Friday, August 5, 2016

SS United States Will Not Sail Again

A few months ago when Crystal Cruises expressed interest in sailing the SS United States and commissioned a feasibility study, it seemed like the ship may have a future. Today after announcing the results of that study, it puts the ship back in mothballs with funds available to keep it there only for a few months.

After an expensive (about a million dollars) six-month study in which Crystal brought in top engineers and experts, Crystal concluded it just isn't feasible to try to sail the classic liner again.

Our complete story appeared in the August 5 edition of Cruise News Daily. The Crystal press is published below.

America’s Flagship Found Structurally Sound But Technical Challenges Prevent
Her Return to Modern Seagoing Service

SS United States Conservancy Will Continue To Pursue Redevelopment Opportunities

LOS ANGELES, August 5, 2016 – Following an intensive, six-month evaluation, Crystal Cruises today determined that while the SS United States is structurally sound, the technical and commercial challenges associated with returning the historic liner to service as a modern cruise ship have unfortunately proven insurmountable. As a show of support for the vessel, Crystal Cruises will be making a significant donation of $350,000 to aid in the Conservancy’s ongoing mission to save the ship. The Conservancy intends to resume its pursuit of stationary redevelopment opportunities for America’s Flagship.

In February, Crystal and the SS United States Conservancy announced they had entered into an exclusive option agreement with the goal of converting the iconic 1950’s-era vessel into a modern, luxury cruise ship that would comply with all modern safety and technical standards – unprecedented for a single vessel refurbishment. Crystal commenced a comprehensive feasibility study and professional evaluation, convening a world-class team of engineers and experts while incurring over $1 million in costs.

“Over the past six months, Crystal has conducted an extensive feasibility study to restore 'America's Flagship' to oceangoing service. Unfortunately, the hurdles that would face us when trying to bring a 65-year-old vessel up to modern safety, design and international regulatory compliance have proven just too great to clear in both a technically and commercially responsible manner,” said Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez.

“While it has been determined that Crystal’s exciting vision for the ship would have required overcoming various technical hurdles and major changes to her historic design, the studies performed have confirmed the ship is structurally sound,” said Susan Gibbs, Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy. “America’s Flagship continues to hold enormous potential as a stationary mixed-use development and museum in New York or another urban waterfront setting. The SS United States Conservancy remains deeply committed to saving this unique and powerful symbol of the nation’s strength, history, and innovation.”

Led by retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Tim Sullivan, Crystal’s impressive team of maritime experts and engineers conducted numerous assessments on the ship in the Port of Philadelphia, where it has been docked for 20 years. The evaluation and testing included in-depth assessments of the ship's structural condition; underwater inspections of the hull by divers; the examination of her fuel and salt water ballasting tanks; and a series of intensive engineering studies to deduce what would be needed to bring her back into service.

Regrettably, the technical feasibility study concluded that while the ship is remarkably intact and structurally sound, modifying the ship for today’s standards for oceangoing service (SOLAS) would require significant changes to the hull that would pose stability challenges. Additionally, the installation of a modern, state-of-the-art diesel electric propulsion plant would have necessitated altering of the existing shaft lines and rebuilding about 25 percent of the hull to reconfigure the ship to a twin shaft-twin rudder arrangement. While it was known that the vessel would need to have been essentially rebuilt from the inside out, these specific challenges, among others, collectively posed significant risk to the success of the project.

“Our company has great affection for this historic and irreplaceable vessel, and we will be making a $350,000 donation which will help support the Conservancy preserve the vessel through the remainder of the year,” said Rodriguez. “We firmly believe the SS United States is an American treasure and deserves to be preserved and redeveloped as a stationary destination for future generations to experience and enjoy.”

The Conservancy will immediately restart its aggressive outreach to qualified developers and investors to secure the ship’s future, while continuing its ongoing mission to educate the public about the legacy of the vessel and building its museum collection and archives. A national reunion of former crewmembers and passengers is planned in Philadelphia on September 17.

“The Conservancy is deeply grateful to Crystal Cruises for recognizing the SS United States’ historic importance and for working so hard on the ship’s behalf,” said Gibbs. “I would also like to thank our members and supporters from across the country and around the world for their continued support. Together we will continue to work tirelessly to save America’s Flagship and honor the legendary liner’s legacy.”

