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Jason

The destiny of the SS Norway....for now....

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Norway may sidestep mothballs for duty in Malaysia

By Tom Stieghorst, Business Writer, Sun Sentinel

The SS Norway isn't headed for the scrap heap, at least for now.

Norwegian Cruise Line said on Tuesday the venerable ocean liner will be sent to Malaysia for use in an undisclosed new venture.

The move will also give custody of the ship to NCL's parent company, Hong Kong-based Star Cruises Group.

Crippled by a boiler explosion in May 2003 in Miami that killed eight crew members, the Norway has been docked in Germany for the past 18 months awaiting a decision on its fate. The ship was once the flagship of NCL and sailed for many years from Miami on weekly cruises to the Caribbean.

NCL said it has spent $10 million on upkeep in Germany but cannot continue to do so. The line is trying to clear its balance sheet of the Norway in preparation for a possible public offering of stock later this year.

Since the explosion, several buyers have shown interest in turning the 43-year-old liner into a floating resort in Europe. Built in 1962 as the France, the ship has classic maritime lines and period fixtures that appeal to cruise buffs.

However, conversion would involve asbestos removal and extensive refurbishment. Fixing the ship to sail again might require replacing the other three boilers with more modern engines and updating it to meet new safety codes.

In a statement, NCL said Star Cruises is making arrangements to have the Norway towed to Port Klang in Malaysia for use in a new venture, "details of which will remain undisclosed for the time being."

The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to release its final report on the accident or pinpoint a cause for the fatal boiler explosion.

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Norway may sidestep mothballs for duty in Malaysia

By Tom Stieghorst, Business Writer, Sun Sentinel

The SS Norway isn't headed for the scrap heap, at least for now.

Norwegian Cruise Line said on Tuesday the venerable ocean liner will be sent to Malaysia for use in an undisclosed new venture.

The move will also give custody of the ship to NCL's parent company, Hong Kong-based Star Cruises Group.

Crippled by a boiler explosion in May 2003 in Miami that killed eight crew members, the Norway has been docked in Germany for the past 18 months awaiting a decision on its fate. The ship was once the flagship of NCL and sailed for many years from Miami on weekly cruises to the Caribbean.

NCL said it has spent $10 million on upkeep in Germany but cannot continue to do so. The line is trying to clear its balance sheet of the Norway in preparation for a possible public offering of stock later this year.

Since the explosion, several buyers have shown interest in turning the 43-year-old liner into a floating resort in Europe. Built in 1962 as the France, the ship has classic maritime lines and period fixtures that appeal to cruise buffs.

However, conversion would involve asbestos removal and extensive refurbishment. Fixing the ship to sail again might require replacing the other three boilers with more modern engines and updating it to meet new safety codes.

In a statement, NCL said Star Cruises is making arrangements to have the Norway towed to Port Klang in Malaysia for use in a new venture, "details of which will remain undisclosed for the time being."

The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to release its final report on the accident or pinpoint a cause for the fatal boiler explosion.

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