The American President Lines express service to the Far East was operated primarily by the two class President Cleveland and President Wilson. They were shining symbols of post war American technology, design and style. Their 1940s moderne First class public rooms and pool occupied the entire Promenade deck, while Economy class had a lounge, veranda and pool aft on the lower decks.
The twin ocean liners were particularly popular with tourists, government and military personnel and migrants enroute from Asia to the United States.
Beginning in 1962, President Cleveland and President Wilson were assisted by the all First class President Roosevelt, whose spacious layout included many single cabins and a private bath in every stateroom. All three ships were fitted with full air-conditioning and stabilizers.
The American President Lines ocean liners normally sailed from San Francisco to Honolulu (5 days), Yokohama (13 days), Hong Kong (17 days) and Manila (19 days), with the return voyage via the same ports. The round trip was 39 days, but could be slightly longer when additional ports were added in the off seasons.
Upon retirement of the combination passenger and cargo liners President Polk and President Monroe in 1965, the President Roosevelt took over the around-the-world ocean liner service. By the late 1960s, American President Lines had begun to experiment with more creative itineraries to Asia and cruising in the Pacific including Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii.
"After a few days of sun and sea air - enjoyed in a deck chair, in the swimming pool and on the deck courts - you'll find yourself without a care or tension in the world. This is the best part of life aboard a President liner - the wonderful lift you get from your days at sea. Then, almost too soon, a new incense flavors the air. The exciting sweep of a foreign land looms upon the horizon."
Sample minimum one-way fares from San Francisco to Honolulu: First class $250; Tourist class $165; from San Francisco to Manila: First class $645; Tourist class $445; Fares are per person in U.S. dollars as of spring 1969.
Go to American President Lines sailing schedules or select schedules by ship below:
Built: 1947 by Bethlehem SB, Alameda CA, USA
Built: 1948 by Bethlehem SB, Alameda CA, USA
Built: 1944 by Federal SB & DD, Kearny NJ, USA