SOS for faded liner – Is the SS United States headed for the scrap yards or will Philadelphia save her?


Philadelphia lunching Ikea shoppers have a view of the SS United States, at Pier 82 since 1996.

CRUISE SHIP HISTORY: SOS for faded liner – SOS for faded liner – Is the SS United States headed for the scrap yards or will Philadelphia save her?

Bill Clinton was in his first term as president when the peeling hulk of the SS United States was towed up the Delaware River for temporary moorage. The massive ocean liner has now idled in the shadow of the Walt Whitman Bridge for so long that its 12-story stacks are virtually part of Philadelphia’s skyline, hardly noticed by the thousands who drive overhead each day.

But the once-grand ship could soon slip away as quietly as it arrived.

Its owner, Star Cruises of Hong Kong, has put the vessel up for sale. Though the United States was the world’s fastest, and arguably most luxurious, liner when it made its maiden voyage in 1952, career prospects for middle-age ocean liners aren’t particularly bright these days.

“Scrap” gets mentioned a lot.

Check out full details at the SOS SS United States website by clicking here.



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…

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