French Line's FRANCE

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Deepol
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French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:30 pm

A selection of photos from the collection of the last Transatlantic liner under the French flag. Her keel was laid at the St Nazaire yard of Chantiers d'Atlantique in September 1957.
Attachments
France-1957Impression-RT-N.jpg
France-impression-RT-N19.jpg
Courtesy Rich Turnwald a couple of early artists' impressions
France-bow-building-StNazaire.jpg
Taking shape
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:01 am

She was a replacement for LIBERTE and ILE DE FRANCE. Originally a replacement for each was planned but it was decided that one ship would serve better as a French showcase as NORMANDIE had done.
Attachments
France paquebot en construction.jpg
France-pre-launch.jpg
Normandie-nearing-launch.jpg
Her design mirrored Normandie as can be seen here
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:05 am

She was launched on May 11th 1960 by Mme. de Gaulle whose husband by that time was French President. She took the accolade of longest liner in the world beating QUEEN ELIZABETH by some 3feet.
Attachments
FrancePreLch2.jpg
FranceLaunch-stern-entering-water.jpg
France-ChantiersAd.jpg
Shipyard advert
Last edited by Deepol on Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:09 am

Into the water and ready for fitting out.
Attachments
France-launch-in-water-tugs.jpg
France-fitout-drydock-2.jpg
France-fitoutStNazaire.jpg
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Henk
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Henk » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:09 am

Nice set Paul! thanks for sharing.
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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:18 am

Her most noticeable design feature was her funnels which had aircraft type wing fins to take away her exhaust completely different to the artists' impressions.
Here's some photos of the fitting out of these.
Attachments
France-funnel-fins.jpg
Is it a bird....
France-funnels-fins-3.jpg
On they go
France-funnel-painting-fitout.jpg
Nearly ready
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:27 am

Trials took place in November 1961 when she attained over 35knots nearly equaling UNITED STATES' Blue Riband speed but which she never challenged. She then undertook berthing trials at Southampton and a shakedown cruise to the Canaries prior to her maiden voyage to New York.
Attachments
France-aerial-trials.jpg
35 knots....
France-trials-Southampton.jpg
BTDB pic of her berthing at the Ocean Terminal at Southampton
France-depSouthampton-berth-trials.jpg
Big crowds as would be expected turned out to watch.
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:34 pm

FRANCE's maiden Transatlantic voyage commenced on February 3rd 1962 and she continued on this on an all year round basis for the next ten years.
The maiden voyage was covered in special editions of Paris Match the well known French picture magazine. Copies were in our school library and were guarded very closely by a certain Library Monitor.....
I was very fortunate in later years through the wonders of the internet gaining scans of the commemorative covers.
Attachments
France-MaidenVoyage-ParisMatchCover.jpg
FranceMaidenVoyage-ParisMatchCover.jpg
Paris Match covers
EAGLE-cutaway- drawing-France.jpg
Proverbial Eagle cutaway drawing of her
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:40 pm

On board shots
Attachments
France9_No1Boat.jpg
France-funnels-boats.jpg
France7A_Lit.jpg
A small selection from "materiel publicitaire"
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:52 pm

At the beginning of the 1970s FRANCE undertook off Atlantic season cruising because of the changing nature of travel by sea to the USA.
This resulted in her only visit to Scotland as FRANCE when she anchored in the Forth in 1972. However the oil crisis of 1973 amongst other rising costs prompted the French Government to announce in 1974 that subsidy would cease and she would be withdrawn in the October. This resulted in the crew going on strike at Le Havre in September for a month which effectively ended her French Line career and she was laid up.
Attachments
FranceForth11_edited1.jpg
In St Davids Bay on the Forth in May 1972
FranceSoton_edited.jpg
Departing from Southampton in 1973.
France-depSouthamptonAug74.jpg
Last sighting as France in August 1974 at Southampton
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:36 am

