| |

Aquarama scrapping in hi-res

In my last post on the Aquarama/Marine Star, I had lifted two still photos of the ship being scrapped from a YouTube video. Peter Hartung, creator of the video, was kind enough to send me the hi-res versions.

All photos are courtesy of Mr. Selim San, Izmir (Turkey). Click on the thumbnail to see the full version.

Aquarama/Marine Star, Aliaga, Turkey, September 26, 2007Aquarama/Marine Star, Aliaga, Turkey, November 7, 2007Aquarama/Marine Star, Aliaga, Turkey, November 17, 2007

Similar Posts


  1. I was aboard the Aquarama when she was docked in Sarnia Canada years ago. I take pics of lake freighters and am updating my database. Sad to see this beautiful vessel being scrapped. Could someone tell me where she is being scrapped. I see reference to Turkey. Is this in Aliaga by chance. Thanks in advance.

  2. How sad… Sailed on her in 1956 out of Detroit. Many happy memories. Unfortunately – that’s all that remains of her!
    Mike SunViking2

  3. It is sad to see her being scraped.As a young boy I had two day trips her to Detroit and back to Cleveland…in the 50’s Goodbye to an old friend…..Mike…..

  4. I can hardly take watching this. I know its just a hunk of metal, but it represents such an attachment of emotions it is difficult to take. It is hard to see soemthing like this die:(

    Thank you Derek for keeping up with this. IT is truly a service.

  5. I guess I am missing something.
    How would this boat get to Turkey to be salvaged in as bad of shape as it was.
    Was it towed? I was aboard this boat in Detroit when it was called the Aquarama.
    The day I was on it it had difficulty turning around and struck the wall of the river in Windsor.
    I would see the Aquarama frequently going up and down the Detroit River as a kid.

  6. It is truly sad to look at those photos – even in her dilapidated condition, she was graceful and elegant. She was docked at Sarnia, ON for quite a while and I remember going down to the docks to see her. For those interested, I have scanned the entire Aquarama Inaugural Cruise booklet, along with some photos, to my Flickr.com site – look them up!

  7. I grew up in Muskegon, Michigan, the History of that Beautiful Ship is so sad. She was towed up the Chicago waterway after having her entire upper works removed in Mississippi, to Muskegon, where Industrialist Max McKee and his brother invested over $8 million dollars. Her original duty was to replace the Aging SS Milwaukee Clipper in the run across Lake Michigan from Musk. to Milwaukee, but talks broke down and this was cancelled when Milwaukee refused to pay $500,000 to dredge thier channel to handle her very deep draft. The Cleveland to Detroit route was chosen. Long story short, I used to sit for hours looking up at her wishing she could sail again. When she finally did, it was being towed out the Muskegon channel and into a hot August sunset, but not before I had the Great opportunity of touring her Grandiure. I Loved that ship, and she is only a Nice Memory to share with my Grandchildren. Bon-Voyage Lovely Lady!

  8. My father, Mike Canfield, was a bartender on the Aquarama for the summer of 1959. We are sitting around this evening, listening to stories. Although he was a bartender, he says he was coaxed into singing with one of the barmaids -Jeanie(?).

  9. This ship sat in Windsor for almost a decade. It was in the docks just south of the Ambassador bridge, right next to windmill park. As a kid I was on the boat. A friend of my father owned a scrap company that was given the contract to begin scrapping it.
    When I saw it the outside was still in the same shape as in the pictures (maybe a little better) But they pulled all the copper, brass, aluminium and large sections of the floor and steel support beams were cut out for scrap value in Windsor. They also removed all the engines and several large Cast iron brackets? I still have the green metal deck benches from this ship in my garage. They were wire mesh tops and steel tubing. They were about 14ft long. I know the hull was then sold in the early 90s. I remember watching the boat get towed out of Windsor. I was told at the time it was sold overseas for scrap. My understanding at the time was that the whole lower decks were coated in asbestos, and there was other problems. The scrapper in Windsor could not use his torches below a certain deck and there where several inspections made and lots of paperwork. I also know that there was some court filings/ legal disputes about who actually owned the ship at that time. It’s sad to see her gone. It was such a large and magestic ship. It made such a wonderous impression on me. I was about 12 years old at the time, but the history the ship has seen definately left an impression on me. I wish they would have gone with some of the other ideas at the time of what to do with her. She would have made an awsome floating museum, or a hotel.

