We don’t need more scrap. Preservationists are fighting to save the SS UNITED STATES from being sold to a U. S. buyer for scrap. The conservancy wants to “ensure a dignified future for our national flagship” while emphasizing the “special and irreplaceable nature of this national icon.” They have also initiated the SOS: SAVE OUR SHIP” campaign.
The SS UNITED STATES is considered a special and beloved icon, and it is now listed with the Florida-based ship brokerage firm, Southport Atlantic. Star Cruises, parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, purchased the ship in 2003. NCL has abandoned plans for the ship’s refurbishment, and ownership is now in the hands of the holding company. The ship is considered the crowning maratime achievement of the 20th century.
Despite the recession, some hope must be found for saving this ship. The paddlewheelers that have graced the Mississippi and inland rivers are almost a memory as the DELTA QUEEN becomes a hotel moored in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the fate of the other paddlewheelers is uncertain.
Star Cruises and NCL appreciate the national symbolism and historical value of the SS UNITED STATES. It can be saved by a public-private partnership to acquire the ship. What shouldn’t it become a tourist attraction in a major U. S. city? (www.ssunitedstatesconservancy.org). Let’s make it happen!