Cruise ship likely headed to scrapyard
What ever happened to the SS Independence?
Answer: The historic ocean liner is rumored to be heading to a scrapyard in Alang, India.
The SS Independence, nicknamed "Indy," sailed around the islands for 21 years for American Classic Voyages Co. A month after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the company declared bankruptcy due to a significant drop in revenue.
Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the vessel two years later, but NCL sold the vessel through a broker to an unnamed buyer last summer, according to a spokeswoman. Ship historian Peter Knego of Moorpak, Calif., said NCL considered renovating the vessel for cruise service, but it was not cost-effective.
The vessel departed San Francisco on Feb. 8.
A San Francisco port manager, Leon Hall, declined to comment on the ship's destination, but Knego said it is believed to be headed to a scrapyard in India.
The vessel was renamed Oceanic last year. According to Knego, a ship is renamed when it is being prepared for disposal.
The Independence and its sister ship, the Constitution, were built in the early 1950s. In 1997 the Constitution sank on its way to the scrapyard.
Knego said both ocean liners had a classic look with terrace decks and steam turbines. The vessel, however, would not be considered fuel-efficient by today's standards.
In July 2001 the Independence received the 2000 Ship of the Year award by the Steamship Historical Society of America.
Knego, who sailed aboard the Independence twice, said, "Unfortunately, it's the end of the Indy. ... This is the very last ship of their kind."
The Independence is expected to reach the scrapyard by the end of March or mid-April.
This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Rosemarie Bernardo.
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