After seven years and some failed attempts by some to buy her, FRANCE was bought by Norwegian Caribbean Cruises for conversion to cruising. In August 1979 she was taken to the Lloyd Werft yard in Bremerhaven for a massive refit. She was renamed NORWAY which I always thought was exceptionally clever given her previous name.
Attachments
France-NorwayConversion-100_1959.JPG
France-NorwayConversion-100_1960.JPG
France-NorwayConversion-100_1961.JPG
From a TV documentary, France becoming Norway in the winter of 1979.
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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:38 am

Interesting postcard produced by NCL in the lead up to NORWAY's inauguration plus a Lloyd Werft advert photo showing her nearing completion.
Attachments
France-Norway-aerial-card.jpg
France-bow-aerial-card.jpg
Cleverly done.......
FranceConversion.jpg
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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:02 pm

The finished article was slightly different from the adverts. Two large tenders were fitted to the focsle and there were alterations at the stern. But despite this her overall profile remained the same and in her new colours she looked rather splendid.
I was lucky enough to be in London at the time she was coming to Southampton from Bremerhaven and hastily rearranged things and got her arriving in April 1980.
Attachments
France-Norway.jpg
First press photos of her
France_NorwayInaugural1.jpg
France-Norway-SouthamptonMay80-2.jpg
Arrival at Southampton
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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:25 pm

Despite initial breakdowns she enjoyed success and after 10 years service she received additional decks which spoilt her appearance but kept her viable. In this form she came to the Clyde on two occasions if I remember correctly. I never scanned any of my slides of her when my scanner was serviceable so if anyone has photos of her at Greenock please post them or anything you have throughout her career as FRANCE and NORWAY.
As the years went on she seemed to go downhill especially with regards to her machinery and on one occasion there was a serious boiler explosion which resulted in some members of her crew losing their lives.
Finally in 2006 she was sold for scrap and renamed BLUE LADY. Controversy followed her because of asbestos but she finally arrived on the Alang Beaches in August 2006 where after environmental concerns were finally overcome demolition commenced in December of that year being completed by the end of 2008. So ended the career of the last French Transatlantic liner. One set of her illuminated name letters survive at Le Havre's maritime museum as does part of her bow in Paris.
Attachments
France-Norway-add.deck.jpg
The additional decks which did spoil her appearance.
France-aerial-stern.jpg
Classic lines
France-Airfix-IMG00212.jpg
My Airfix model
Paul Strathdee

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:38 pm

Courtesy of the Grimaldi brothers in Genoa, this painting featuring France which was up for auction in Italy I think. Possibly for the cover of a book on her/ocean liners in general
Attachments
posfr.jpg
Paul Strathdee

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williemac
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by williemac » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:19 pm

Hi Paul,she was here on Sept.14th 2001.I managed to get a few shots arriving and departingCheers Williemac
Attachments
Dawn Arrival.jpg
Norway&Flying Phantom.jpg
Norway(No.1buoy).jpg
Norway(Gnk)(3).jpg

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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by williemac » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:23 pm

And some more!Cheers Williemac
Attachments
Norway(T.o.B.).jpg
Kenilworth&Norway.jpg
Aye Fond Farewell.jpg
Departure.jpg

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Deepol
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by Deepol » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:03 pm

Thanks Willie I think that was the visit I missed being in deepest Hampshire at a wedding! Super photos as ever.
Paul Strathdee

shiploversa
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Re: French Line's FRANCE

Post by shiploversa » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:12 pm

she remains for me - the most beautiful passenger ship ever built
Attachments
france capetown.jpg
calling late 70'2
france durban.jpg
my desktop picture - here in durban
FRANCE.jpg
my favorite picture of her
france - norway profiles.jpg
a comparison of her
France - Norway.png
three stages of her life

shiploversa
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Norway x France

Post by shiploversa » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:19 pm

the blue lady x norway x france
Attachments
blue lady x norway x france (2) breakers yard.jpg
blue lady x norway x france (3) breakers yard.jpg

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