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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.
After retiring from passenger service in 1967, the ship was beached in Kodiak, Alaska, and converted to a shrimp cannery. In 1998, the ship was refloated and towed to Puget Sound with the owner hoping to restore the ship. During this time, the ship continued to deteriorate, with the Coast Guard declaring the ship a hazard to navigation in 2011. Unable to raise the funds required for restoration, the ship was scrapped in 2015.