The World: Grande Dame on Sale

From the moment when Mme. Charles de Gaulle smashed a bottle of champagne across her bow 14 years ago, the 66,000-gross-ton luxury liner France has reigned as the seductive grande dame of the seas. The 1,035-ft. liner, longest in the world, could carry as many as 2,044 passengers amidst the splendor of spacious staterooms and marbled public salons. Her first-class dining room, where white-tied captains spooned out gargantuan portions of caviar, was praised as "the best French restaurant in the world."

Speed, however, has proved to be a more marketable commodity than elegance. Never able to divert enough passengers from the jets,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!