SS Constitution was an ocean liner owned by American Export
Lines. She was commissioned in 1951. She sailed on the New
York-Genoa-Naples and Gibraltar route to Europe. Constitution
was a sister ship to the SS Independence.
It was featured in several episodes of the television situation
comedy I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz,
starting with episode 140, "Bon Voyage," which first aired
December 1, 1955. Lucy Ricardo missed the sailing of the ship
and had to be ferried by air to the ship by the then-novel means
of a helicopter.
Grace Kelly sailed aboard the SS Constitution from New York to
Monaco for her wedding to Prince Rainier in 1956.
It was then featured in the 1957 film, An Affair to Remember
starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. The ship was also featured
prominently in the Magnum, P.I. television series, in the
episode titled "All Thieves on Deck," which aired January 30,
Following service on American Export's "Sunlane" cruise to
Europe in the '50s and '60s, the two ships sailed for American
Hawaii Cruises for many years in the '80s and '90s; because they
were U.S. ships with U.S. crews, they met the criteria of the
Jones Act and were able to cruise the Islands without sailing to
a foreign port.
SS Constitution was retired in 1995 and, while under tow to be
scrapped on November 17, 1997, sank 700 nautical miles (1,300
km) north of the Hawaiian Islands.