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 transatlantic crossing.

The ship last sailed in the 1960s and has been docked immobile in Philadelphia for years.

In February, Crystal received an exclusive option from the SS United States Conservancy to study whether the liner could be revived as a working cruise ship. After 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.

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