Crystal Cruises will not be adding the 1950s ocean liner SS United States to its fleet, the company has announced.
Following a six month feasibility study, Crystal Cruises said that despite the vessel being structurally sound, there were too many commercial and technical challenges to make the project work. The company has donated $350,000 to the conservation effort to save the ship.
“Over the past six months, Crystal has conducted an extensive feasibility study to restore ‘America’s Flagship’ to oceangoing service. Unfortunately, the hurdles that would face us when trying to bring a 65-year-old vessel up to modern safety, design and international regulatory compliance have proven just too great to clear in both a technically and commercially responsible manner,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal president and CEO.
“While it has been determined that Crystal’s exciting vision for the ship would have required overcoming various technical hurdles and major changes to her historic design, the studies performed have confirmed the ship is structurally sound,” said Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy. “America’s Flagship continues to hold enormous potential as a stationary mixed-use development and museum in New York or another urban waterfront setting. The SS United States Conservancy remains deeply committed to saving this unique and powerful symbol of the nation’s strength, history, and innovation.”
Crystal Cruises spent $1 million on the project, with a team of experts led by Tim Sullivan, a rear admiral in the US Coast Guard. They concluded that modernising the ship would require making significant changes to the hull that would “pose stability challenges”.
“Our company has great affection for this historic and irreplaceable vessel, and we will be making a $350,000 donation which will help support the Conservancy preserve the vessel through the remainder of the year,” said Rodriguez. “We firmly believe the SS United States is an American treasure and deserves to be preserved and redeveloped as a stationary destination for future generations to experience and enjoy.”
“The Conservancy is deeply grateful to Crystal Cruises for recognising the SS United States’ historic importance and for working so hard on the ship’s behalf,” Gibbs said. “I would also like to thank our members and supporters from across the country and around the world for their continued support. Together we will continue to work tirelessly to save America’s Flagship and honour the legendary liner’s legacy.”