SS Aquarama

Sketch of Aquarama

  • Marine Star

IMO 5021114

The Aquarama (formerly Marine Star ) was built during the Second World War in the United States troop carrier, which was later converted to a passenger ship. Aquarama was the largest ever used on the Great Lakes passenger ship.


The ship was built in 1945 by the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Chester ( Pennsylvania), the third of five combined cargo and troop carriers of the type C4 -S- B5. After the launch on 30 April 1945 the ship was delivered in July of the same year as the Marine Star to the United States War Shipping Administration. The Marine Star was once only used as a troop transport, and in 1952 launched.

In 1955, the Sand Products Corporation acquired in Muskegon (Michigan ) the ship and had it rebuilt with a car cover for the transport of up to 160 cars for around eight million U.S. dollars at a regular passenger ship for 2500 passengers. The first phase of the reconstruction with the basic ship construction work took place from autumn 1952 to early summer 1953 at the New York Shipyard Todd instead. Subsequently, the ship was transferred to another Todd shipyard in New Orleans, where further work took place. In New Orleans, two pontoon- shaped floating bodies were fitted with an additional boost of about 900 tons at the stern of the ship, so that a maximum draft of 2.75 meters could be maintained among others. After re- transfer of the vessel to Muskegon began in the spring of 1954 the final stage of the ship. This was different than usual, carried out by mainly foreign shipyard operations under the supervision of the owner. Most notable after the renovation was the strikingly elegant lines of the ship. Details of how the streamlined bodies with side panels made ​​of stainless steel, the dome-shaped chimney dummy with integrated bridge or the aft exhaust post made ​​the ship to an extraordinary phenomenon. The interior with numerous Art Deco details included on nine decks several restaurants and bars, a cinema and many other entertainment venues. However, passenger cabins were not available aboard the Aquarama, since the ship was only designed for the short crossing between Detroit and Cleveland as well as day and evening trips. The completely built of steel Aquarama could come up with safety equipment such as a smoke alarm system or automatic fire doors. Another notable detail was the first built on a seagoing ship escalators leading up from the car deck to the passenger decks.

After completion of rebuilding the new name " Aquarama " for the ship was found in a sweepstakes. In July 1956, the ship from the shipowner Michigan Ohio Navigation Company was brought into service. In the following eleven years of operation on Lake Erie, the ship never made profit, but some negative headlines. Through a series of mostly minor collisions be acquired the hard to maneuver the ship the nickname Crusherama or Crash -O -Rama, because of the susceptibility to wind came the Aquarama frequently tardy or fell for travel completely. The high speed made ​​in addition to strong swell and correspondingly unpleasant waves lapping at the shore.

1967, took the uneconomic ship from the drive and put it after a replacement operation for a car ferry on Lake Michigan to Milwaukee smashed due to high cost of dredging the fairway, finally on.

The launched ship was sold several times in the following years and dragged to other berths. Since 1995 it was again under the old name Marine Star at Cargill Pool Elevator in the port of Buffalo. Once again new plans for the conservation of the unique vessel were made during the decades of lying time, left the ship on August 4, 2007, towing the port of Buffalo. On 16 September 2007, the 62 -year-old ship arrived at the terminators in the Turkish Aliağa, scrapping began in late October / early November 2007.