Earlier this year, Crystal Cruises proposed to transform the re-commission 12-deck passenger liner SS United States as a 400-suite luxury cruise ship. Sadly, the ship’s conversion is now being abandoned followed a feasibility study that indicated the project would be too challenging, the New York Times reported (h/t Curbed NY). After an inspection of the ship, it was found that roughly 25 percent of the hull would have to be replaced, in addition to new mechanical equipment and engine infrastructure. Also, since Crystal Cruises is owned by a foreign entity, the Jones Act would have made it challenging for the liner to operate as a United States-flagged ship. That means much tougher travel regulations, which is a significant disadvantage in the industry.
The SS United States Conservancy is now searching for developers and/or investors to transform the vessel into a permanent commercial hub. An earlier proposal would have docked the ship in Red Hook, Brooklyn and this new search could see it transformed into offices, a hotel, and/or retail/entertainment spaces. The ship is currently docked in Philadelphia, at a cost of $60,000 a month.
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