Big U Saved

Aug 29, 2000
Boy did I need some good news like this! God bless those Norwegians- she may look ratty and tatty just now, but underneath that flaking paint is ONE classy hull. Am jumping for joy!

James Doyle

Jul 30, 2002
Believe me, this is wonderful news and unbelieveable for the ocean liner buffs but I have one question. Please say they will keep the ship in its original appearance with the same colors, same hull and those two signature funnels. I pray they wont convert it into an unrecognizable box with a bow and a stern.
Feb 6, 2003
God I hope not. The Red, White, and Blue funnels are the soul of the ship I think. They basically say I am the United States standing tall and proud. They will have to refurnish the ship but hopefully will say the general outboard appearance of the ship. Joshua
Jul 11, 2001
WOO HOO!!! Now that is unbelievable! I am so happy, tears are forming! Such great news after sitting watching Titanic on this solemn evening.

May 8, 2001
On the eve of such a tragic event, this is the best news I have come upon in 91 years since. What remarkable and completely unexpected news!
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Well, who said April 15th has to be a day of unrelenting bad news? (Titanic, tax day!)
I'll be interested to see what NCL actually does with this ship.

Erik Wood

Aug 24, 2000
Be forewarned that the Big U will not look like she looks now (or better worded she looked in her hay day). Just as the Norway changed from the look of the France. NCL is undertaking a refurbishment that will cost them nearly 200 times what the ship is actually worth, and triple what she will make in her first 3 years of service.

The ship will most likely need to be peeled open to replace her machinary and add new piping and electrical systems, then they need to add everything else. This will be a very expensive venture.

One that NCL is used to with the Norway (ex France). The Indy is pretty much ready to sail. She will need a new paint job, and a new radar. But otherwise she is sail ready.

Tom Pappas

Think about it: a 50-knot cruise liner! Monday: New York, Tuesday: Curacao, Wednesday: Tenerife.
May 8, 2001
Michael, you forgot Lincoln!
Erik. In your opinion, will they keep the funnels, colors, and general feel for the ship, as before?
I am relieved and elated, but if it will cost them 200 times what the ship is worth, and put them in the hole for 3+ years, what is the driving force behind them doing this? Just a guess, but... Does it have anything to do with where the SSUS was built, or where her registry is out of? Possibly that she will be able to go places other ships are not allowed to port?
Have you heard any buzzing about where she will be sent to for this refit, and when it will begin?
Thank you!

Erik Wood

Aug 24, 2000
The funnels will probably stay intact but will change to NCL colors as will the rest of the ship. The fact that the inside has been gutted is a good thing, she has to meet the new SOLAS standards effective in 2010 and meet the new requirements that have been developed since her removal from service.

Plus NCL has to make her a marketable ship, and they can only do that is by offering what other newer ships offer in a older hull and with some of the luster of her past. A easy thing to do, the Norway continues to be profitable but also is expensive to run with her old Steam Plant.

When NCL orginally bought the France (now Norway) she didn't change all that much, over the next three decades she has changed quite a bit, but still retains her basic look.

In this case what NCL bought was a hull and superstructure. All her machinery will be replaced. Recall that sometime ago I reported that the United States Congress allowed NCL to sail ships out of Hawaii without the restrictions usually forced upon foreign flags at that time I further commented that that would signal the end of American flagged passenger ships.

What NCL has done by buying the Indy and the Big U is buy a piece of American Maritime Heritage and promised to retore them and return them to service. They made a brillant (IMO) marketing decision aimed at older and younger travelers who want a glimpse of ocean travel in it's hay day. In the end the Big U will probably save them money over a new hull. In this case they are only adding the goodies or fitting her out, not starting from scratch.

My numbers may be a little big, it will depend soley on the new designs that NCL wants to put in place. From what I have heard they plan on running her on runs within the U.S. . The Indy may end up returning to Hawaii but one never knows.

There is quite a bit of amazement in the union halls on forums for Captains and sailors that the two ships have been saved and promised to return to service.
Mar 3, 1998
I very much appreciate the SS United States, especially since my uncle was her Second Engineer during the 1950s. However, what is equally joyous -- but not discussed -- about the article posted here is the news that the SS Independence was also saved from the breakers and will continue in service. For those who don't know, the Indy is one of the last, if not the last, counter-stern cruise ships still in operation. Talk about nostalgia!


Tracy Smith

Nov 5, 2000
South Carolina USA
The CNN article stated:

On its maiden voyage in 1952, the powerful liner and its 268,000 shaft horsepower engines set a new trans-Atlantic speed record: 3 days, 10 hours and 42 minutes. That record stood until 1990.

Can anyone corroborate the 1990 statistic, and which ship broke the record?

Scott R. Andrews


Are you certain about the machinery being replaced completely? You don't think they'll do what they did with the Norway ex-France, i.e. gut the forward engine and boiler rooms and remove the two outboard shafts? Of course, the output of even the remaining half of her original plant would be overkill in a cruise ship!


Scott Andrews
Jul 14, 2000
GREAT NEWS!! Its about time the cruise industry embraced this marvelous piece of Americana and is willing to restore her. Neglecting a ship like this is akin (IMO) of neglecting the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building.

I hope that I can find a way to sail on here in the future.

Mar 23, 2003
I heard the news today on none other than Paul Harvey. Even he was excited. The Norwegian Cruise Line made a GREAT purchase.

The first cruise I took was on the Norway (SSFrance). The dining room and lounges were very nice but our stateroom did not appear to be that upgraded.

It will be exciting to see the refurbished version. If all goes well I plan to book a cruise.

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