S.S. America


While the United States and the America share a family resemblance, they were two different personalities. The United States could be described as a type A, hard driving, competitive, high profile, confident and in a hurry. The America was more laid back, easy going. Peter Kholer captured the spirit of the ship in the summer 1990 issue of Steamboat Bill. “The America seemed to always be a happy ship without faults or annoying quirks, the sort of unpretentious vessel that the ‘Glitter people’ may not have patronized, but regular travelers were devoted to.”
Part of her charm and warmth came from her intermediate size. Unlike the floating palaces she had no pretensions, no room for gilded baronial interiors. Well-proportioned and trim she had none of the bulk and heft of the superliners. Her clean uncluttered superstructure topped by two slightly racked smoke stacks gave her a contemporary appearance that projected confidence without pretension. Inside, the Smyth, Urquhart and Marckwald team gave the ship a modern yet smoothly home like atmosphere that would be in style well into the 1970’s.
The last element of a ship’s personality comes from the crew. Neither stuffy nor overly informal, they cared about the ship and her passengers treating them as welcome guest.
It was a winning combination that attracted a loyal following year after year.