Happened To...
An update on past news

SS Independence is not
likely to cruise again

Question: What ever happened to Hawaii's No. 1 cruise ship, SS Independence? Many of us were at the pier when she sailed away. Will we ever see her again?

Answer: The historic cruise ship Independence, which left Honolulu Harbor on Oct. 30, 2001, is at the San Francisco shipyard and is not likely to make it back to the islands.

"We have no current plans to bring her back into service," said Robert Kritzman, executive vice president and managing director of Hawaii operations for NCL America. "However, if we were to do so, it would have to be preceded by massive refurbishment and modernization of the ship's technical facilities."

SS Independence, with painted flowers on its twin stacks, plied Hawaiian waters for 21 years for American Classic Voyages Inc. before that operator went bankrupt in October 2001, forcing the ship to cut short its last round-the-islands voyage.

At the time, some observers thought the "Indy" might end up in the scrapyard, since the ship -- christened on June 3, 1950 -- was showing its age. An affiliate of Norwegian Cruise Line/NCL America bought the Independence at auction for more than $4 million from the U.S. Maritime Administration. The 682-foot ship could carry 860 passengers in its last configuration.

Although NCL America has no plans to revive the Independence, the cruise line operates the 853-foot, 2,002-passenger Pride of Aloha for interisland travel and plans to bring a second ship, the 920-foot, 2,144-passenger Pride of America, to Hawaii in July for interisland cruising.

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