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Historic SS United States's ocean liner rehab is unfeasible

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The ocean liner won’t have a second life as a cruise ship

The historic ocean liner that holds the record for fastest transatlantic voyage still faces an uncertain future. The future of the turn-of-the-century ocean liner SS United Stated was looking up when, in February, its controlling conservancy teamed up with luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises in the hope of returning the ship to its former glory. But after a feasibility study conducted by Crystal, the company’s determined that the rehabbing the ship in the way that they sought to isn’t feasible, the Times reports.

A Crystal consultant who led the study told the Times there was "a lot of really sincere disappointment, we really tried to make a go of it." The rehabilitation efforts were ultimately stopped short by a bunch of engineering and regulatory obstacles that would have made the project economically impossible. The SS United States Conservancy along with Crystal Cruises sought to refurbish the shell of the once-great ocean liner as a ship replete with 400 suites accommodating of 800 guests. The groups also wanted to restore some of the ship’s original features like the Promenade and the Navajo Lounge.

The future of the SS United States has been up in the air for the past several decades, as it’s sat docked and unused across from an Ikea in Philadelphia. Earlier ideas for the ship’s reuse included moving it to Brooklyn and docking it in Red Hook, where it could be adapted as office space for tech companies. Following the feasibility study, the conservancy and Crystal Cruises have decided to continue looking into alternate uses for the ship.

Crystal’s $1 million study found that the structure is still sound, but outfitting the ship with new steam engines and other measures to power it up once more would require major rebuilding efforts. Meanwhile, Crystal is donating $350,000 to the SS United States Conservancy, which the conservancy will presumably use towards the ship’s $60,000/month docking fee.