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Matson Navigation Company
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Years of Expansion

In 1927, with Matson’s introduction of the S.S. Malolo, the largest and most palatial luxury cruise liner ever built in the United States at that time, and the opening of its Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Matson builds upon Hawaii’s tourism market. During this year, Matson initiates the custom of having passengers throw their leis into the Pacific, as a vessel steams by Diamond Head, signifying as the lei floated away that the passenger would one day return. By 1929, with the success of the Malolo and the Royal Hawaiian, annual tourist traffic nearly triples, from 8,000 in 1921 to 22,000 in 1929.

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Page last modified: Sat February 22, 2014