Sailing on the SS Lurline to Hawaii – Late 1940s…

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Sailing on Matson Line’s SS LURLINE in the 1940s from San Francisco to Honolulu. A wonderful video when “Getting there was half the fun!” The video claims that it is from 1950 but this is actually footage of the Lurline’s maiden voyage from California to Hawaii.

Following World War 2, the Lurline was returned to Matson Lines in mid-1946 and extensively refitted at Bethlehem-Alameda Shipyard in Alameda, California in 1947 at the then huge cost of $20,000,000. She resumed her San Francisco to Honolulu service on April 15, 1948, and regained her pre-war status as the Pacific Ocean’s top liner.

Her high occupancy rates during the early 1950s caused Matson to also refit her sister ship SS Monterey (renaming her SS Matsonia) and these two liners provided a first class-only service between Hawaii and the American mainland from June 1957 to September 1962, mixed with the occasional Pacific cruise. Serious competition from jet airliners caused passenger loads to fall in the early 1960s and the Matsonia was laid up in late 1962.

Only a few months later, the Lurline arrived in Los Angeles with serious engine trouble in her port turbine and was laid up with the required repairs considered too expensive. Matson instead brought the Matsonia out of retirement and, characteristically, changed her name to the Lurline.

The original Lurline was sold to Chandris Lines in 1963.

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…