“Insurmountable Challenges” Sink Crystal Plan For S.S. United States
Following an intensive, 6-month evaluation, Crystal Cruises has determined that while the SSUnited Statesis structurally sound, the technical and commercial challenges associated with returning the historic linerto service as a modern cruise ship have proven insurmountable.
In February, Crystal and the SS United States Conservancy announced they had entered into an exclusive option agreement with the goal of converting the iconic 1950’s-era vessel into a modern, luxury cruise ship that would comply with all modern safety and technical standards. Crystal commenced a feasibility study and professional evaluation that cost over $1 million.
“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 Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez.
As a show of support for the vessel, Crystal says it will make a significant donation of $350,000 to aid in the Conservancy’s ongoing mission to save the ship. The Conservancy intends to resume its pursuit of stationary redevelopment opportunities for America’s Flagship.
“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.”