SS United States Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs, left, and Crystal Cruises President & CEO Edie Rodriquez unveil an artist rendering of the SS United States, in New York, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew/Matt Rourke, File)
SS United States may sail again
February 08, 2016
The SS United States is an ocean liner. It is bigger than the Titanic. It once carried celebrities across the Atlantic at record speeds. Now it may one day sail again.
Crystal Cruises luxury travel company has plans to overhaul the ship. The cost is expected to be at least $700 million. The massive steamship has been docked in Philadelphia for two decades. Its interior has been gutted. It is rusting at an unused wharf on the Delaware River.
Before it can be turned into a state-of-the-art commercial vessel, the SS United States must undergo a nine-month feasibility study.
The ship's glory days were in the 1950s. The ship carried everyone from royalty to immigrants across the Atlantic Ocean. They were joined by three on-board orchestras. At the time, the SS United States was the biggest and fastest ocean liner that had ever been built in the U.S. At 990 feet, it is 108 feet longer than the Titanic.
On its maiden voyage in 1952, the liner's 268,000-horsepower engines propelled it across the Atlantic in three days, 10 hours, 42 minutes. That record stood until 1990. The ship was decommissioned in 1969.
The SS United States is now owned by a conservation group. A purchase option has been signed by Crystal Cruises.
This is not the first time plans have been in the works for refurbishment. In 2003, the Norwegian Cruise Lines said it planned an overhaul. But it never happened.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was the SS United States left rusting?
Write your answers in the comments section below