February 1, 2001
American Hawaii’s S.S. Independence, the industry’s true grand dame (she launched in 1951) is going into an unexpected one-week dry dock beginning Saturday, March 24. The 30,090-ton, 860-passenger ship has a malfunctioning bow thruster. The ship will be repaired at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Honolulu. The news is a big bummer for cruisers scheduled for that voyage; despite the usual reparations (full refund plus 50 percent off a future trip or upgrades for transferring bookings to another week). American Classic Voyages Co., which owns American Hawaii along with the new United States Lines, says there’s no room on the latter’s Patriot, which also sails year-round in Hawaii. The Patriot, formerly Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam, is, alas, all booked up. The S.S. Independence is anticipated to return to its year-round schedule of Hawaiian sailings beginning Saturday, March 31.