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SS Norway soon to be history

June 11, 2006 at 11:14 PM

MIAMI, June 11 (UPI) -- The SS Norway, one of South Florida's most famous luxury ships, is headed for the scrap heap.

The ship, once a favorite of Cary Grant and Salvador Dali, is in the hands of ship breakers who are expected to tear it apart in India and sell it as scrap, The Miami Herald reported.

Originally christened the SS France, the ship was built as a showpiece for the French government and completed more than 300 trans-Atlantic crossings from 1962 to 1974. It sat idle for five years before Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line spent nearly $80 million in 1979 to turn it into a modern cruise ship with outdoor swimming pools and sun decks.

Renamed the SS Norway, the ship ruled the high seas until rival cruise operators built bigger, more modern vessels, the newspaper said. The Norway stopped cruising in 2003 after eight crew members were killed in a boiler explosion.

The Norway is believed to be sitting alone off India, awaiting approval for its dismantling at Alang in the western state of Gujarat, the newspaper said.

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