Together with SS United States Conservancy, Crystal Cruises announced it will save “America’s Flagship”, and embark on the hard undertaking of bringing the vessel into compliance with the latest standards, and returning to oceangoing service.
During the announcement, made at a press conference at Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York, Crystal also committed to covering all costs associated with preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
“The prospect of revitalising the SS United States and re-establishing her as ‘America’s Flagship’ once again is a thrilling one.
“It will be a very challenging undertaking, but we are determined to apply the dedication and innovation that has always been the ship’s hallmark,” said Crystal president Edie Rodriguez.
“We are honoured to work with the SS United States Conservancy and government agencies in exploring the technical feasibility study so we can ultimately embark on the journey of transforming her into a sophisticated luxury cruise liner for the modern era.”
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 will be examining exciting new itineraries for the 60,000-gross-ton United States by Crystal Cruises including not only the traditional transatlantic voyages from New York City, but cruises from key US ports as well as international voyages around the globe which are a signature offering of Crystal and part of the line’s “World Cruise”.
The epitome of American post-war innovation and design, the SS United States was launched in 1952 and captured the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage – a record to this day that still stands. She remains the largest passenger ship ever designed and built in America.
Before her retirement in 1969, the SS United States was the most glamorous and elegant ship in the world, having transported four US presidents, international royalty, many of Hollywood’s “golden era” celebrities, as well as a million passengers.