SS Independence 1951-2001 and SS Constitution 1951-1995

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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author


SS Independence & SS Constitution


Page Two


Photo Album


Part One: American Export Lines / Isbrandtsen days


 SS Independence as built


 An American Export Lines brochure issued before the 1959 rebuilding of both ships

(Provided by Björn Larsson -


Circular Lounge


 Main Lounge and Ballroom




Above: Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant during filming onboard



 Around the Pool


 Deck Bar



Above and Below: Two very different suites



 Brochure produced after the rebuilding. Note the forward changes on Promenade deck.

(Provided by Björn Larsson - 


Part Two: American Hawaii Cruises


Oceanic Independence cruising the Hawaiian Islands in 1981 




We thank ex Crew member, Steve Bingman, who kindly provided us with a collection of photographs as seen hereunder


 Steve Bingman - just "above" the bridge of Steve’s beloved Constitution


Pool Deck looking forward 


Aloha Tower photographed from the deck of the Constitution.

The Independence is seen on the right


At tender off the coast of Kona, HI (March 1985)


Looking aft, overlooking one of the ships Pools


Due to a passenger suffering with severe chest pains a helicopter came to evacuate him

All passengers were requested to leave the aft deck


The evacuation is close to complete

However, the passenger returned to ship in fine shape the next day at port in Maui


 Seen at tender off the coast of Kona, HI


 SS Constitution, sailing into the sunset


This photograph was taken from Aloha Tower, the last time Steve saw his beloved Constitution


We sincerely thank Steve Bingman for his contribution to these pages




Part Three: The final years of the Independence


The Next two photographs show SS Independence receiving her (apparently last) maintenance and refit 





After the SS Constitution was retired in 1996, SS Independence

became the last US built ship to sail under the American flag



Above and Below: The charming Hawaiian influenced décor of the Independence 



 SS Independence seen during her last days


 A suite located in the forward part of the original Promenade Deck

Then called the Kama’aina Deck


 The upper Pool


 Another American built and flagged ship says goodbye


Seen here docked at Pier 70

(Supplied by Peter Knego)



Page One:           History of SS Independence and her sister the SS Constitution

Page Two:           Photo Page – From beginning to End

Page Three:         Deck Plans - American Export Lines

Page Four:           Deck Plan – American Hawaii Cruises

Page Five:           Photo Page of Independence/Oceanic at Pier 70 San Francisco

                           Photographs by Patrick Race & Jonathan Haeber

Page Six:             The amazing story of SS Independence’s transformation to become the

                                      Fugasi - “Go-Go Cruises” FunShip. A story by the designer Bill Chefalas.

SS Atlantic:         This delightful ship sailed with the SS Independence & Constitution from 1960 to 1967.



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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given.

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!


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