Yes Heron, I do think Normandie was THE most beautiful ship ever made ; exterior and interiors were really gorgeous. The France's interiors looked cheap. But the ligne of the France used be the most elegant at the time he touched the ocean. Very modern and well balanced
But I still believe the Normandie was the real master piece of the naval construction, he didn't last long alas.
Since the Picture I placed on my site is no longer hotlinked, I resized it at almost its original size, . . . for eyes pleasure. France 1970
When I look at this picture I still can figure how we (French) let him go in 79 and how in 2006 we could let him go to Alang without giving a damn.
To all who have posted here I have but one, final question:
Was there ever a more beautiful ship?
Not in my lifetime, and I made it a point to travel as many liners as I could in the past decade. (Disclosure: I am about the same age as SS France/Norway.) Regal Empress is also beautiful, but in a different way. Yet, my proudest moment on our SS Norway cruise was when we were ashore in Cozumel and I gazed out at those beautiful lines at anchor and said, "That one's mine."
The first time I ever saw the ship: Drawing up alongside the quay in Southampton as a 9 year old boy, with my dear Grandfather. Going on board to visit parts of the ship with him before he sailed off to New York aboard her.
Even then, as a child, I was in awe of her sheer size, the bright lights, the fantastic interior fitments. I made an impression on me that I shall never forget. SS France, you live in my memory and my heart. Thank you for this thread it's time for me to say goodbye and thanks to all fellow contributors.
As one becomes an adult and sees the world from a different perspective, one is usually able to perceive when they are in the presence of someone or something that will not pass this way again. Persons like Ronald Reagan or interesting times like World War II, for example. There's a part of me that, when I was on the Norway the one and only time I sailed on her, intuitively knew that "Dave, you'd better pay attention -- you will not see one like this again". That must have been why I awoke early in the morning of the day we were to disembark and spent two hours taking photographs of seemingly meaningless things -- rooms, statues, art, lights. I was somehow trying to grasp at a straw (or a rivet) to try and stamp into my brain this entity that was the SS Norway. Ships do have a soul. If they didn't, why would we plow to the bottom of the sea in the North Atlantic to seek the Titanic or go to such great lengths, both monetarily and emotionally, to save them? We all are bound to the Norway, and while we mark it as a sad occasion, we also should remember that our lives are, in ways both small and large, marked by both her presence and her passing. With things like these, I am always reminded of one of my favorite lines from Shakespeare. . .
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; If not, why then, this parting was well made.
-- Brutus and Cassius before battle
Farewell to you all. I look forward to seeing some of you on the seas, perhaps. Farewell, Norway, and we thank you.
We've created a new forum, called Classic Ships Chat, located under General Cruise Chat. Here is the direct link. Let's keep the current thread focused on SS Norway, and have lots of great discussion on other classic liners in the new forum. See you there!
It has been a long time since my last post, but I wanted to take the opportunity to bid farewell to all of the people here.
My participation in this thread dropped off when my father became very ill. I stopped in occasionally to catch up on the status of our lovely lady, but did not have the time or energy required to truly interact.
I see that there has been some mention of closing the thread to new messages, and I wanted to share a couple of links that I think all here would enjoy before that happens.
The first link is a cool little webcam-type 360 degree view of various areas of the ship during the Norway years. It is really amazing. Make sure to click on the links at the left of the page to see all of the available views. Destination 360 - Norway
This next link is the deck plan during the Norway years. You can look at every deck using the triangular navigational tool. Norway Deck Plans
The last link is a great video of a couple making the transatlantic crossing both ways. They take the France going east and the Liberte going west. There are some awesome shots of the ship during her heyday. This is my favorite link of the three, as this is how I remember her. France-Liberte YouTube
I hope you all enjoy these links as much as I have. I wish you all well.
I can't think of a more fitting way to end this tribute than the wonderful video Adja posted of crossings on both SS Norway and SS Liberte. With the demise of our ship comes a last link to the regular transatlantic crossings of years past. Both of these ships were given new lives, and both helped inspire new generations of ships as well as ocean liner enthusiasts.
On behalf of the Cruise-Chat staff, I thank everyone who has contributed to this thread during its span of almost four years, 267 pages, more than five thousand replies, and (as of today) nearly 600 thousand views. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure to host such a wonderful and meaningful discussion.