Update: Norwegian Line Unable to Remedy Leaky Sprinklers on the Norway

Tuesday, May 29, 2001
Norwegian Cruise Line canceled the weekly sailing of its ship Norway on Tuesday because of leaks in the fire sprinkler system, thwarting Caribbean vacation plans for more than 2,000 passengers stuck in Miami.

As reported earlier today, the Norway had been scheduled to leave the Port of Miami on Sunday for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. But the Coast Guard barred it from sailing after a surprise inspection found 106 poorly patched leaks in the pipes that supply water to the sprinkler system. The Coast Guard said the flaws "could severely limit the ship's ability to fight a fire on board."

Crew members had hoped to repair the problems and obtain clearance to sail by Monday night; the latest the 40-year-old ship could leave Miami and still complete its voyage.

"Unfortunately this has not happened," NCL said in a statement announcing cancellation of the voyage on Tuesday.

The cruise line, a unit of NCL Holding, which is owned by Star Cruises Group, said the Norway's 2,032 passengers would be offered a full refund for the voyage plus a free seven-day cruise in the future. The cruise line said it would also reimburse passengers for travel costs and provide flights home if needed.

"We're trying to fly them out, the ones that we can get flights," a spokeswoman said. "They're staying on the ship until we can make other arrangements."

NCL said the repairs were 80 percent complete and it was confident they would be done in time for the Norway's next weekly cruise on Sunday. They could not immediately comment on the financial impact of the canceled voyage.

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