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Location DB > United States > New York > Buffalo > The Aquarama
The Aquarama
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 Database Info
created by JavaDog on 8/5/2005 5:20 PM
last modified by nostra-YOUPPI! on 2/2/2008 5:56 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
She is a gorgeous, if a little odd, ship.

Her vitals:
Ship type - Passenger Ship
Gross tonnage - 12,773
Net tonnage - 10,894
L.O.A. - 158.63 meters (520'0")
L.B.P. - 150.27 meters (496'8")
Width overall - 21.85 meters (71'6")
Width moulded - 21.80 meters (71'8")
Draught - 5.26 meters (43'6")
Depth - 7.93 meters (17'3")

Yard name - Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company
Country - Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Hull number - 357
Engine builder - General Electric Company - Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Number of engines - 2
Engine type - Steam Turbine engines
Horsepower - 10,000 shp or 7,356 kW
Speed - 19 knots
Bow/stern thuster hp - none
Official # - US 271911
 Basic Information
Type: Cruise Ship / Ex-Troop Transport.
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: It's not there anymore, so impossible!!
Recommendation: forget it, it's not there anymore hhahaha
 Physical Information

Buffalo, New York
United States
Owner: Empire Cruise Lines, U.S.A.
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • rust
  • unsafe flooring
  • flooding
  • water
  • air quality
  • Motion alarm on the silo next door, pointed at the ground to keep you out of the silos.
  •  Interesting Features
    A truly different ship. Her size is pretty impressive when standing on shore next to her.
     Security Measures
  • part-time guard
  • locked gates
  • welded doors
  • wooden boarding
  • In a marina which is guarded - at least - during the day.
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1945
    Closed: 1978
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • harness
  • breathing mask
  • gloves
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment
    Good camera?
    * 1945 built by the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Chester, Pennsylvania as the C4-S-B5 class general cargo ship Marine Star
    * She was one of 12 similar ships that were built there between 1943 and 1945 along with several hundred T2-SE-A1 tankers. Marine Star was preceeded by the Marine Eagle (C4-S-B1 hull #340), Marine Raven (C4-S-B2 hull #341), Marine Robin (C4-S-B2 hull #342), Marine Wolf (C4-S-B2 hull #343), Marine Devil (C4-S-B2 hull #344), Marine Fox (C4-S-B2 hull #347), Marine Angel (C4-S-B2 hull #354), Marine Flier (C4-S-B5 hull #355) and the Marine Arrow (C4-S-B5 hull #355). She was followed by the Marine Fiddler (C4-S-B5 hull #358) and Marine Runner (C4-S-B5 hull #359). There were slight differences in Gross tonnage between the different minor classes.
    * 1954 Marine Star was sold by the U.S. Maritime Commission to the Sand Products Corporation in Detroit, Michigan
    * 1955 she was renamed Aquarama
    * 1955-56 she was converted from a cargo ship to passenger and excursion vessel at the Todd Shipyard Corporation drydock in Brooklyn, New York and brought to the Great Lakes early in 1956. Completion of her conversion to a passenger vessel was completed by the Sand Products Corporation and she entered service during the summer of 1956
    * 1962 Aquarama laid up in Muskegon, Michigan and never sailed again
    * 1978 she was removed from documentation and her registry was closed
    * 1987 she was sold to North Shore Farming Incorporated who intended to use the ship as a stationary hotel and convention center at Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
    * 10 July 1988 Aquarama arrived at Sarnia and laid up - her conversion was never done
    * 24 May 1989 she arrived in Marysville, Michigan under tow from Sarnia
    * 1 June 1989 she was towed from Marysville, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario and laid up
    * 1995 she was sold to Master Marine Management and renamed Marine Star while she was laid up in Windsor
    * 1995 Marine Star was sold again to Empire Cruise Lines (James A. Everatt)
    * 3 August 1995 she arrived at Buffalo under tow and laid up
     Media Coverage
    Marine Star leaves berth near Fuhrmann Boulevard
    Future of former ferry is under wraps, but it could be as scrap
    By Sharon LinstedtNEWS STAFF REPORTER
    Updated: 07/17/07 8:44 AM

    The Marine Star, the derelict Great Lakes passenger ferry that has spent the last 12 years rusting along the Buffalo waterfront, is now on its way to Quebec, and possibly Europe.

    But its fate — reuse or the scrap heap — remains unknown.

    The 62-year-old vessel, once the largest and most luxurious ferry on the Great Lakes, was towed away from its moorings along Fuhrmann Boulevard early Sunday morning. After spending a night in Port Colborne, Ont., where it was inspected by Canadian authorities for sea-worthiness, it worked its way through the Welland Canal on Monday, under the tow of the tugboat Radium Yellowknife.

    A representative of Norlake Transportation, the Port Colborne company hired to tow the ferry, confirmed it is headed to a Quebec port.

    “She’s going to Three Rivers, then she’s going overseas,” said Norlake’s Ed O’Connor. “We’ve been told she’ll be in Quebec for about a month, then another company will take over and take her to Europe.”

    O’Connor said the crews who prepared the ferry for departure from Buffalo last week were initially under the impression it was going to be scrapped, but now its fate is unclear.

    “As far as we know, she’s not scheduled to be scrapped. It’s possible somebody in Europe has a plan to do something with her,” he added.

