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This Day in Georgia History

August 22, 1962

N.S. Savannah Maiden Voyage

On its maiden voyage, the N.S. Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered merchant ship, sailed up the Savannah River to the Port of Savannah. Construction of the N.S. Savannah had begun at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation’s facilities in Camden, New Jersey, in 1958. The ship was christened fourteen months later - but work on the ship and installation of its nuclear reactor took another two and one-half years. Sea trials and additional testing and modification continued until May 1, 1962, when the Savannah was delivered to the States Marine Lines, which would operate the ship. On Aug. 20, 1962, the N.S. Savannah sailed from Yorktown, Virginia, southward to Savannah, Georgia, which would serve as its home port. Two days later, it arrived at Savannah to welcoming ceremonies by city officials, who presented the officers and crew with citations designating them “citizens of the city of Savannah.” During its six-day stay in Savannah, an estimated 35,000 visitors toured the ship. On the morning of Aug. 28, the N.S. Savannah sailed from Savannah for Norfolk, Va. After a brief stay there, it departed for a world tour that included a stop in Seattle for the World’s Fair..

N.S. Savannah Maiden Voyage View large image
Source: Ed Jackson