Has NCL abandoned SS United States and Independence?
On the first or second day of my cruise to Bermuda aboard NCL's Norwegian Sea a year ago, there was a gathering for passengers who had sailed with NCL previously. One of the line's staff acting as host talked of her pride and happiness at the line's then-recent announcement of NCL's decision to buy and restore not one, but TWO classic liners from circa 1951-- the Independence, which had earlier been operated by the defunct American Hawaii Cruises, and the legendary speed-record-holding SS United States, which had long been laid up and rusting pierside in Philadelphia. The audience, which included many older passengers and liner buffs like me, applauded enthusiastically.
Since then, of course, hardly a word. Since NCL decided to abandon the SS Norway (formerly SS France) after her tragic boiler explosion six months earlier rather than pay for a new boiler, I'm not sure the reason for their apparent abandonment of the two other classic liners had anything to do with any financial strain due to that incident. There was undoubtedly a great deal more financial strain from the Pride of America drydock flooding in Germany, just weeks before the new Hawaii-bound ship's completion, to say nothing of the many refunds the line has reportedly had to issue to placate passengers on the hastily renamed and reflagged Pride of Aloha, (ex-Norwegian Sky) which seems to have been diastrously mismanaged and understaffed so far, judging from the comments of appalled passengers on this website.
So what's the deal? Can anyone tell me? Has NCL merely put these worthy projects off until its house is in better order? Or have they quietly given the whole thing up as an unworkable idea?
Re: Has NCL abandoned SS United States and Independence?
I read an article in the local newpaper a long time age about some outfit considering putting some of those older mothballed ships back in service. As I recall, the cost of refurbishing those ships and replacing all the obsolete equipment was over half the cost of a new ship and then you still had an old ship which could only carry half as many passengers as the new ships and would only appeal to nostalgia buffs, which is a tiny segment of the cruise market. There was a very high risk potential.