United States To Sail Again

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
Rapids Queen - One Last Time?
United States To Sail Again
December Vessel Passages
Ship of the Month No. 80 Senator Derbyshire
Winter Fleet Listings
A Strange Accident
Table of Illustrations

Those of us who take an interest in the comings and goings of deep sea passenger vessels (and today there seem to be more goings than comings), will indeed be pleased with recent reports to the effect that the long-idle steamer UNITED STATES will soon be placed in service by her new owner. The ship, which last ran for United States Lines in 1969 and has since been lying at Newport News, was the object of many "sales" conducted by the U.S. Maritime Administration over the years but no acceptable purchaser came up with folding green in sufficiently large quantities. It is now known, however, that the ship has been sold for $5,000,000 to United States Cruise Lines Inc. of Seattle. This firm intends to place UNITED STATES in a service from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Hawaii, a route on which she might well be operated successfully.

UNITED STATES reached a speed of 38.32 knots on her trials in May 1952 and normally ran somewhere in the region of 35 knots. Such speeds are not economically justifiable today in view of rapidly escalating fuel costs and so her new owner intends to remove some of the propulsion machinery and reduce her speed and operating costs accordingly. Her passenger capacity will be reduced through the conversion of some lower-grade accommodation to crew's quarters and the rest of the passenger spaces will be refitted and updated.

We hope that UNITED STATES' reactivation will be happier than the brief appearance back in U.S. service of her former mate AMERICA which, in early 1978, was bought from Chandris (for whom she had operated many years as AUSTRALIS) by Venture Cruise Lines, New York, and given back her old name. She made one trip from New York in late June but the voyage was a fiasco, mostly because of rushed and inadequate preparation, and the Venture operation collapsed amid a storm of public indignation. AMERICA was repurchased by Chandris and is now undergoing an extensive refit despite the fact that she is almost forty years of age. She will re-enter service for Chandris under the name ITALIS and should have a lengthy future of operation ahead of her.


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