After a fire on board the ocean liner “Normandie” on February 9th 1942 by pier 88 in New York, the “Liberte” of 42.050 Grt ( 1927 ) took over the run. 

From 1950 “Liberte” was replaced by the “”lle de France” of 51.839 Grt.

Plans for a new ship indicated a 55.000 GRT and 30 knot ship. 

During construction French Line would claim the Panama Canal was designed with insufficient measurements for the new ship being built.

1957 was the first year where the planes transported more passengers across the Atlantic Ocean than ocean liners.

In 1958 the first jet-plane flew across the Atlantic Ocean.

S.S. France

Building contract signed: July 25th 1956.

Keel laid:7th September 1957. ( Same slip as “Normandie” )

Built at: Chantiers de’l Atlantique, Penhoet, St Nazaire, France.

Launched: At high tide, 1615 hrs on May 11th  1960.

Launching speed: 14 knots into the Loire river.

Christened by: Madame Yvonne de Gaulle.

Sea trials: November 1961.

Sea trial maximum speed: 34,13 knots (sources also quote 35,33 knots as maximum achieved sped on sea trials, ref. “303 Arts, Recherches Et Creations).

Building cost: £ 30.000.000 ( £ 7.000.000 in subsidiary from French Government )

Compliance’s: Bureau Veritas, French authorities, Solas 1960 - method 1 and US Coast Guard based on incombustible veneers and fire resistant furnishing.

Design: Last passenger ship built with whaleback forecastle (/ breakwater deck).

Gross tonnage: 66.347,72 tons.

Net tonnage: 37.063,14 tons.

Deadweight: 12.000 tons.

Displacement: 57.607 tons.

Main engines: 4 single geared CEM Parsons steam turbine-sets, 160.000 HP.

Boilers: 4 Penhoet water-tube boilers in forward boiler room and 4 Penhoet water-tube boilers in aft boiler room.

Fuel consumption: 800 tons/ day.

Fuel capacity: 9.000 tons.

Propellers: 4 propellers, each with ______blades. 

Max propeller revolutions: 162 rpm.

Max speed ( at sea trials ): 34,13 knots.

Funnel wingspan: 62 feet.

Air-condition: Only in the dining rooms on board.

Maiden voyage: Cruise to Canary Isles w/ French press January 19th 1962.

First westbound crossing: Le Havre – New York February 3rd 1962.

First eastbound crossing: New York – Le Havre February 13th 1962.

Former names: S.S. “France”

Former company: Compagnie Generale Transatlantique,  French Line                                        

Former port of registry: Le Havre, France.

Call sign:FNRR

Official number: 3077

Cargo holds: 4 holds.

Garage: 94 American sized cars.

Capacities: 1st class between 407 and 590, 2nd class between 1271 and 1637.

Total pax count: 2033

Total crew count: 1167

Total transatlantic crossings: 377

Total cruises: 93, whereof two cruises around the world.

Total pax carried during crossings: 588.024

Total pax. carried during cruises: 113.862

Total pax. carried on board: 701.886

Total nautical miles sailed: 1.860.000

Final crossing: Late summer 1974.

Lay-up port: Pier of the forgotten, Quai de l’Oubli.

Sold: 1977 to Akram Ojjeh of Saudi Arabia for $ 24.000.000. Plans to be rebuilt as hotel ship off the Florida coast.

1) Before flag change from Oslo, Norway, to Nassau, Bahamas, on March 1st 1987.

2) Pre 1990-conversion statistics

Sold: 1979 to Norwegian Caribbean Lines for $ 18.000.000

Tow: Towed by Dutch tugs August 1979 to Bremerhaven.

Rebuilt at, year: Hapag Lloyd, Bremerhaven. 1979 – 1980.

Rebuilding cost: $ 150.000.000

Date of sea-trails: Mid-April 1980.

Compliance: Solas 1974 and US Coast Guard.

First port of call/ anchored: Kristiansand, Norway on May 2nd 1980.

First ports of calls/ docked: Oslo, Norway on May 3rd to May 6th 1980.

Southampton, United Kingdom

New York, New York, May 16th - 17th 1980 ( Pier 88 ).

UN flag: Only passenger ship in the world carrying UN-flag.

Hoisted by senior steward Wesley Samuels, Jamaica in Oslo on May 3rd 1980 with presence of His Majesty King Olav V of Norway.

Arrival Miami: May 22nd 1980. (Entered port following day due to weather conditions.)

Maiden voyage: Out of Miami on June 1st 1980.

Dry docking: 

  • 1982: Electrical supply partly transferred from steam to  diesel engines.

  • 1984: Bremerhaven, Germany ( after cruising in Norway ). Removed all four boilers in forward engine-room and replaced with electrical generators and all electricity transferred to generators.

  • 1987:

  • 1990: 2 new decks added ( Sky and Sun deck ) and solid ballast filled in five double bottom tanks as a compensation.

  • 1993: Newport News Shipyard, Newport, Virginia, USA.

  • 1996: A & P Shipyard, Southampton, United Kingdom. Rebuilding of stairtowers and gift shops to comply with Solas 1992 amendments, resolution MSC 24(60) from Bureau Veritas and US Coast Guard NVIC 4-95

Owner: Norwegian Caribbean Lines, presently Norwegian Cruise Line.

Registered:Oslo, Norway.

Flag changed in Nassau 1st March 1987 to Nassau, Bahamas.

Call sign:1) LITA 2)C6CM7

Classification:Bureau Veritas I 3/3 E + Deep Sea Passenger Ship.

Gross tonnage:2) 70.202,19 Tons. 76.049 Gross registertons.

Net tonnage:2) 38.573,20 Tons. 45.886 Net registertons

Deadweight:15.330 tons.

