If there’s one thing we learned from Titanic, it’s that romance is a dish best served in the bow of a 20th-century steamship crossing the Atlantic while Celine Dion plays in the background.
A brand of romance that may soon be yours for the recreating, since luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises just announced they plan to resurrect a Cold War ocean liner that averaged more than 35 knots when it broke the transatlantic speed record during its maiden voyage in 1952.
Known as “America’s Flag Ship,” the SS United States was decommissioned in 1969 and has been docked in Philadelphia since 1996. If a feasibility study on the ship’s renovation (estimated cost: $700 million) yields positive results, the historic vessel will relaunch as the United States by Crystal Cruises, capable of conveying a full crew and 800 passengers.
“When I saw there was a chance they could scrap the ship, I started to look into ways to buy it,” says Crystal Cruises CEO Edie Rodriguez. “It would be a crime against history to let it disappear.”
Although the 60,000-ton cruiser will likely be outfitted with restaurants, a spa, modern amenities and a greener propulsion system, Crystal does plan to keep original features such as the Navajo Lounge and the Promenade, where passengers once danced in conga lines while toasting the then-annihilation of the ocean-speed record.
Word has it they never let go, Jack, they never let go.