Please Note: Firefox and some other search engines are not suitable
– Use “Internet Explorer” for this page to load perfectly!
the logo above to reach the ssMaritime FrontPage for News Updates &
“Ship of the Month”
With Reuben Goossens
& Cruise’n’Ship Reviewer
The ship that
became the Chandris Lines …
Matson Lines ~ SS
The elegant and striking SS Lurline is seen in Los Angeles
late in the 1950’s
commenced sailing from San Francisco
due to the takeover of the Oceanic Steamship Company in larger tonnage. In
1871, a number of smaller ships crossed the pacific, until it was decided to
build a fleet of 1928 “Mariposa Class Matson decided to build a trio of
liners for the Australian service. This series became known as the
Mariposa was launched July 18 1931. In 1954 she became the Homes Line cruise
ship Homeric. After a major fire in July 1973 she was declared a total loss and
was scrapped in Japan
in January 1974.
SS Monterey the second liner of the trio
2 … Monterey
was also launched in 1931, renamed Matsonia in May 1957, renamed Lurline in
1963. In May 1970, she was sold and became the successful Chandris passenger
liner RHMS Britanis. She was sold in 1998, to become the ill-fated Bolofin, which sank 20 October
2000, whilst under tow to the breakers.
Lurline was launched on July 18 1932, and was the only ship to retain her
original name until being sold in September 1963 to Chandris Lines to become
the subject of this article, RHMS Ellinis.
Dimensions SS Lurline
Built by: Bethlehem Shipyard at Quincy, Mass, USA.
m / 632 ft.
m / 79.4 ft.
Turbines - 28,450 SHP – (21,215.16 kW).
knots, max 22.8 knots.
240 Tourist Class.
First Class only from 1957.
On January 15,
1933, SS Lurline departed New York
City at noon for her maiden voyage, a “Circle
Pacific Cruise,” bound for Auckland New Zealand, Sydney Australia and Asia. She sailed, via Havana, the Panama Canal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii and a host of Pacific
ports. Having visited Australia and Papua New Guinea she then
visited many Asian ports before returning to the San Francisco
on April 24, 1933. After her Circle Pacific voyage, she, together with her
older sister the Malolo, was placed on the shorter, but popular San Francisco to Honolulu
arriving in Sydney on her maiden
visit in 1933
I hereby wish
to thank Mr. Todd M. Curro for providing the correct scheduling information
regarding her maiden voyage as his Grandfather Robert worked on her during this
voyage and retained a copy of the schedule in his photo book as seen below.
Grandfather - Robert Pitts served aboard the Lurline in 1933
Provided by Todd M. Curro
Schedule provided by Todd M. Curro
Lurline the Trooper
The troopship SS Lurline departing Sydney
In 1932, the
last of four elegant liners designed by William Francis Gibbs and built for the
Matson Lines' Pacific services was launched: the SS Lurline christened on 12
July 1932 in Quincy, Massachusetts by Lurline Matson
Roth (who had also christened her father's 1908 steamship Lurline as a young
woman of 18). On 12 January 1933, the SS Lurline left New York City bound for San Francisco via the Panama Canal on her
maiden voyage, thence to Sydney
and the South Seas, returning to San Francisco
on 24 April 1933. She then served on the express San Francisco to Honolulu
service with her older sister with whom she shared appearance, the Malolo.
Amelia Earhart rode Lurline from Los
Angeles to Honolulu
with her Lockheed Vega airplane secured on deck during December 22–27,
1934. The voyage prepared her for the record-breaking Honolulu-to-Oakland
solo flight she made in January 1935.
half-way from Honolulu
to San Francisco
on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. She
made her destination safely, travelling at maximum speed, and soon returned to Hawaii with her Matson sisters Mariposa and Monterey
in a convoy laden with troops and supplies.
She spent the
war providing similar services, often voyaging to Australia, and once
transported Australian Prime Minister John Curtin to America
to confer with President Roosevelt.
On December 7,
1941, whilst Lurline was sailing from Honolulu
to San Francisco,
the Japanese air force bombed Pearl
She set her engines at maximum speed for San Francisco.
However, on December in a convoy with her two of her sisters she returned to Hawaii
laden with troops and much needed supplies.
The troops set sail
continued her wartime service, including visits to Australia.
She even transported Prime Minister (Australian) John Curtin to America
to meet with President Roosevelt.
She is seen here departing Australia
on September 11, 1945 with 3,500 servicemen, as well as 500 war-brides and 200
Mid 1946 the
Lurline was returned to Matson Lines, and underwent and extensive refit at Alameda,
during 1947/48. Estimated costs were close to $US20 million, but all her
fittings had been stripped prior to the war and these had to be restored, as
well as new improvements needed to be made.
Lurline is seen here undergoing her refit returning her to her glorious luxury
On April 15,
1948, the Lurline resumed her San
Francisco to Honolulu
service. As prior the war, the Lurline was christened the Pacific Ocean’s top liner.
During her career, she was also used a film set for the "Ma and Pa Kettle
Go To Hawaii" movie.
1950, due to incredible success of Laconia,
it was decided to also refit her sister ship, the Monterey,
which was renamed Matsonia. From this point, both liners now provided only a
first class only service between the States and Hawaii.
From time to time, cruises were also undertaken. However, as with ships around
the world aircraft became the serious competition and due it caused passenger
loadings to fall. Matsonia was laid up in September 1962.
On February 3,
1963 the Lurline arrived in Los Angeles
with some engine troubles with her port turbines. Matson decided to place her
on the market, the repairs were considered too excessive. With the decline of
the Lurline, Matson decided to take the Matsonia out of the mothballs, and
characteristically, changed her name to Lurline, as this name was so greatly
loved by so many.
Lurline was sold to the Greek Chandris Lines a little later in 1963.
Matson Line advertisement
Go to Page Two for the RHMS Ellinis
Use the Back button on your browser or Close the Page to
return to the previous page
or go to our
Who is the Author of ssMaritime?
in the passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960
ssMaritime.com & ssMaritime.net
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
visit my …
“Save The Classic
ssmaritime and its associate pages are by the author or from the author’s
private collection; be they taken by him, from his private collection such as postcards,
images purchased or photographs copied from brochures from his collection. In
addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies
and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors.
However, there are
some photographs that have been provided to me by supporters of ssmaritime but
without details regarding the photographer or /owner concerned. Therefore, I
hereby invite owners of these images to be so kind as to make them-selves known
to me per email at email@example.com,
in order that due credit may be given to them.
covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all
photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page,
that is, when a page is updated!
ssMaritime is owned and © Copyright - Reuben Goossens - All