The LURLINE was built in 1932, the third of a fantastic trio of ships commissioned for Matson Line's Pacific services. She followed the 1931 built MARIPOSA and MONTEREY, which served the U.S. West Coast to Australia route. LURLINE, however, operated on the Hawaiian run from the West Coast. She sailed in trooping service in World War II and returned to regular passenger service in 1948.
After the war, LURLINE's accommodation was vastly modernized and she became the benchmark of luxury cruising "American style." She even starred in the film, "Ma and Pa Kettle Go To Hawaii". When joined in 1956 by her former sister, MONTEREY, which was renamed MATSONIA following a major rebuilding by Gibbs and Cox, the pair were the ultimate American Pacific Liners. "The Grand Manner Of Matson" carried on until 1963, when stricken with costly mechanical problems, the beloved LURLINE was offered for sale. MATSONIA was quickly renamed LURLINE, continuing on the Hawaiian run until 1971.
That year, LURLINE was sold to Chandris Lines and renamed ELLINIS for their UK to Australian service and later cruising. She was given a curved stem, streamlined funnel casings and a modernized forward superstructure. Her passenger capacity was significantly increased and, while ELLINIS was no longer the Hawaiian luxury liner of yesteryear, she made a comfortable and solid emigrant liner and remained in service for another 18 years. Most of her Hawaiian decor and furniture remained unchanged, a testament to their classic styling and solid construction. She was reunited with her sister, the former MONTEREY/MATSONIA/LURLINE in 1971, when that ship joined the Chandris fleet as BRITANIS. ELLINIS was laid up at Eleusis in 1981, and, although there were plans to bring her back into service, she remained idle until 1986 when she was sold for scrap and delivered to Taiwanese shipbreakers. In the interim, some of her fittings were transferred to other ships in the Chandris fleet.
EMPRESS OF CANADA ENCHANTED ISLE EUGENIO C FEDOR SHALYAPIN FESTIVALE FIESTA MARINA FRANCONIA ISLANDBREEZE IVERNIA IVORY JEAN MERMOZ LURLINE MADAGASCAR MARDI GRAS MARGARITA L MARIANNA VI MARIANNA 9 MAYAN EMPRESS MERMOZ MONARCH STAR MONTEREY MS PHILIPPINES OLYMPIA OLYMPIC PRINCIPE PERFEITO PRINCESA VICTORIA REGAL EMPRESS RENAISSANCE RHAPSODY REGENT STAR S. A. VAAL SAPPHO SERENADE SHOTA RUSTAVELI SPERO STATENDAM STELLA MARIS II STELLA OCEANIS STELLA SOLARIS TAHITIEN THE BIG RED BOAT II
Matson Line's handsome LURLINE in a post-war view. Peter Knego collection.