S.S. United States, what might have been
Above: The dream retrofit 2010 – D Briedis, Novis,Timothy Cizadlo, MI Reilly-Collette, shipbucket.com
Below: The imaginary Norwegian retrofit – D Briedes, Novice, Titania68, shipbucket.com
In the 1970s the cruise market took off, and so did the hope that the S.S. United States could be converted into a cruise ship. Retired transatlantic passenger liners were a good buy and attracted cruise passengers who had never sailed on the transatlantic legends. In the late 1970s, the Norwegian-flag shipping company Kloster Group sent a team of engineers to inspect the United States as well as the France. They found the ship to be more suitable for conversion. Purchasing her for $18 million in June of 1979, Kloster spent another $130 million on a refit and renamed her Norway, a move that became one of the most successful conversions of the cruising age. Below imagining a converted Norway
SS United States cruise ship hopes 1978[photonav url=’/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ship123_edited-1.jpg’]
Cruise ship hopes 2016
Cruise ship United States 2016
Feb 2016: Crystal Cruises plans to turn S.S. United States into an 800-passenger luxury liner with 400 suites that measure 350 square feet. Features of the original ship, such as the Promenade and Navajo Lounge, will be retained, even as the vessel’s mechanics are overhauled and modernized. The option to purchase is subject to the ship receiving a satisfactory environmental review. If positive the ship would be seaworthy by 2018.
Unfortunately, the option to purchase was not exercised. The surveyors found the ship’s structuraly sound, however, the cost of converting the ship for the cruise market torpedoes the project. The SS United States is currently docked in Philadelphia under the ownership of the S.S. United States Conservancy. For more information on efforts to preserve visit their web site. https://www.ssusc.org/apparel
LOS ANGELES, August 5, 2016 – Following an intensive, six-month evaluation, Crystal Cruises today determined that while the SS United States is structurally sound, the technical and commercial challenges associated with returning the historic liner to service as a modern cruise ship have unfortunately proven insurmountable. As a show of support for the vessel, Crystal Cruises will be making a significant donation of $350,000 to aid in the Conservancy’s ongoing mission to save the ship. The Conservancy intends to resume its pursuit of stationary redevelopment opportunities for America’s Flagship.