Rep. Gabbard Christens Matson’s Newest Ship

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the Philly Shipyard where she served as the sponsor for the christening of Matson, Inc.’s newest container ship, Kaimana Hila.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard christens ‘Kaimana Hila.’ PC: Charles Cerrone / IG @cerronephoto

Kaimana Hila and her sister ship the Daniel K. Inouye are the two largest container ships ever built in the U.S. Kaimana Hila will deliver goods between Hawaiʻi and the U.S. West Coast. It is named for Lēʻahi—one of Hawaiʻi’s most iconic geological features, popularly known as Kaimana Hila or Diamond Head. Kaimana Hila was also known to be a favorite song of Sen. Inouye.

Mattson’s newest ship ‘Kaimana Hila.’ PC: Charles Cerrone / IG @cerronephoto

“Guided by the stars, the swells, the winds, and the creatures of the sea, our Polynesian ancestors set sail from ancestral homelands, voyaging from island to island in the Pacific long before European explorers took to the sea,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Our ancestors’ mastery of navigation and voyaging shaped a view of the ocean not as a separation, but as a bridge connecting our islands. Matson continues this tradition today. As an island state, we rely on these ships to deliver many of the goods needed for our daily lives. Thank you to the many hands who built this ship, and those who will safely man her decks, carrying her and her cargo to and from our state.”

Rep. Gabbard joined Philly Shipyard CEO Steiner Nerbovik and Matson Chairman & CEO Matt Cox aboard Kaimana Hila for the christening ceremony. Also present from Hawaiʻi were Dr. Michael Chun, and Connie & Russell Lau.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard christens ‘Kaimana Hila.’ PC: Charles Cerrone / IG @cerronephoto


Matson has been serving Hawaiʻi for over 130 years, proudly sailing American-built ships with American crews. The company has invested nearly $1 billion to build four ships entering service soon, including Kaimana Hila and her sister ship the Daniel K. Inouye which are part of the Aloha Class of ships.


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