Motor Vessel Kalakala was a ferry that operated on Puget Sound from 1935 until her retirement in 1967. She is 276 ft long, 55 ft 8 in beam and 1,475 tons displacement. MV Kalakala was powered by Busch-Sulzer direct drive diesel engine 3,000 hp with 10 cylinder engine and she can cruise at 17.5 knots.
MV Kalakala was notable for her unique streamlined superstructure, art deco styling, and luxurious amenities. The vessel was a popular attraction for locals and tourists and was voted second only to the Space Needle in popularity among visitors to Seattle during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The ship is known as the world’s first streamlined vessel for her unique art deco styling.
She was constructed for the Key System‘s ferry service on San Francisco Bay between Oakland and San Francisco and named Peralta in honor of one of the area’s early Spanish founding families. Launched in April 1926 she was of double ended design and was powered by a steam-turbo-electric power plant.
On 6 May 1933, a fire started at the Oakland ferry terminal and spread to the Peralta. The superstructure collapsed due to the intense heat. October 1933, president of the Puget Sound Navigation Company, Alexander Peabody made an offer and the vessel was sold to the PSNC to restore as a ferry.
After two years she was rebuilt and Kalakala entered service on July 4, 1935, instantly becoming an icon. She became the second most photographed object in the world. In addition to ferry service, she was used for “moonlight cruises” with a live dance orchestra. On January 22, the Kalakala was towed to a Tacoma dry dock for scrapping. In February scrapping was completed with only a few pieces such as windows, pilot house, and the rudder saved and sold as souvenirs.