Forgive me for a moment so I can indulge in a little wintertime fantasy. It’s a cold, rainy, gloomy day, but on the seas to Hawaii all is sunny and bright.
It took the cruise lines a few years to get back up to speed after WWII, as most of the ships had been used in the war effort. Matson was operating four luxury liners in the Pacific before December 7, 1941, and all were converted into troop carriers. Together, the four Matson liners carried a total of 736,000 troops and covered one and a half million miles before the war ended in 1945.
The transition back to cruise service was difficult and costly for Matson. They ended up selling two of their liners so that the S.S. Lurline could be remodeled and relaunched in 1948. By the late 1950s Matson had four liners making the route between California and Hawaii. Today Matson is still in business as a container ship operator on the Pacific. I’m sure it is more profitable than running cruise ships, but it could not be as romantic.