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Normandie Postscripts

December 2023
1min read


The Normandie was fitted with the most sophisticated fire detection and extinguishing system ever installed. In the passenger area there was a fire control center that was a showplace running the full length of a cross passage. It was manned twenty-four hours a day both in port and at sea. When the conversion work was undertaken, the fire control system was put out of service, leaving the vessel unprotected against fire. Superlatives fit the Normandie . She was the best-known ship in the world. She set records for visitors, there were Normandie toys, dolls, et cetera … but she was never a popular passenger carrier with a clientele like the Ile de France or the Champlain . People wanted to sail on her once, but there were few repeaters. The reason was a vibration problem that made her a very uncomfortable vessel. It was so bad when she first came out that people took days to recover. The owners changed the propellers, ordered the ship to be run at reduced speeds, and made extensive structural changes, but they were never able to completely solve the problem.

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