The SS United States has a serious marketing problem.


Oct 7, 2014
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If the SS United States "Conservancy" keeps operating the way it is being operated, the ship will eventually be scrapped.

It has always been marketed as a 'Cruise Ship' rather than the Ocean Liner that it is. The architectural concepts between the two are completely different, and as long as it is marketed incorrectly, it will never be fully 'restored', because the people in charge of the restoration have no clue how to interpret the difference between an Ocean Liner and a Cruise ship.

This is becoming an endless source of frustration as I watch it slowly deteriorate in a Philadelphia shipyard.

Ultimately, the ship's architecture was designed with being a troop carrier in mind. The fact that it was never used that way does not diminish the ship's classification as an Ocean Liner. In fact; it enhances it.

One thing that infuriates me about the 'Conservancy' is that they use the tag line "The most famous ship that never sank". I don't even think I can begin to articulate how offensive that is to me as a Navy Veteran, an Ocean Liner enthusiast, and a history 'nerd'. The fact that the organization itself doesn't realize this is extremely troubling.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Jul 14, 2020
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If the SS United States "Conservancy" keeps operating the way it is being operated, the ship will eventually be scrapped.

It has always been marketed as a 'Cruise Ship' rather than the Ocean Liner that it is. The architectural concepts between the two are completely different, and as long as it is marketed incorrectly, it will never be fully 'restored', because the people in charge of the restoration have no clue how to interpret the difference between an Ocean Liner and a Cruise ship.

This is becoming an endless source of frustration as I watch it slowly deteriorate in a Philadelphia shipyard.

Ultimately, the ship's architecture was designed with being a troop carrier in mind. The fact that it was never used that way does not diminish the ship's classification as an Ocean Liner. In fact; it enhances it.

One thing that infuriates me about the 'Conservancy' is that they use the tag line "The most famous ship that never sank". I don't even think I can begin to articulate how offensive that is to me as a Navy Veteran, an Ocean Liner enthusiast, and a history 'nerd'. The fact that the organization itself doesn't realize this is extremely troubling.
Yes! beautifully said Patrick. If only they would get their act together. I think more people know of the Nomadic than her.
 

Platnmz

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Nov 17, 2017
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If the SS United States "Conservancy" keeps operating the way it is being operated, the ship will eventually be scrapped.

It has always been marketed as a 'Cruise Ship' rather than the Ocean Liner that it is. The architectural concepts between the two are completely different, and as long as it is marketed incorrectly, it will never be fully 'restored', because the people in charge of the restoration have no clue how to interpret the difference between an Ocean Liner and a Cruise ship.

This is becoming an endless source of frustration as I watch it slowly deteriorate in a Philadelphia shipyard.

Ultimately, the ship's architecture was designed with being a troop carrier in mind. The fact that it was never used that way does not diminish the ship's classification as an Ocean Liner. In fact; it enhances it.

One thing that infuriates me about the 'Conservancy' is that they use the tag line "The most famous ship that never sank". I don't even think I can begin to articulate how offensive that is to me as a Navy Veteran, an Ocean Liner enthusiast, and a history 'nerd'. The fact that the organization itself doesn't realize this is extremely troubling.
Hi Patrick,

I really appreciate someone who cares about the SS United States. In my personal opinion, it is the greatest ocean liner ever built. The fact that it was a troop ship first and could be convert in a mere 3 days show the fantastic engineering and planning that went into her. Now as for marketing, I am not intimately knowledgeable about how the conservancy markets ger, but the film “Lady in Waiting” was very clear about her being a troop ship/ocean liner, NOT a cruise ship. As for restoration, the biggest problem is money; it would take about as much to restore her to sailing standards as building a new ship ( she would need to be brought up to new standards, including moving the wheel house forward closer to the front of the bow, as the new ship starts have changed). In addition to this, I believe dedicated ocean liner business is limited, which is why there is only one in the world which sails today (QM2). I am guessing that her best chance a life is as a multi-use convention center/hotel, museum property. I personally would LOVE to see her sail again as she is the most elegant ship ever built. The struggle for the SS United States is that we live in an era where history is not valued or honored. There is so much meaning and history in the SS United States and its sad it isn’t remembered and honored like other engineering feats, it was truly the crowning achievement of ocean liner and the bookend of that era. She was 3x time s the ship Queen Mary was (which is why I believe the Mona Lisa sailed on the United States in 1962), yet because of her “modern” interiors, she’s not held in the same esteem. Sorry to get long in words, but again, I love the SS United States.
 
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Jul 9, 2000
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In a sense, it's literally true that the SS United States is the most famous ship which never sank, although I could come up with some others which could compete for the title. Nobody takes a lot of notice of ships which go their entire service lives incident free. (You want them to do that!)

Ships which come to grief because somebody parked on a mine or used an iceberg as a can opener...now THAT gets some gossip going!

That may be disheartening and even offensive, but it's reality.

Now having established that, I would submit that the most serious marketing problem the Conservancy has is that they don't have a clear cut plan, almost no money to play with and a monstrous problem in that the ship herself is a hulk which has literally been stripped down to the bare metal with all of her fittings and furnishings long gone. To make her even marginally and safely habitable as a tourist attraction, never mind a hotel, is going to take several hundred million dollars. They don't have it and have no idea how they are going to raise it.
 
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