SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND – FAREWELL DINNER – CAVIAR – American President Lines passenger ship enroute to Japan and China – 1949


Menu – Farewell Dinner – SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND – 1949
Beluga-Molossol Caviar was served for the SS President Cleveland’s “Farewell Dinner” on October 5, 1949 prior to arriving in Yokohama, Japan. The SS President Cleveland’s had just completing her trans-Pacific liner crossing from San Francisco and Los Angeles via Honolulu, Hawaii.

The sleek 1940s modern lobby of the SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND

This was during the height of American passenger ship service. American President Lines was not alone. Grace Line, the US Lines, American Export Line, Alaska Steamship Line, Matson Line, Delta Line, Moore-McCormick Line, Bull Line, Eastern Steamship Line were all operating services with American flag ships.


SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND – Off coast of California


Deck-side luncheon aboard the SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND


Pool, Promenade Deck and arrival in Los Angeles, California

With the launching of the Presidents Cleveland and Wilson in 1947, American President Lines reestablished its preeminence in the passenger trade following World War 2. Designed to carry 550 passengers and a crew of 352, the ships were advertised as “your American hotel abroad.” They carried passengers from the West Coast of the USA to the Orient. This included China during the late 1940s until services were curtailed because of the Korean War. In the 1970s, with the end of the Viet Nam War and USA shipping subsidies American flag passenger service was ending. Finally in 1973 the trans-Pacific liner service ended. The President Cleveland was sold to C. Y. Tung and renamed Oriental President. The President Wilson completed her last round-the-world voyage. Her retirement marked the end of the trans-Pacific passenger service that APL and its forebears had offered since 1867. The ships lasted briefly under C. T. Tung’s Panamanian flag company and were scrapped in 1974.



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"…


  1. I crossed the Pacific April of 1960. Since I traveled economy class none of these pictures are familiar. I would love to see pictures of this section. Also, is the USS Cleveland still in service?

  2. Cynthia Smith Sopher

    I was 7 when I went across the Pacific on the USS President Cleveland. We went from Hawaii to San Francisco and then flew to my home in Columbus OH. It was a trip I will never forget. They woke us up early in the morning playing “San Francisco here I come…” I remember the long trip of watching flying fish and wondering if I’d ever see land again…and then standing there on the deck in my nightgown and seeing the lights of San Francisco through the early morning fog. The ship was elegant to me and had stores and school rooms; two swimming pools. It was quite a delight. What a nice memory.

  3. I was on board ss President Cleveland in January 1952 and ctopped at Honolulu on way to Sanfrancisco from Hong Kong. This picture really brings back fond memory.

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