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Aquarama headed for the scrap heap?

I haven’t reported anything on our rusty old buddy, the Aquarama, recently. Frankly, I haven’t thought much about it. Until today. I got an email inquiry asking if I knew anything about it being sold to an Indian scrap metal salvage company. I hadn’t, but a little googling turned up an article that seems to corroborate that story.

Cruise ship news, shipping reports at MARITIME MATTERS

June 15: Hans Hoffman has alerted us that MARAD will be disposing of the George Sharp-designed SS STATE, which was launched in 1950 for American President Lines as the PRESIDENT JACKSON. Intended for service as a deluxe round the world combi-liner, the JACKSON was finished instead as the Korean War troop transport USS BARRETT. In 1973, she was sold to the New York Maritime Academy and renamed EMPIRE STATE V for service as a training ship. In 1978, the 13,319 gt ship was named EMPIRE STATE and in 1990, she was retired, given the name STATE, and laid up at the MARAD reserve fleet at Ft. Eustis. She was last used for tactical training purposes and is scheduled to depart soon for Bay Bridge Enterprises of Chesapeake, Virginia for dismantling. She will followed by the CAPE CLEAR, which will be heading to Esco Marine in Brownsville, Texas.

Another “Sharp Ship”, the AQUARAMA/MARINE STAR, which has been languishing near Buffalo, NY at Lackawana, is scheduled to depart for Alang under tow in the very near future, according to Indian sources.

The Marine Star project website is no longer, seeming to indicate that project is dead. Several sources have stated that the scrap metal value of the ship may be worth in excess of $1 million. Could this be the end for Route 5’s rusty hulk?


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  1. Somebody needs to do something before it’s too late!! I’ve tried contacting people in Cleveland to no avail. She can’t go for scrap, she’s too beautiful a ship!! Can’t we all get together somehow and do something???

  2. Remove that garbage scow and melt it down. Why was it brought here in the first place?

  3. I like that boat it would be cool if they could fix it up but why its a hoopdee tear it up !!!! they should tear down the cargill elevator along with it a perfect spot for a hotel and casino

  4. I hate seeing the uss Aquarama go for scarp,I have went on this ship in Detroit,too bad they cant fix this ship to something else just like they did with the Bob Lo boat back in Detroit.They should fix this ship to a casio ship and bring it back to Detroit.

  5. Let’s just forget the better times in the United States of which this ship is a part. She was beautiful sitting in the Detroit river in 1957. Fifty years ago we could enjoy rides down the river on a Sunday afternoon. Now we are only allowed to run on the hampster wheel each day. Sad, sad, sad.

  6. I grew up in Muskegon and always thought the Aquarama was a fugly lump of a ship. Not one bit aesthetically pleasing like the Milwaukee Clipper or South American or Alabama. Totally out of scale for the Great Lakes. Not sorry to see that one go.

  7. I just found out the Aquarama was sent to Turkey to be killed.How horrifying the sites of men with turbins holding cutting torches.They have no fond memories of her which makes things worse.
    I cried because I admired her in the 90s in the Windsor slip.
    Why couldnt she have been beached somewhere ?

  8. Please stop any destruction to the beautiful ship Marine Star “Aquarama”. There more people than you can imagine who have a love for that ship and the cities of Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo should do something to save it. That is a great piece of Great Lakes history and should be restored and used. Even as a Great Lakes museum that would be a huge addition to the waterfront that would make money and educate people about Great Lakes shipping and history. It is nothing but total foolishness to lose that ship, or scrap it.

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