    Rumors that the long-idle ferry is destined for a scrap yard in Alang, India, have been filtering through the shipping industry for months. In late June, James Everatt, a Canadian businessman with an ownership stake in the Marine Star, insisted there were no plans to scrap the once-proud vessel.

    “I don’t care what people are saying, no final decision had been made,” he told The Buffalo News.

    Everatt, whose ownership group floated a $40 million plan to restore the vessel, did not return phone calls Monday.

    Fred Langdon, owner of South End Marina, where the ferry has been stored since 1995, said the owners provided him little information about its future.

    “About a month ago, they said it was being moved, but we didn’t know until about a week ago when that would happen,” Langdon said. “It was supposed to take off Saturday, but it was too windy, so they waited until Sunday morning.”

    As recently as Friday, TradeWinds — a shipping publication based in Norway — cited scrap industry sources who said several brokers in Alang, the world’s ship salvage center, were negotiating to buy the Marine Star.

    A Great Lakes shipping source who asked not to be identified said the planned layover in Quebec indicates that Empire Cruise Lines, which owns the ferry, is continuing those talks.

    “The price of scrap metal is very strong, and the cost to renovate is a lot higher. She’s got scrap written all over her,” he said.

    One recent estimate put its salvage value at $1 million. The Empire group is said to have paid $50,000 to $70,000 a year for dock rental, insurance and other storage-related expenses.

    Built in 1945 in Chester, Pa., the Marine Star was designed as a troop transport ship to ferry U.S. troops across the Atlantic.

    At the end of World War II, it underwent an $8 million transformation into a luxury-class ferry. Rechristened the Aquarama, the 520-foot-long day cruiser was the biggest passenger ferry to ply the Great Lakes.

    The first new liner on the Great Lakes in 20 years, it turned heads with its capacity — room for 2,500 passengers and 160 cars — as well as its style. From its glistening corrugated stainless steel exterior side panels, to interior amenities that included two dance floors, a children’s playroom with baby-sitting services, four restaurants and a cigar shop, the Aquarama was in a class of its own.

    It was operated by Michigan Ohio Navigation Co., and its Detroit-Cleveland service was quite popular in the 1950s. But its massive size, a lack of overnight accommodations and high operational costs prevented its owners from turning a profit.

    By the mid-1960s, it was sitting idle at a Muskegon, Mich., dock where it was laid up until 1987, when it was purchased by a Port Stanley, Ont., company for $3 million. The fading Aquarama was first towed to Sarnia, then to Windsor, where it remained on the shoreline.

    In 1994, Empire Cruise Lines, whose major shareholders included Everatt, bought the ferry with the idea of turning it into a floating casino and returned it to its original name.

    In August 1995, it was towed to South End Marina on Buffalo’s outer harbor. While legal obstacles blocked Empire Lines from converting the Marine Star to a gambling venue, the company publicly maintained a goal of turning the deteriorating ferry into a cruise liner offering top-shelf travel on the Great Lakes.

    April 2006 Write-Up:

    1995 Write-Up - Coming to Buffalo:
     Future Plans
    Company spokesman and investor, James Everatt, announced in January 2005 that his company still hopes to spend
    $40 million dollars to convert the Marine Star into a Great Lakes cruise and entertainment ship. He said a decision would
    be reached this year on whether that project will be feasible.

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Historical Pictures
    Fri, Aug 5th, 2005
    posted by JavaDog
    28 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Scouting Trip
    Sat, Aug 6th, 2005
    posted by JavaDog
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Aerial Photography
    Tue, Dec 13th, 2005
    posted by JavaDog
    3 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Tue, Dec 13th, 2005
    posted by nostra-YOUPPI!
    1 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Google Earth Pics
    Tue, Jan 31st, 2006
    posted by MatC
    3 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Graffiti 2006
    Fri, May 26th, 2006
    posted by JavaDog
    2 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Graffiti, Part II
    Mon, Jun 12th, 2006
    posted by The_Man_in_Black
    3 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Aquarama scrapping
    Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
    posted by nostra-YOUPPI!
    2 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links
    Historical Information: http://wnyheritage...arama/aquarama.htm

    Edit this Location
     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 3/8/2008 3:49 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Mar 8 08 at 3:49, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Mar 7 08 at 14:23, nostra-YOUPPI! added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Mar 7 08 at 14:23, nostra-YOUPPI! updated gallery Aquarama scrapping
  • on Mar 7 08 at 14:23, nostra-YOUPPI! created a new gallery
  • on Feb 2 08 at 16:08, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Feb 2 08 at 5:56, nostra-YOUPPI! changed the following: City, Province / State (please use full name), Country, Status
  • on Jul 30 07 at 3:14, nostra-YOUPPI! validated this location
  • on Jul 30 07 at 2:45, SPEK Photo changed the following: City
  • on Jul 29 07 at 5:39, nostra-YOUPPI! changed the following: Latitude, Longitude
  • on Jul 29 07 at 5:35, nostra-YOUPPI! changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Prefer Satellite
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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    You must log in for this feature to work.very interestingRescueMe106003756/25/2013 4:58 AM by RescueMe1060
    You must log in for this feature to trip, to alangnostra-YOUPPI!811307/30/2007 2:34 AM by nostra-YOUPPI!
    You must log in for this feature to work.interesting locationsigma39224/10/2010 4:24 AM by Castle3411
    You must log in for this feature to work.great picnostra-YOUPPI!080312/6/2005 4:13 PM by nostra-YOUPPI!
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