Matson's second Monterey was built for the U.S. Maritime Commission by
Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows Point, Maryland.
Launched in May 1952 as the cargo carrier Free State Mariner, she was
completed and delivered by the end of that year.
In 1955, the ship was sold to Matson and rebuilt as a passenger ship by
Willamette Iron & Steel of Portland, Oregon. Renamed Monterey, she
entered Matson service on 8 January 1958, with a trip from San Francisco
to Sydney, with stops at Honolulu and Auckland.
In 1971, Monterey was sold to Pacific Far East Line, Inc., which used
her for Pacific Ocean cruises. Laid up in 1978, Monterey passed through
numerous owners over the next ten years before returning to service for
Aloha Pacific Cruises in 1988. She then changed hands several more
times in 1989 and 1990, before ending up with Mediterranean Shipping
Co., for whom she is still in service, 49 years after her launch.
Sources: Kludas' Great Passenger Ships of the World Today; Mediterranean
Shipping Company Web Site (http://www.mscgeneva.com/).