The United States, which has been laid up since 1969, was recently acquired by Fred Mayer in a $2.6 million auction bid saving the liner from the scrap heap.

Mayer, President of Exprinter International and one of the founders and a board member of Regency Cruises, said that he and his Turkish shipowner partner plan to have the 38,000-ton ship towed to Turkey for refurbishment.

Mayer also said that they plan to spend $145 million in the next three years to refurbish the ship for three- and four-day cruises out of New York or Miami.

The United States, which is the last large passenger ship to be built in the United States, sailed her maiden voyage in 1952, and set a record for a trans-Atlantic crossing at three days, 10 hours and 40 minutes.

The United States was bought by the U.S. government in 1973 which intended to convert her into a troop ship. Instead, in 1981, the ship was acquired by a San Francisco/Seattle-based company, United States Cruises, whose efforts to raise funds to refurbish the liner were unsuccessful.