Crystal would like to thank partners and agencies involved in helping complete the feasibility study including: the U.S Coast Guard; Atlantic Logistics; the U.S Environmental Protection Agency; the American Bureau of Shipping; the U.S. Maritime Administration; the Seafarer’s International Union and multiple U.S. Congressional committees. Finally, Crystal urges the public to visit to help the SS United States Conservancy continue its efforts to save America’s Flagship and advance its educational and curatorial programs to honor the nation’s only remaining ocean liner.

About SS United States Conservancy
A national nonprofit organization, the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States. The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse of this iconic vessel and works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic remains an inspiration for generations to come. For more information about the SS United States visit or on the Conservancy Facebook Page.

About Crystal Cruises
Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 22 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for two-consecutive years (2014 & 2015). In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, introducing three new classes of cruising – the recently launched Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018) – and Crystal Luxury Air (March 2016). Visit for more information and join the thousands who follow the Crystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram to engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

Source: Crystal Cruises

Other Things You'll Want to Know - August 5, 2016

CND subscribers also read about:
  • Specialty restaurant price increases at Holland America
  • A passenger just went for a walk in port and came back the next day. 
Details appeared in the August 5 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Coming This Fall: More Places to Look for That Lost Shaker of Salt

Norwegian Cruise Line said today they are expanding their partnership with Margaritaville. This fall there will be Margaritaville at Sea outlets on two more Norwegian ships.

Yes, it's true. This fall, passengers aboard Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway will be able to sip Who's to Blame Margaritas and wrap their lips around Cheeseburgers in Paradise among other Margaritaville favorites.

Details appeared in the August 4 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Disney Passengers to Get Frozen

When Disney Wonder sails into Galveston this fall, it will bring with it a brand-new show in the Walt Disney Theater that could well be the highlight of the cruise for many passengers.

It will be the musical version of the popular Disney animated film, “Frozen.”

The complete story appeared in the August 4 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Silversea to Invest $170 Million in Refurbishment

Silversea announced the first steps today in a $170 million fleetwide refurbishment program.

The complete story appeared in the August 3 edition of Cruise News Daily.

It's Alive!

Carnival just announced the performers who will appear in their Carnival Live program during the first half of 2017.

The unique program brings top artists aboard Carnival ships while in port for a concert in the ship's relatively intimate theaters at prices far below their normal concert ticket prices.

The complete story appeared in the August 3 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

An Extra Sea Day Courtesy of Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess lost propulsion about 7am this morning when it was about 25 nautical miles southeast of Dublin, and it spent most of the day sitting motionless in the Irish Sea while technicians worked to solve the problem.

Details appeared in the August 3 edition of Cruise News Daily.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

More Ships Avoiding TS Earl

As predicted, the tropical disturbance in the Caribbean today became Tropical Storm Earl and tonight it is brushing by the Honduran coast, headed directly toward Belize. It is forecast to make landfall there Wednesday evening.

Carnival and Norwegian have now announced itinerary changes. Royal Caribbean put theirs out yesterday.

Details appeared in the August 2 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Guaranteeing Space

The headline is that Costa Crociere is buying a 33.3% interest in a shipyard in Marseille. But it gets much more interesting than just an investment in a going business.

The complete story appeared in the August 2 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Don't Be Disturbed

Although you haven't heard much about it on the news, there's a tropical disturbance south of Jamaica moving westward into the Caribbean, creating a lot of locally heavy rain and wind, that NOAA is predicting could become a tropical storm on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Royal Caribbean though is one step ahead of you and has already rerouted ships to keep them out of the way of the likely storm and smooth out the ride for passengers.

Details appeared in the August 1 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Pacific Eden Going Where No P&O Ship Has Gone Before

P&O Australia's Pacific Eden has just begun a month-long deployment at Singapore, and her itineraries are filled with ports of call that are hardly household names to North Americans.

They are even unusual and exotic to Australians who are relatively (more so than Americans) and close by and the program's primary market. They are even unusual to P&O because Pacific Eden is making seven maiden calls this month for the line as part of the Singapore program.

Details appeared in the August 1 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

One Cruise Line's Excess Is Another Group's Treasure

In addition to larger charities, which Carnival supports, the line also quietly supports smaller charities in their home port cities, and they fly under the radar because they don't get big checks.

While there may be a check here and there, most of the time, it's with things they really need - and Carnival or their employees have too much of.

The complete story appeared in the August 1 edition of Cruise News Daily.