After decades spent languishing at her berth in Philadelphia, the historic ocean liner S.S. United States has been given an unexpected reprieve by Crystal Cruises. The luxury line, which has recently embarked on an aggressive expansion of their all-inclusive cruise brand that includes new cruise ships, expedition vessels, river cruise ships and a small fleet of Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft, has announced will save the S.S. United States from the breakers, signing a purchase option agreement and undertaking a feasibility study to restore the iconic ship to service.
In order to meet modern demands and be in full regulatory compliance, the SS United States will have to be extensively re-built to meet over 60 years of new maritime rules and shipbuilding practices. The modern United States by Crystal Cruises will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 luxurious suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities that are true to the ship’s storied history. Features of the original SS United States such as the Promenade and Navajo Lounge will be retained, while new engines and sophisticated marine technology will be installed to maintain her title as the fastest cruise vessel in the world.
Crystal’s ambitions for the ship are helped in part by the fact that the historic ocean liner had been stripped of her original fittings, interiors, and toxic asbestos insulation between 1985 and 1994. She has been moored in Philadelphia since 1996, and has managed to avoid being sent to maritime scrapyards like those in Alang, India, ever since. Norwegian Cruise Line, which had expressed an interest in the United States as far back as 1979, purchased the vessel in 2003, spending five years completing feasibility st
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