SS United States could be turned into luxury cruise ship

 The SS United States, which held speed records for Atlantic crossings, is docked in the Delaware River in South Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The SS United States, which held speed records for Atlantic crossings, is docked in the Delaware River in South Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

An ocean liner bigger than the Titanic that once carried celebrities across the Atlantic at record speeds may one day sail again.

Officials of the Crystal Cruises luxury travel company held a news conference Thursday to announce plans to overhaul the SS United States at a cost of at least $700 million.

The ship has been docked in Philadelphia for two decades, gutted and rusting. Before it can be turned into a state-of-the-art commercial vessel, the vessel must undergo a nine-month feasibility study.

In its glory days in the 1950s, the SS United States carried everyone from royalty to immigrants across the Atlantic, accompanied by three on-board orchestras.

It is now owned by a conservation group, with a purchase option signed by Crystal Cruises.

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