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The NCL Norway these days

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BERLIN, May 23 (AFP) - The Norway cruise liner, once one of the most glamorous vessels in the world, set sail from the German port of Bremerhaven on Monday to head for an uncertain future in Malaysia, its owners said.

Five tugs guided the ship from its moorings and the ship which is to tow it to Asia was due to join it later, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) said. "The ship is heading for Port Klang in Malaysia, but at the moment we cannot give any detailed information about its future," NCL said in a statement.

Reports in the French newspaper Ouest-France last month said the ship would be turned into a floating training school for hotel staff in China.

The Norway began life as the France and served the glamorous transatlantic route for a decade until 1974.

When it came into service in 1961 it was, at 313 metres (1,027 feet) long, the biggest liner in the world. The Queen Mary 2 currently holds the record at 345 metres (1, 132 feet) long. It was sold in 1979 and renamed the Norway but has been consigned to port in Bremerhaven since an explosion in a boiler in 2003 killed eight crew.

It has been costing around USD 500,000 (EUR 385,000) a month to keep it in port.

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She was a beautiful ship! I cruised on her in 1986. She was the largest and longest cruise ship at the time we were on her, I believe.

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