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The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), in cooperation with the N/S/ SAVANNAH Association, Inc., is dedicated to preserving the history of this amazing vessel--a history that can only be told by those who experienced her first hand. We are assisting in this effort by collecting the stories of passengers, crew, and designers and builders to create a comprehensive online oral history of the ship.

If you would like to contribute, please forward your stories using the Contact Us form on the website. Be sure to include your year(s) of service or travel. Please provide your hometown if you are willing to disclose it.

Passenger Stories

Anne and Sol Yudelson, of Atlanta, GA
Submitted by Julian Yudelson of Rochester, NY

My parents were on the maiden voyage of the Savannah through the canal and to Seattle. My father considered first class travel on a fine ship to be the ultimate travel experiences. He was also an adventurous traveler, long before that term was invented. When he saw an item in the paper that the N.S. Savannah would be the first atomic powered passenger trip, he went to his travel agent at American Express in Atlanta and told a Mr. Sautier (sp) to get two tickets for passage. My father was told that it would be impossible since surely all of the spaces would be reserved for high ranking politicos and well placed personalities. Apparently that was not the case and four tickets were obtained. My father asked a couple who were friends in Atlanta if they wanted to go on the adventure and that was the foursome.

The story my parents told me was that there were Jewish services for Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) on the trip. Knowing that they would be at sea on the Holy day, my father had taken a prayer book along. Either he or my mother mentioned it to a ship's officer and a notice was placed in the ship's daily news bulletin. Arrangements were made for a Jewish service in one of the public areas. I was told that it was attended by several passengers and some of the crew. On the evening before (Jewish holy days start at sundown of the evening before), my parents were seated at the Captain's table. They were astounded when the waiter presented two round challah loaves, the traditional loaves for the occasion. It turned out that the head chef, or baker, was European trained and knew the tradition of having round loaves to mark the roundness of the year.

Since many were on that voyage, I was hoping there might be someone that had heard of the Jewish service. My parents took great pride in knowing that there was a Jewish Holy day observed on the first, and only nuclear passenger ship.

This section is reserved for the memories and photographs of the Savannah alumni and friends who are dues-paying members of the N/S Savannah Association, Inc., an organization dedicated to the preservation of this historic landmark.  Please use the Contact Us button on the sidebar menu to submit such material.

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