Operating the most technologically advanced passenger ship in the world brought great popularity to the United States Lines. The United States sailed the Atlantic all year between New York, Southampton and Le Havre (5 days). In summer she maintained a round-trip every other week. Many off-season crossings were extended to reach Bremerhaven (6 days).
America's flagship enjoyed international acclaim, particularly since she was after all the fastest liner in the world and holder of the Blue Riband. She was in fact the last ocean liner to hold that distinction. Many Americans preferred to travel on a U.S. flag ship. Presidents and Mmes Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt were passengers. Countless celebrities and royalty sailed on the United States, often in top suites attended by their own servants.
First class public rooms occupied prime midship space on Promenade Deck, including an observation lounge with library and writing room, ballroom, cocktail bar, grill restaurant and smoking room. Cabin class and Tourist class each had a lounge and smoking room with reading and writing areas. Each class also had its own restaurant below, and First and Cabin classes shared an indoor swimming pool, theater and gym.
Though older and not a record breaker, the America attracted her own loyal following. The interior was considerably more luxurious than the functional minimalist style of her running mate. As well, her slower speed allowed an extra one or two days to savor the voyage. The usual schedule was from New York to Cobh (6 days), Le Havre and Southampton (7 days) and Bremerhaven (8 days).
"You can enjoy all the pleasures of a fashionable resort ... days of fun and leisurely living prepare you for an adventure to come. There's nothing to do but live elegantly - rest, play, let yourself be pampered. You'll appreciate why so many experienced travelers choose these ships for their transatlantic crossings."
America was sold to Chandris Lines of Greece, renamed as Australis and converted to carry 2,300 tourist class passengers on around-the-world voyages from Southampton outward via Suez or South Africa to Australia and return via Panama. This service lasted from 1965 through 1977.
Built: 1952 by Newport News SB & DD, VA, USA
Built: 1940 by Newport News SB & DD, VA, USA