SS United States: What's the latest news?


Jul 9, 2000
58,668
881
563
Easley South Carolina
Jul 9, 2000
58,668
881
563
Easley South Carolina
From CruiseIndustryNews:

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1/31/11 - S.S. United States Sold
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quote:

Sources have told Cruise Industry News that the S.S. United States Conservancy has finally bought the S.S. United States, tied up in Philadelphia, from Norwegian Cruise Line for a reported $3 million.
More at http://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/5061-13111-ss-united-states-sold.html

Comment: First, we get to see if this is true. If it is, then we get to see if the conservancy can make things work out!​
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,668
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Easley South Carolina
From Yahoo News:

Preservation group is new SS United States owner
quote:

PHILADELPHIA — A troubled historic ocean liner is finally getting an answer to its distress call.

The nonprofit SS United States Conservancy said Tuesday it has taken ownership of the famous cruise ship from Norwegian Cruise Lines and its parent for $3 million.
More at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110201/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_historic_cruise_ship

Comment: Looks like there's something to this.​
 
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Wayne Keen

Guest
Damn, you see condos and houses around here once in a while that come up for 3 million. That blows my mind!

(The rational/corporate part of my mind understands that a corporation would look at something like the United States as a liability, so selling it for 3M makes sense)

But darn, one might only need to be moderately rich, and one could have a piece of history!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>But darn, one might only need to be moderately rich, and one could have a piece of history!<<

Yeah, but getting the hull for less then her scrap value was the easy part. The hard part is going to be the refurbishment and restoration, particularly of historically important spaces such as the engine room and the like. What the conservancy has now is a gutted shell coated with oxidized and peeling paint. They have a loooooooonnnngggggg way to go.
 
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Jeff Brebner

Guest
As Peter Bevis found on a MUCH smaller scale with the Kalakala - getting hold of the White Elephant is just the beginning.
 

Sean Hankins

Member
May 15, 2004
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Hardly a white elephant if they can make the proposed casino operation aboard happen. The trouble is, the only thing to compare it to is the operation of the Queen Mary which, to put it mildly, is a carnival act. Some may not like the idea of a casino on the ship, but if done correctly, it could ensure a financially stable, upscale operation.

The real trick is going to be getting investors to look beyond the operating model of the Queen Mary and see that there are better ways.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>The trouble is, the only thing to compare it to is the operation of the Queen Mary which, to put it mildly, is a carnival act. <<

More like the Keystone Kops on one of their more incompatant days. Hopefully, the conservancy will do better.
 
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Jeff Brebner

Guest
Until someone expends the resources to turn her into something useful, to my mind she's (sadly) a white elephant. What they paid for her is a fraction of what it will take to convert her from a rusting hollowed out shell of a ship into something financially viable. I hope they can do it, but so far they've only managed step one.
 

Sean Hankins

Member
May 15, 2004
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You're right in that they are at step one and the ship is nowhere near being out of the woods. The whole key is coming up with an operating model that will appeal to investors and also convince them that this will NOT be another unstable Queen Mary operation, which is why I shudder when I hear people propose retired liners as becoming a "hotel, attraction, convention center". That's clearly not enough to comfortably support a large ship that will need a lot of maintenance. Apparently the mixed use/ casino angle is garnering interest. If anyone can pull it off, it would be a group of people as passionate about the ship as the Conservancy.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>If anyone can pull it off, it would be a group of people as passionate about the ship as the Conservancy.<<

Jeff, Sean, I wish that passion could be the game changer that we would like it to be, but sadly, the reality is often very different.

A lot of museum ships of equal or even greater historical importance then the SSUS are hardly wanting for supporters with passion. The reason they are in a lot...and I do mean a LOT...of trouble is the lack of income/funding to make things happen.

I don't doubt the conservancy's passion or committment, but they need more then that. With historic vessel preservation currently low on John Q. Public's list of priorities, this is going to be a very tough road for them to travel.
 

Sean Hankins

Member
May 15, 2004
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Hi Mike, We'll find out soon enough. They have approx. 20 months now to find investors to turn the ship's empty spaces into something useful. That's pretty much the whole key. If that happens and the right business elements are placed aboard, she can "pay her way" so to speak. The next 20 months are going to be "make it or break it" quite literally.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>The next 20 months are going to be "make it or break it" quite literally.<<

I'll be watching. If I see anything, I'll pass on the news. I only hope it's good news, but as often as it's tended to go the other way, I won't be surprised if that's how it goes down.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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From Cruise Critic:

With Time and Money Running Out, S.S. United States Seeks New Home, Investors
quote:

(4:12 p.m. EDT) -- With money dwindling and time running out, the S.S. United States Conservancy -- which bought the "Big U" for $3 million on February 1 -- announced at a Cruise Shipping Miami news conference today that three cities are in the running to homeport the 1952-era icon.
More at http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4415
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Mike Spooner

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Sep 21, 2017
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Great as national pride for America being the largest built luxury liner ship with brutal horse power, capture the blue ribbon record in 1952. There come a time in life when one has to draw the line. She reminds me of the RMS Mauritania in the 1907.
She too was built as a high speed luxury liner and as a war ship to holding the blue ribbon record for 20 years. As was the SS US to for military troop carry. But I have to say Mauritania was the state of the art for technology in her days as I can't say the same for SS US. In service for 16 years as for Mauritania 27 years. Yet they to recognise her service time as an economic ship days was over and better other ships to sail on with similar speed. The older they get requires more costly to maintained. As sad it is you have to let them go. Seeing those photos of her in Philadelphia she must look an eyesore to the younger generation when looking at modern cruise ships. To restore her just as a stationary museum is going to cost hundreds million dollars if not a billon. Hard lesson can be learn from Queen Mary in California which cost them million to turn into a museum and hotel.
Looking at SS Great Britain in Bristol. How many millions they have spend on her! It would of been much cheaper to build a brand new one! But with no historian history. Once resorted there are still on going expensive costs to maintain as to a good standard.
The SS US Liner may of had the speed but as luxury the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth had it. As for historian history which plays a major part for Queen Mary she has it hands down. Other nations face the same problems to in letting them go to.
Sorry she must go as there are other great US war ships to see with history.
 

Rob Lawes

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Jun 13, 2012
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Mike, for a man who volunteers on a preserved triple expansion steam engine I must say, your attitude is surprising. Would you suggest that engine be cut up and disposed of because, let's face it, it didn't even power a ship so wasn't historically relevant?

The SS Great Britain is a true one off. It marks the turning point in Atlantic liners and to say its not worth the cost of preservation is rediculous.

The SS United States marks the other end of the era started by the Great Britain and is more than worthy of being preserved.
 
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