It's amazing how many times ships change hands. Refitting one seems like an interesting way of spending part of your billions. I wonder if Bezos has ever considered an ocean liner instead of a space ship.
Running vessels is very very cut throat. It's a real play to win the monopoly for companies.
@ranwhenparked While I would absolutely love to be able to sail on a ship that old, if you know a little about Maritime safety over time seeing that your ship was built in the 40s might scare you a little. That is utterly remarkable that it is still in service. It doesn't look terribly old though.
It's all basically "resto-modded". You have the hull sections, tanks, and maybe some system piping still from the 40's, much of it is still going to be '60, which is old but you can still find old girl ferries from the 60's and 70's in their twilight years sailing today.
During the decades the vessel would have undergone more than just re-engines. There have been some excellent advancements in SOLAS Life Saving Equipment, which will have been implemented during the various refits and dry docks.
This vessel is likely insured under class of ABS [American Bureau of Shipping] and as such flying the US Flag as a Passenger Vessel it will come under some stringent regulations to ensure a safe vessel and its operation. Unlike Merchant Cargo they don't really allow too much in the way of "Grandfathering" on Passenger Vessels. Both US and Canada have more stringent safety regulations than are outlined in SOLAS Minimum Safety Requirements. Any incident involving prop or steering or safety equip (even if it doesn't make the news) with Passenger will have the classification society [ABS]/a representative, and USCG up your ass, pronto. Passenger vessels are inspected thoroughly every year.
I read Al Franken's book many years ago, and he devotes a chapter to pig farms. It sounds horrid. I visited a family dairy farm and it was bad enough, with the cow pens and the mechanical shit scraper that goes around inside. Cousin said it's all well and good until a cow dies in there and the mechanical shit scraper gets stuck.
@bloody-the-resident-shitposting-saffer The SS United States Conservancy has occasionally done special tours of the ship for former passengers, crew members, and their families/descendants, its closed to the public otherwise, and, obviously with COVID, has been closed entirely lately. You and your wife would probably qualify to get in, if they ever start back up again.
@whoistheleader 2010 was the big year, October. There was some changes around 1996/97, regarding fire doors and sprinklers, but they were pretty straightforward to meet. 2010 was when all combustible materials were totally banned from all interior spaces, which was mostly impossible.
The 90s was when a lot of first generation modern cruise ships from the 1970s and '80s started to become available on the secondhand market or get handed down to second tier operators, as the heavy competition in North America forced the shift to bigger and bigger megaships. That made it possible for smaller operators in smaller markets that had been making do with vintage liners to suddenly start upgrading their fleets. Plus, the '50s stuff was at the end of its design lifespan anyway, and the '60s ones were nearing it.
@ranwhenparked I finally got around to this one. I loved it. For the benefit of the group (I know you've heard it all before), I was on the SS Rotterdam on its last Alaskan cruise in 1997 with my grandma and 2 cousins. She was a well-heeled American who loved to travel nice. She also had a plan to take each of her grandkids on a trip of their choosing*. Originally the plan was to take the concord to Denmark and go to LEGOLAND but at this point, my grandmother was starting to show a touch of senility and our parents didn't think an aging mildly eccentric jetting around Europe with 3 grade-schoolers was a grand idea . It was a good call. I remember she had hired an excursion for us and when we woke her up to go she claimed it was tomorrow and we missed it. Being on the boat, in the states, in a place you can't get too far was a good call indeed.
Anyway, I will never have a better cruise experience than that cruise. For one it was the most fun with a fun lady, who would go and get rolls of nickles and teach us how to play blackjack in our rooms. Best food I've ever had on a ship too, and it's ruined my cruise experience ever since because I always compare it to the Rotterdam and the new stuff always loses.
The old lady (ship) was definitely showing her age then though and it was clear Holland American wasn't interested in keeping up with maintenance. Deck planks were starting to come up in spots, windows on the main deck were painted shut. Stuff like that.
I gotta find pictures of my trip. I'm never going to find pictures of the things that really made an impact...like screwing with the teen club onboard, or going down to the lower deck pool/spa that literally no one went to because it was tiny and weird and had a giant spa ad poster of a topless woman covered in mud except her nipples...what? No, I was there for the sauna...yes, the sauna. pre-teen HHFP would never. Also, you mean I can have steak AND lobster. Just because I asked? What world is this?!
My crazy grandma, my cousin friends, an amazing ship, Alaska...it was a win.
@whoistheleader There are some pretty extreme examples. HMS Warrior spent ~50 years as a hulk (sometimes serving as steam/power plant) for other hulks before spending another 30 years as an oil jetty:
But eventually went from this:
@ttyymmnn Crap that's a tight fit, almost doesn't look possible. I remember starting work at Wrigley just after they sold and vacated the old building, a lot of career people at corporate were pissed. Especially since the new building was completely open concept, for everyone.
@whoistheleader By the mid 60s, everyone except the French and Italians had pretty well accepted that transatlantic services were no longer viable during the winter, at least, so most new liners were designed from the start for dual use as cruise ships. In this case, German Atlantic had expected to use Hamburg as a cruise ship for part of the year, so it was an easy transition. Plus, not very big, so in line with what the fledgling industry could fill and with what warm weather ports could accommodate.
@mastermario I'd say most post WWII ships seem to be built with an expected 40 year design service life, while 30 years was the standard prewar, however a lot of merchant ships are still scrapped at the 25-35 year mark, more for economic reasons/market conditions than age.
I'm not necessarily claustrophobic, but I do have an intense fear of drowning, and I would think that dying in a sinking submarine would be the absolute worst.
I hope they're okay.
I hope they’re okay as well. But I’ve got some weird connection to the ocean so death by drowning seems a nice way to go for me. Maybe not getting compressed in a metal tube but lost my board and ran out of steam getting back to shore - not so bad. Just lay back and inhale the water. My wife says I’m weird so...