Le Havre Celebrates Anniversary of SS France

Le Havre is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the SS France with an open air photo museum.

Opened in 2009, this year, the museum is featuring 49 large-size photos of the trans-Atlantic liner, the last ship of the Compagnie General Transatlantique. Laid up at the end of 1973, the France was eventually sold to Norwegian Caribbean Lines in 1978 and converted into the first mega-cruise ship, re-entering service as the SS Norway in spring of 1980.

It was the inspiration of Norwegian shipowner Knut Kloster who saw the opportunity to move NCL ahead in the market with a unique vessel. She was converted at an estimated cost of $180 million at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven. The naval architect was Denmark’s Tage Wandborg. while Angelo Donghia from New York was the interior designer. NCL president at the time and tasked with introducing the Norway was Norwegian Helge Naarstad. The Norway was more than twice size of other cruise vessels at the time.

All black and white, the photos come from the family records of Captain Croisile, 1st captain of the France, and also from French Lines, the association which holds the heritage of Compagnie Générale Maritime.

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