Named in honor of the ocean deity revered in the native Hawaiian culture, Matson’s “Kanaloa Class” vessels, constructed at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, are built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform – 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet. Both vessels have an enclosed garage space for 500 vehicles, plus ample space for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo, and state-of-the-art green technology features, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and dual-fuel engines, meaning that they will be able to operate at speeds up to 23 knots on either conventional fuel oils or liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) with some adaptation for LNG.

The Kanaloa Class vessels represent an investment of more than $500 million. The two ships replace three diesel powered vessels in active service, which will be moved to reserve status.  With delivery of the Kanaloa Class ships, along with its two new Aloha Class ships, Matson has completed the renewal of its Hawaii fleet, allowing it to retire its seven older steamship vessels that no longer comply with environmental regulations in 2020 without substantial modification.


Type : Con-Ro
Length : 869’5″
Max Speed : 23
Main Engine Horsepower : 42,738 (31,870 kW)
Max Deadweight (Metric Tons) : 52,080
TEUs : 3,500
Auto Capacity : 500 Autos


Lurline, built in 1887.

The first Kanaloa class vessel is the sixth Matson vessel to bear the iconic name, Lurline.  The original Lurline was Capt. William Matson’s second vessel, a brigantine built by Matthew Turner, Shipbuilder of Benicia, California in 1887. Named by sugar tycoon, Claus Spreckels, the vessel made its first sailing from San Francisco to Hawaii on June 16, 1887. Matson’s first purpose-built combination roll-on / roll-off (“ConRo”) vessel, Lurline was delivered in the fourth quarter of 2019.




Matsonia, built in 1912.

The second Kanaloa Class vessel will be the fifth Matson vessel to be named Matsonia. The first Matsonia was built for Matson by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Launched on August 16, 1912, it was in service for three years before being commandeered by the U.S. Shipping Board to serve as a Navy Transport in the Atlantic during WWI. As a passenger liner, Matsonia could accommodate 242 passengers in addition to 10,000 tons of cargo.

A Con-Ro vessel like its sister ship, the new Matsonia was christened on July 2, 2020 and was delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020.