  10. I graduated from Piketon High School in 1956 and was invited by Capt. and Sue Sirath to work that summer on the beautiful SS Aquarama. They said I could even bring a friend. I tried to work it out but just could not get it together. That was the last year I saw the Siraths. Capt. Sirath was married to Sue who was a McKee. As a small child I was with the Siraths alot as we were neighbors. I visited the McKee Lake house in Port Austin with them. They were wonderful people, from a wonderful family.

    I will always regret not working that summer on the Aquarama. It was a chance of a lifetime. I lost touch with the Siraths when I moved to Florida. If anyone as any information about them please share

  11. It seems nobody’s posted any Aquarama comments lately. I wonder if you lovers of the late Queen of the Lakes know about the impending fate of the Pacific Princess, age 42. She’s being towed or possibly sailed with her own, gasping diesels, to Turkey for the breakers. Where else in Turkey would a limping, arthritic cruise liner be going in Turkey except to Aligia?

    Oh! Lest I forget, yes, she is the SAME Pacific Princess. We knew her much better in the mid 1970s as TV’s Love Boat. And, given the number of engagement rings that were popped on Lake Erie aboard the Aquarama …wasn’t she a Love Boat in her own rite?

  12. I worked on the Aquarama in 1962 and remember her captain. One of the best summers of my life!

  13. As a small child of the late 1950’s, my mother and grandmother introduced me to the S.S. Aquarama about 1960 or 1961. I vividly remember the interior and the childrens playroom, which had a huge wooden shipwheel replica to play with. I loved the cafeteria. My mother and grandmother would go to the bingo games onboard while I was watched by staff in the playroom. There was shuffleboard outside on the deck. The ship docked at the 9th Street pier in Cleveland for boarding to Detroit. I also remember a famous old restaurant on the pier at the time called, “Captain Frank’s”. Today, I am fortunate to have an original innagural cruise booklet, a deck of Aquarama playing cards in the original box, a metal Aquarama tray, and two drinking glasses with the original Aquarama logo that were used in the cafeteria. Cherished little reminders of a ship that should have had more purpose and potential and so sad to see it destroyed.

  14. My Dad’s advertising company in Detroit was hired to produce commercials for the Detroit-Cleveland service. We got free first class passage to and from Cleveland and made a round trip in ‘60 or ‘61. I remember sunning on the upper deck, the child care playroom. Getting to visit the bridge and even holding the ship’s wheel for a few minutes. Watching the sun go down on the benches at the rear of the ship. The floor show (where some of us set on the balcony, legs hanging through the railing bars. We kids were so enthusiastic, the emcee called us out.) Years later, vacationing on the Lake Michigan shore north of Muskegon and seeing brochures for the proposed Muskegon-Milwaukee service that never happened. And decades later, living in Upstate NY, driving through Buffalo and amazed to see the rusting ship sitting in a berth as I drove by.

  15. I was a young man of about seven years old my Nanny (gramma} took myself my mother and sister on a cruise from Cleveland to Detroit and back. i believe we stayed in Detroit one night this was in the 1950s I also remember we were leaving port and i was standing by the rail looking out at Lake ERIE when the fog horn went off and i almost jumped in the lake. i also remember a show with a tap dancer maybe just a little older than me, i thought she was the coolest thing i had ever encountered [love].I am 71 now thank you AGUARAMA for that memory.

  16. She is certainly missed, I remember as a kid growing up in north Muskegon across the lake where she sat from 62 until 88. Seeing her daily and always wondering if she’d ever sail again. Unfortunately we all know the answer. So said to see a historical piece of my childhood turned into scrap.

Leave a Reply