Photo Credit: SS United States Conservancy
Crystal Cruises said it won’t proceed with a proposed renovation of the
SS United States, the legendary 1952 liner that held the record for the fastest
ship last sailed in the 1960s and has been docked immobile in Philadelphia for
February, Crystal received an exclusive option from the SS United States
Conservancy to study whether the liner could be revived as a working cruise
completing the study, Crystal concluded that it would not be “technically
or commercially responsible” to go any further with the project.
In particular, while the study concluded that
the ship’s hull is sound, “modifying the ship for today’s standards for
oceangoing service would require significant changes to the hull that
would pose stability challenges,” the study said.
Also, installing modern diesel electric
propulsion would require cutting down the shaft lines from four to two and result
in the need to rebuild about 25% of the hull, the study said.
“While it was known that the vessel would need
to have been essentially rebuilt from the inside out, these specific
challenges, among others, collectively posed significant risk to the success of
the project,” it said.
Crystal said it will make a $350,000 donation
to the conservancy to support the vessel’s preservation. Conservancy executive
director Susan Gibbs said it was grateful for Crystal’s hard work on the ship’s
behalf, and that it would immediate restart its aggressive outreach to
qualified developers to secure the ship’s future.