I’ve written before about the classic ocean liner SS United States, which has been in danger of being sold for scrap. Now, it appears that not only may the ship be saved, but she may actually be returned to commercial service. Crystal Cruises has taken out a purchase option on the vessel, and during 2016 will carry out a project to scope out the conversion of the vessel to an operating cruise ship, which will sail on transatlantic as well as other itineraries. A retired US Coast Guard admiral, Tim Sullivan, will be in charge of this very complex project.
It is probably inevitable that the ship’s steam turbines and boilers will be replaced with a more efficient propulsion plant, probably diesel. Some major changes to the superstructure are also planned, driven in part by the desire to offer passenger suites with balconies. The artist’s concept of the modified ship which is shown in the press release loses something compared to the aesthetics of the original vessel, at least to my eye; hopefully it will be improved during the study effort. In any case, saving the ship and restoring it to service would be a wonderful outcome.