Highly recommended, although French-language documentation from the 90s. With a prior knowledge about the vessel and optionally present French school, can well follow the content. Even if one has not French, it's worth it just because of the extensive footage and interviews, the English, which you can hear a little more effort in the French translation.
The documentation shows exterior and interior shots of the Alferdoss early 90s and links these with chronological flashbacks to the history of the ship.
Among other things to see are pictures of the construction in Newport News and the baptism of West Point, the America with a detailed description of life on board the Australis with a baptism ceremony in the ballroom and the equator, and the American Star.
Is accompanied with all the respective "career section" appropriate music and matching mood.
The many interviews are very interesting, including the following topics:
Bill Miller, maritime historian and author of numerous Ship and Ocean Liner related books, gives information about the construction of America and her short lived Venture Cruise Line episode of 1978.
A veteran of the West Point talks about his experiences.
Dimitrios Kaparis reports about the purchase and rebuilding of America in 1964, the fire of 1970 aboard Australis, the public auction of the ship in 1978 and the Italis years.
Australis' first captain tells about his story and experiences aboard.
The owner of the Alferdoss reports of his failed plans for the ship.
However, one must be careful in this documentation part, which recordings are reproduced and which are not. Recordings from the conversion of America to Australis and the repair after the fire in 1970 show the Ile de France. Even the shots are shown of life on board the America, comes in part from another ship. Similarly, the trailing scene of stormy January night when they are not shooting at the Neftegaz and the American Star.
The reason for this is that many of these events, no recordings exist or were not available.
Running time: ~ 51 minutes.
There is a German translation (title: America Schicksal eines Luxusliners) which was done in context of the documentary "The Wreck of America" to give a better understanding of the ship's history before the wreck doku aired. However, this version is shortened.
The original French version is available in the DVD collection "Navires de Légendes".
The German version is no longer acquirable on the instantaneous state of knowledge.
Das Wrack der America (The wreck of the America)
Also highly recommended, German-language documentary focusing on the events surrounding the ship after his shipwreck.
The documentary is partly filmed aboard the American Star in 1999, as well as amateur footage of the vessel during the first years after the shipwreck and plunder are to be seen.
All historical imagery in this documentation comes from the French documentary "Vie et Mort de l'America", the recordings of the American Star at the beginning of the document and right after the accident as well.
The question of the inconsistencies associated with the stranding followed is raised in this documentary verified by an interview with the former head of the Port Authority of Fuerteventura.
In the second half of the film that deals with the fate of the interior, some "looters" show their collections and safed equipment from the ship.
It also features a reported plan to salvage the wreck, which, however, proved to be unworkable.
Towards the end, the wreck is looked at an artistic point of view. A local resident artist prepares, accompanied by the film crew, a light installation on board before. THe documentary end with the fully lit ship in the sunset filled beach.
Running time: ~ 43 minutes
The documentation is available at the recording service of the public NDR TV-channel. More details on the webpages of the NDR.
The Chandris Liners and Celebrety Cruises by Peter Plowman
This very detailed, researched, English-language book gives an overview of the Chandris fleet with many color photos, background information and deck plans. With this, the Australis, whose history is devoted a whole chapter, starting with its construction as America. Distributed over the whole book, you will find more information and pictures about the unique Australis and the fate of the American Star.
The book can be partially viewed at Google Books and is available commercially:
Steamboat Bill special edition of summer 1990: "America- To the Ocean with Foam"
This special issue of the American magazine Steamboat Bill is devoted entirely to America. At over 100 pages there is plenty of interesting facts and interesting pictures from their time in front of the ship in 1964.
Online auctions or directly from the Steamship Historical Society of America.
The Chandris Liners by William H. Miller
This book is in a similar manner an overview of the Chandris fleet as it makes the book "The Chandris Lines and Celebrity Cruises", but in a more compact form. This book has unique photos to offer and is written very interesting. In some areas it served as a source for the above-mentioned book "The Chandris Liners and Celebrity Cruises."
No longer in print. Antique dealers, online auction houses.
S.S. America U.S.S. West Point S.S. Australis- The Many lives of a great ship by Lawrence Driscoll
This book goes back a step before the construction of America started and also lights up the presettings of the actual history of America in full detail in the form of the establishment of American passenger fleet of United States Lines from former German liners with a focus on the Leviathan, which influenced the development of the America in different ways. The focus of this book is clearly on the early years of America before 1964 (about ¾ of the book). There are particularly detailed chapters on their history, construction, their military service and their time as a transatlantic liner.
Interesting addition to the chronological history of the ship built, the many scattered anecdotes and reports of passengers, the crew and others, which make the written history of America alive. The idea of the ship and life onboard is transported primarily by the text. Nevertheless, over 100 images accompany the writing well.
Newport News Shipyard Bulletin, September 1946
This issue of the journal of the builder's yard of America reports with numerous pictures and information about the restoration of America after the war service.
Renewal Parts- S.S. AMERICA Agonie eines Kolosses (Agony of a colossus) by Klaus Berends
This german written book is a sort of accompaniment to Klaus Berend's eponymous traveling exhibition about the America. The Living on Fuerteventura artist transformed numerous large and small findings of the stranded ship in ambiguous art objects, which demonstrate, among other things, the transience of the ship and its history. In addition to various levels of interpretation of his work and the emergence of the art, the motivation of the artist and the selection of materials and symbolic level is recorded. Also be found at the end of a summary of the history of the ship. Many photographs complete the insight that one receives in this unique work.
The traveling exhibition was scheduled to start all ports which the America has driven in her careers.
Marine Engineering and Shipping Review, August 1940
A look behind the scenes. Published this month in the first cruise of the special edition of America magazine for marine engineers and shipyards deals on over 100 pages in detail with the new ship. Numerous technical details, plans, diagrams and illustrations form mainly on the technical side of America, but also their interior design. Countless advertisements from suppliers show the enormous range of companies and therefore workers who were involved in the development of America, each operating proud of its innovative contribution to the overall work. This journal is for those interested in America with attention to detail. It gives a comprehensive picture of the complexity that goes into a passenger ship is to provide some advance technical knowledge to follow the explanation. In addition to this journal is the similar (partially identical) documentation in other journals of the year, including: "Marine News", "The Nautical Gazette" and "The Shipbuilder and Marine Engine-builder".