Sources have told Cruise Industry News that the S.S. United States Conservancy has finally bought the S.S. United States, tied up in Philadelphia, from Norwegian Cruise Line for a reported $3 million.
The ship has been out of service since 1969 and has been the subject of much media attention and speculation as scrapping seemed to be the only option.
For example, in 1992 the ship was towed to Turkey and then the Ukraine by new owners to remove asbestos, and then towed back.
Somehow, the classic liner survived for decades and Norwegian bought the ship in 2003. The company was entering the Hawaii cruise market with American-built, American-flagged ships, and the United States was potentially going to play a role. However, after various studies and plans to refit the ship, Norwegian decided against it.
Now, the Conservancy has bought the historic liner and are looking into making it part of a waterfront developed in Philadelphia. Reports claim the group is also in talks with developers in Miami and New York. Sources say the current berthing space in Philadelphia agreement is good for another 20 months.