late March," the statement reads. "The cost of the upkeep on the vessel is tremendous with the company having spent considerably more than $10 million in the past 18 months, including keeping a crew of some 80 NCL seafarers onboard to perform maintenance and technical duties. We cannot continue to support that kind of expenditure with no solution in sight."

Basically, if no buyers appear the option then would be to sell the ship -- now on the market for about 200 million Euros -- for scrap (or the value of its metal), though the company is making an effort to sound optimistic. According to the statement, "NCL's long-standing hope is that a legitimate buyer would purchase her and either bring her back into cruise service or find alternative uses for the ship such as a hotel. At this time, the company is optimistic that a European group with real interest will purchase the ship."

Norway has been docked at Bremerhaven, Germany's Lloyd Werft since last year. The S/S Norway was originally launched as the ocean liner S/S France in 1962.