Saturday, February 5, 2011

A New Chapter for the United States

The SS United States, the former pride of America's merchant navy, was purchased from Norwegian Cruise Lines on February 1, 2011. The old liner was purchased by the SS United States Conservancy, using a donation from philanthropist Gerry Lenfest. It is certainly an event for ship lovers everywhere! The group's executive director, however, says that the real challenges are yet to come. The group now needs to find a permanent berth for the United States and determine a use for the excess of 650,000 square feet inside her. Everything is still very up-in-the-air, but there have been ideas of turning her into a casino, hotel, offices, etc. Personally, I think it would be great to turn her into a hotel like the Queen Mary and the Rotterdam.

Time is of the essence, however, and the Conservancy needs to move quickly. The money from Mr. Lenfest will only give the ship a 20-month "stay of execution." Donations, donations and more donations will be required to keep the United States afloat. No one knows - or wants to think about - what might happen if the ship is lost through lack of funding. If anyone wants to donate and help save this grand ship, I've attached a direct link to the Conservancy's website.

Whatever happens, though, it is safe to say that this is an exciting new chapter in the life of the SS United States!

References: Jesse Pesta, "Legendary Liner Has New Owner," The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2011, under U.S., (accessed February 5, 2011).

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