Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

Retro Ad of the Week: Matson Lines, 1946

July 20 | Posted by: | Retro Ad of the Week, Travel

1940s cruise advertisement

Few things sound as appealing as boarding a luxury cruise ship and gliding through the sparkling open water, no speck of reality in sight. Cruises are the perfect vacation for people who want to be out on the ocean — but with no lack of lavish amenities. This 1940s cruise advertisement offered just that, and made a strong position against a new competitor in the travel game.

By the end of the 40s, Matson Line’s SS Lurline was sailing round-trip from California to Hawaii, taking about four days to travel coast to coast and then allowing passengers to stay in Hawaii for about nine days. This ad suggests lofty ambitions: there is literally no end to the path their ship takes. For those who love luxury, ocean air, travel and relaxation, this probably seems pretty ideal. More powerfully, however, Matson draws a direct comparison to air travel – which was quickly gaining popularity in the 1940s – and claims their ships offer the finest in travel, on land or sea. The addition of hand-drawn wings, the angle at which the ship is poised on a still, sky-like ocean, and jet-like propulsion from the boat’s wake all call up a comparison to the day’s airliners.

FUN FACT: Studies have confirmed that living on a cruise ship can actually be cheaper than staying in a high-end retirement home. Sounds like a pretty great way to enjoy the later years of life. (Source: Cruise Bulletin)