CALIFORNIA, VIRGINIA, and PENNSYLVANIA (1928, 1929)
Conceived for New York-San Francisco service, in 1937, the ships were sold to the US Maritime Commission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted a South America service. After a quick remodeling, which included the removal of the aft (dummy) stack, the addition of air-conditioning, and an outdoor pool, California, Virginia, and Pennsylvania were renamed Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina, respectively. The public areas remained unchanged.
The ships proved quite popular, and there was talk of a larger trio to join them. World War II intervened, and the plan came to naught. After the war, the ships were given modern makeovers, and you can read more on that here.
Charles V. John, Aldo Lazzarini, Carola Spaeth, Stuart Travis
BASIC STATS - CALIFORNIA
Length: 601' | Beam: 80' | Passengers: 747 | 20,325 gross tons | Speed: 17 knots
BASIC STATS - VIRGINIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Length: 613' | Beam: 80' | Passengers: 750 | 20,526 gross tons | Speed: 17 knots