NCL Plans To Repair Norway

Damage was "extensive" after boiler explosion, but ship was well-maintained, cruise line says

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Norwegian Cruise Line will repair the Norway and return it to service after the May 25 boiler explosion that killed seven crew members.

"The damage was extensive, but we feel it is manageable," said NCL spokeswoman Susan Robison. "We do not have a timeline in place yet of when or where we would do the repairs."

NCL canceled five cruises by the Norway, including those scheduled to depart June 15 and June 22.

All passengers will receive full refunds. Travel agent commissions are protected on the canceled cruises, although only for bookings that were paid in full for the June 15 and June 22 cruises.

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the accident.

"It may be a couple of months or even up to a year before they release the results," Robison said.

At press time, nine crew members remained hospitalized: one in critical condition while rest were stable.

Robison defended the condition of the Norway, a 43-year-old steamship originally known as the France. It met all of the requirements of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) conventions, she said.

The Norway boilers are powered by steam, rather than the diesel fuel used on most modern passenger ships. The boilers were rebuilt in 1999.

"If the ship is well-maintained, its age isn’t really an issue," Robison said.