Wednesday, October 10, 2007

From the good-bye to an old friend department:

Reuters reports that scrapping has begun at Alang (India) on the 46,000-ton Blue Lady which is Norwegian Cruise Line's former SS Norway and SS France prior to NCL's purchase of the classic liner.

The ship has been at the center of protracted legal battles due to the amount of asbestos it is believed to contain. Nonetheless, according to the Reuters article, the workers at Alang are happy for the work, saying they would rather risk death while working than starve to death due to lack of work.

The ship was severely damaged by a boiler explosion, and after months of negotiating with the insurance company, NCL and Star Cruises decided to sell the ship since it became evident that it would not be economically feasible to repair it for use again as a cruise ship. NCL spent months trying to find a buyer for the ship with a workable plan for another use of the ship. When one couldn't be found, the ship was transferred to Star which worked on their own plan for an alternate use for the ship. When a buyer stepped forward during that process, Star made the decision to sell the ship.

NCL told CND at the time of the transfer to Star that they had removed the important artifacts from the ship and placed them in storage for future use.