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S.S. United States may sail again


The S.S. United States, still the fastest trans-Atlantic ship ever even though it's been out of service since 1969, could be getting a new lease on life as Crystal Cruises considers updating this historic ship and putting it back in service.

The ship, built in 1952 as the flagships of the U.S. fleet, now belongs to the S.S. United States Conservancy, and sits at a dock in Philadelphia. Crystal will do a feasibility study by the end of 2016, and if the signs are favorable, the line will update the ship, adding more balconies and other features. It would work mostly in cruise service, with an occasional Atlantic crossing.

Even at its size, longer than the Titanic, the "Big U" is only a medium-size carrier by today's standards. Crystal would shrink the passenger count even more, with 400 luxury suites on an 800-passenger ship. Built during the Cold War with government subsidies, it was designed to be converted into a 15,000-passenger troop ship; its actual top speed was a military secret.

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