"France" - the longest ship in the world, the biggest ever built in France, and the third largest vessel afloat, will be launched at St.
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Background: "France" - the longest ship in the world, the biggest ever built in France, and the third largest vessel afloat, will be launched at St. Nazaire, May 11, by Madame de Gaulle, wife of the French President.
Displacing 55,000 tons, - but only 35,000 as she goes down the slipway - 1,035-feet long and with a 110-foot beam, she was laid down 4 years ago and cost 27 million pounds. Turbines generating 160,000 horse-power give her a service speed of 31 knots. She is intended for the Atlantic service and will make 23 round trips yearly, carrying 2,000 passengers, 500 of them first-class.
In these days of increasing air travel she represents a definite counter attraction. Built on the lines of a yacht, "France" has 11 decks, including a sun deck and two enclosed promenade decks. Added facilities are a theatre to seat 700, closed circuit television, two swimming pools, and all usual luxury amenities and services. She is air-conditioned throughout
Technically too, the ship includes revolutionary features. Alloy superstructure, and eight boilers - compared with the 20 of some comparable vessels - has saved 15,000 tons weight. "France" should be a worthy successor to "Normandy" the French trans-Atlantic giant destroyed by fire in New York harbour 20 years ago.