Matson Lines Sailed to Exotic South Seas

Advertising Posters Lured Travelers to Adventure

Hawaii steamship

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Now that spring’s balmy breezes are here, we’re reminded that there are adventures awaiting and a world to explore. For decades the legendary Matson Shipping Lines turned people’s travel dreams into reality.



1963 Matson Lines Ocean Liner Cruise Ship Pacific

Paradise on beach

From the early to mid-1900s, long before we lived in a 24/7 global, connected world, the Matson Shipping Lines sailed to exotic places that most people only dreamed about.








Its world-class luxury liners provided the fastest, finest and most elegant service available to the Hawaiian Islands, Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia.

girl with yellow floweraustralia


Offering the promise of South Seas adventures and tropical paradises, the cruise line commissioned top artists and photographers to create advertising posters that would lure travelers to book passage on its ships traversing the Pacific Ocean.


Artists Frank Macintosh, John Kelly, Eldridge Logan, Louis Macouillaird, Richard Moore and Eugene Savage all painted iconic island scenes for Matson.


Even famed photographers Edward Steichen and Anton Breuhl got on board to celebrate the Matson dream.

Matson horizontal ship

samoa menu

Ladies with fruit basket

Steichen photo ad in VogueThe advertising posters were showcased in adventure and travel magazines ranging from National Geographic to Holiday and in glossy fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.


That era of glamorous adventures on the high seas may have come to an end, but the posters and the dreams live on.

honemooners A

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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