Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest will donate up to $5.8 million to help save the SS United States, the storied ocean liner that’s to be celebrated at a riverfront ceremony tonight, officials said.
The funds will be used to buy the ship from its owner, Norwegian Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, and to maintain the vessel in its current South Philadelphia berth for up to 20 months. During that time, redevelopment and refurbishment plans will be completed.
The news was announced by the Washington-based SS United States Conservancy, which has worked for years to promote the ship and prevent its destruction. The group called Lenfest’s donation “a major development in the effort to save the legendary American ocean liner.”