At long last plans have been unveiled for the restoration of the historic ocean liner, SS United States it's going to be a cruise ship once again, and it's aiming to be the fastest one too. The SS United States Conservancy, the organization that currently owns the ship, made the announcement Thursday morning at a press conference on Pier 88.
"We are thrilled that the SS United States is now poised to make a triumphant return to sea and that the ship's historical legacy will continue to intrigue and inspire a new generation," Susan Gibbs, the executive director of the Conservancy said at the press conference. Gibbs is the granddaughter of William Francis Gibbs, the man who designed the original ship.
Luxury cruise line, Crystal Cruises is optioning the ship to return it to its former glory, and more. The New York Times was the first to report on the story, and If everything goes according to plan, the renovated ship will be known as United States by Crystal Cruises. It will be able to accommodate 800 passengers, include 400 suites each measuring about 350 square feet, and all the other dining and entertainment amenities that luxury cruise liners have. What's more, some of the original features of the ship like the Promenade and the Navajo Lounge will be restored.
"It's truly a privilege for the world's most awarded luxury cruise line to be entrusted with the opportunity of restoring a ship that served as a symbol of patriotism and maritime supremacy and bring her into the modern day," Edie Rodriguez, the CEO of Crystal Cruises said.
There's a lot of work to be done though before the ship is sailing the seas again. At first the ship will undergo a rigorous feasibility study. Once it completes that test, the ship will then pass into the ownership of Crystal Cruises, which will then carry out a planned $700 million restoration effort, which includes installing new sophisticated marine technology and engines that will make it the fastest cruise ship in the world.
Crystal Cruises is hoping for the ship to make it's first new voyage sometime in 2018 from New York City. In addition to the traditional transatlantic cruises, it will also launch from other major ports in the United States, and travel to different parts of the world.
When the ship first launched in 1952, it captured the transatlantic speed record on its maiden trip. It continues to hold that record today, and another one it's also the largest passenger ship ever designed and built in the States. Before the ship was retired in 1969, it transported over one million passengers including the likes of Coco Chanel and Grace Kelly. But apart from being just any other passenger ship, it also had the capability of being turned into a naval troopship that could carry 15,000 troops.
S.S. United States, Historic Ocean Liner of Trans-Atlantic Heyday, May Sail Again [The New York Times]
· All the SS United States Coverage [Curbed]