March 2, 2010
SS United States may soon be scrapped
The SS United States Conservancy says the SS United States, may soon be scrapped. It says the ship's current owners, Genting Hong Kong through its subsidiary, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), are currently collecting bids from scrappers.
The SS United States was listed for sale in February, 2009. While NCL offered the Conservancy first right of refusal on the vessel's sale, the Conservancy says it has not been in a financial position to purchase the ship outright. However, the Conservancy has been working diligently to lay the groundwork for a public-private partnership to save and sustain the transatlantic liner for generations to come.
The Conservancy understands that Genting and NCL are reluctant to continue covering the significant costs associated with maintaining the vessel in its current berth in Philadelphia. It adds that it appreciates the good care the vessel has received since its purchase in 2003 with the stated intention of returning the ship to seagoing service.
The Conservancy has begun discussions with NCL with the intent of covering some of the fees associated with maintaining the ship in Philadelphia so it can finalize plans for repurposing the ship as a stationary attraction at a large metropolitan waterfront.
The Conservancy has launched a new "Save Our Ship" (SOS) national campaign. It is offering a "Plank Owner" certificate for tax-deductible donations of at least $25 via its new donor website: www.ssusplankowner.org.
"This is both a patriotic and a practical effort," said Conservancy Executive Director Dan McSweeney, whose father emigrated from Scotland to America to serve as a crewmember aboard the vessel. "We're absolutely committed to saving one of the most important symbols of America in the 20th century, but we're also talking about creating hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs when this ship is refurbished and becomes a stationary attraction in a large U.S. city. We must save this irreplaceable American icon and continue the process of establishing a public-private partnership to re-purpose her."
New York City Campaign Kick-off and Film Screening
A special screening of the award-winning American Public Television documentary, SS United States: Lady in Waiting, will be held at the National Academy Museum (1083 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street in Manhattan) on Thursday, March 11th, 7 p.m., followed by a reception and call to action.