U.S. Coast Guard inspectors cleared the SS Norway to sail, a week after owner Norwegian Cruise Line was ordered to make repairs that scuttled the Caribbean vacations of 2,032 passengers. The sleek, blue-hulled Norway
, built 40 years ago as the SS France for Atlantic crossings, has been berthed for more than a week in Miami but was now scheduled to depart on Sunday for a seven-day cruise of the eastern Caribbean, according to the Coast Guard and NCL Holding ASA
. "Their certification to carry passengers is OK," Coast Guard Chief Sean Benson said.
Coast Guard inspectors last week refused to sign off on the Norway's fire safety system and ordered NCL, to fix 106 poorly patched leaks in its sprinkler system.
Passengers had been lodged and entertained onboard for two days dockside in Miami in hopes the repairs would be completed quickly and that part of last week's voyage to the western Caribbean could
have been salvaged.
But NCL cancelled the voyage, one of the last in the Caribbean for the 978-ft. (298-m) Norway, which is scheduled to move this autumn to Asian itineraries. - (Reuters)