SS Malolo

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Name: SS Malolo
Owner: Matson Navigation Company (1927-1948)
Home Lines (1948-1965)
Chandris Lines (1965-1977)
Builder: William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Laid down: 1925
Launched: 26 June 1926
Christened: 26 June 1926
Completed: May 1927
Maiden voyage: 16 November 1927
Renamed: Matsonia, 1937
Atlantic, 1948
Queen Frederica, January 1955
Fate: Laid up, November 1973
Sold for scrapping in Eleusina, Greece, July 1977
General characteristics
Tonnage: 17,226 gross register tons (GRT) (1927)[1]
Length: 582 ft (177 m)
Beam: 83 ft (25 m)
Draught: 30 ft 7 in (9.32 m)
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) service
23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph) maximum
Capacity: 620 passengers (457 1st class, 163 Cabin class)

SS Malolo (later known as Matsonia, Atlantic, and Queen Fredrica) was an American Cruise liner built by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia in 1926 for the Matson Line. She was the first of a number of ships designed by William Francis Gibbs for the Matson Line. The Matson Line did much to develop tourism in the Hawaiian Islands. In 1927 it commissioned its largest ship yet, the Malolo (flying fish) for the first-class luxury service between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. The Malolo and other Matson liners advertised superb public rooms, spacious cabins, swimming pools, a gymnasium, and a staff, including a hairdresser, to provide superlative service.[2]


The Malolo introduced new, vastly improved safety standards which influenced all subsequent American passenger liners. On 25 May 1927 while on her sea trials in the western Atlantic, she collided with the SS Jacob Christensen, a Norwegian freighter, with an impact equal to that when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank 15 years earlier. Malolo's advanced watertight compartments allowed her to stay afloat and sail into New York Harbor flooded with over 7,000 tons of sea water in her hull.[3]


In 1937, Matson docked Malolo for a major refit: the ship's lifeboats were moved two decks higher and the deck they vacated was enclosed to create additional berths including new "Lanai Suites". Existing cabins were greatly upgraded; the ship changed from a combination of 457 First class and 163 Cabin class accommodations to 693 First class only. The transformed ship was rechristened Matsonia.[4]

Atlantic and Queen Frederica

After serving as a troop ship during World War II she was sold to Home Lines, which renamed her Atlantic and later Queen Frederica before being sold to Chandris Lines. After fifty years serving as a cruise ship under a number of different companies, she was sold to Greek breakers in July 1977 and was towed to the breakers yards at Eleusina, Greece. In February 1978 while her interiors were being demolished she was gutted by fire and work was temporarily halted. Three years later her ravaged hull could still be seen among other ships at the breakers' yard.[4]

See also


  1. In her later career her registered tonnage was 21,239, as measured by British rules which included in the measurement upper superstructure not included in US measurements. Braynard, Frank O. (1968). By Their Works Ye Shall Know Them, The Life and Ships of William Francis Gibbs 1886-1967. Gibbs & Cox, Inc. pp. 37. 
  2. Great Luxury Liners 1927-1954, A Photographic Record by William H. Miller, Jr.
  3. Brayard, By Their Works Ye Shall Know Them, 35-41.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Matson Lines: SS Malolo, Matsonia, Home Lines: Atlantic, Chandris: Queen Frederica". Retrieved 2007-06-17. 

External links