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. 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.
SS United States Conservancy
Last fall, news surfaced that the 990-foot-long SS United States, a decommissioned 12-deck passenger liner built in 1952 and which set a trans-Atlantic that stands to this day, could be docked in Red Hook and transformed into a office and entertainment complex. The latest proposal now calls for a restoration of the vessel into an 800-passenger luxury cruise ship fit with 400 suites, according to the New York Times. Crystal Cruises would lead the ship’s makeover, which would cost between $700 to $800 million, about the cost of a newly built cruise ship of similar size. The company can also take the option to purchase the ship from SS United States Conservancy. The revived ship is tentatively expected to make its first voyage from New York in 2018. The ocean liner currently contains toxins that may complicate the renovation if the Environmental Protection Agency gets involved.