Length o.a.:1035,66 feet  315,66 meter.

Length between perpendiculars:         290,66 meters.

Hull dimensions:Thickness of plates 2,5 – 6,5 cm.

Distance bow to bridge: 75 meters               246 feet.

Distance bridge to stern: 240 meters             788 feet.

Beam/ breadth moulded: 110,15 feet         33,81 meters.

Draught moulded:10,491 meters.

Depth moulded to freeboard draught:         15,8 meter.

Draught max:35,16 feet         10,72 meter.

Height from keel to mast: 221,92 feet         67,66 meter.

Height from waterline to mast: 188,27 feet 57,40 meter.

Deckspace:2) 19.812 m 7.142 m2.  ?????????

Speed:Service speed 17,8 knots. Maximum speed 25 knots.

Frame spacing: App to frame 30        610 mm.

Frame 30 to frame 58775 mm.

Frame 58 to frame 80820 mm.

Frame 80 to frame 96 935 mm.

Frame 96 to frame 254         1.000 mm.

Frame 254 to frame 317         685 mm.

Frame 317 to Fpp        610 mm.

Tenders: “little Norway 1” ( call sign C6CM8 ) and “little Norway 2” ( call sign C6CM9 ).

Each weighs 72 tonnes, 97 gross register tonnes, 88 feet 27 meters long, 21 feet wide, 450 passengers and three crewmembers. Each powered by two Caterpillar engines and equipped with two Jastram 360o propellers. Max speed 10,5 knots. Built at Holen Mekaniske Verksted, Norway. Loaded on board by hydraulic cranes on forecastle.

Engine statistics:

Main engines: 2 single geared CEM Parsons steam turbine-sets, @ 54.000 HP.

Boilers: 4 Penhoet watertube boilers w/ natural circulation. Modified Babcock Wilcox design. 

Maximum load each boiler: 72 tonnes/ hour.

Volume of furnace:51,4 m3

Refractory Surface:24,4 m2

1st superheater surface:244 m2

2nd superheater surface:248 m2

Economiser green surface:513 m2

Economiser penhoet surface: 559 m2

Airpreheater surface:1560 m2

Working pressure:71,5 kg/ cm2

Max. pressure at superheater exit: 64 kg/ cm2

Max. superheater temperature: 500oC

Feed temperature:120oC

Propeller:Twin screw, 4 blades fixed. Diam: 18 feet 6,2 meter. 21  tons each. 

Max propeller revolutions: 125 rpm. Guaranteed to max 135 rpm.

Propeller shafts: 4 shafts. Inboard shafts in use, length 80 yards, outboard shafts in place, diameter 0,6 m.

Steering gear:3 Brown Brothers.

Rudder:Single semi balanced rudder. Area: 523 sq.feet/ 48,58 m2.

Side thrusters:CP Liaaen 3 forward and 2 aft. Total 6500 kW / 8700 hp.

#1, 4 and 5 each 1325 kW. # 2 and 3 each 1915 kW. 

All driven electrically.

Stabilizers:2 pairs Denny Brown, 18 feet long and 8,4m2.

Anchor and chains:3 anchors forward each 15 Tons.

Chain 2 x 330 meter, 64 tons each and diameter 90 mm.

1 anchor aft of 10 tons. Anchor chain 150 kg each link.

Generators:14 generators, total output 25.000 kW.

Electrical:Primary system: 6000 volts  60 Hz  450 vole.

Secondary system shore conn.: 450 volts 60 Hz. 

Light points:122.000. $ 66,000 annual budget for light bulbs (1995).

Cabling:22.000 meter with cables for bar- and cash registers.

Freshwater capacities: 2.555 tons.

Freshwater production: Maximum 1400 Tons/day. Average 550 tons/day by reversed osmosis and evaporation.

Freshwater consumption: 9.500 pounds/day.

Fuel oil capacity:4424 MT.

Diesel oil capacity:285 Tons.

Fuel oil consumption: @ 250 tons/day. @ 33 gallon/ feet. 1.326.000 liter/ week. Bunker type C.

Navigation instruments:

  • 3 radar’s Rayethon Raycas, Raypath and M 34.
  • 1 Anchutz auto pilot.
  • 2 Simrad echo sounders.
  • 1 Simrad log.
  • 3 VHF radios.
  • 1 Magnavox satellite navigator.
  • 1 Rayethon Raystar 920 GPS.
  • 1 Garmin DGPS.
  • 1 automatic radio direction finder.
  • 1 Rayfax weather faximile-reciever.

Officers: Norwegian, deck and engine: 46.

Crew: 812 from 52 countries.

Passenger certificate: 2560.

Total POB: 3466.

Passenger cabins: before 1990-conv: 915. Present:1035.

Lifeboats and capacities: 20 Harding MPC34 semi covered lifeboats, each 150 pers (number 5-24)

2 motor launches, each 74 persons (number 3 and 4)

2 open lifeboats, each 35 persons (number 1 and 2)

Liferafts and capacities: 14 davit launched Viking liferafts, each 25 pers.

40 roll over board Viking liferafts, each 20 pers.

Rigid liferafts, total 125 persons.



Fire hydrants:427.

Fire stations:17.

Passenger decks:10.

Public rooms:16.

Swimming pools: 3 ( 2 outdoor and 1 indoor Roman Spa )

Available beds:

  • Single lower beds :  1064
  • Bunk beds :  528
  • Double beds :  324
  • Cabins w/ space for rollaway beds : 292

Readers and supporters sitting on any additional information, or different information are all kindly requested to get in touch with us so as to ensure all above remains historically as correct as possible. All information is believed to be correct, however not guaranteed. 

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