Restoration of the famous Trans­atlantic Blue Ribbon-holder United States, is scheduled to begin at an American shipyard, possibly in Alabama where it will be completely dismantled and a deck will be added. The ship is expected to begin service in mid-1987 under the U.S. flag.

According to John Cox, previously with Western Cruise Lines, and now senior vice president and future captain of the United States, the actual rebuilding and outfitting work will be done at the HDW Shipyard in Hamburg, W. Germany. Esti­mating total cost at $180 million, he says the restored ship will have 12 decks, and a capacity of 1,520 passengers in cabins averaging 250 sq. feet.

Due to minor delays, the restoration has not yet begun, but according to a local source, "will be back on track in the third quarter of 1985." United States Cruises has allegedly secured 60% of the necessary financing, and expects the remainder to become available shortly.

As a U.S.-flag vessel, the United States will target the conference and seminar market, offering short cruises along the Panama Canal, and East and West Coasts.

John Cox is joined in this project by George Sotir, president of United States Cruises, and Roger Hall, senior vice president of marketing, both formerly of Sun Lines and Royal Viking Line.