Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Love Boat Gets Dry Docked

The luxury cruise liner that was the backdrop for the long-running television series The Love Boat will soon be headed to the giant scrap heap in the sea.

The 40-year-old ship, The Pacific Princess, was recently sold to a Turkish demolition company for a rather unspectacular sum of $3.3 million. The 600 passenger ship, which is dwarfed by the city-sized cruise ships built today, had remained in dry dock in Genoa, Italy, for over a year before being sold for scrap.

Constructed in 1971 for Flagship Cruises as the Sea Venture, the vessel was renamed Pacific Princess in 1975 after joining the international Princess fleet. It gained worldwide fame over the next two decades as the backdrop for ABC's hit hour-long comedy The Love Boat television series, which aired from 1977 to 1986.

Cruise directors credited the success of the show with a major boom in popularity of cruises throughout the world during the late-70s and 80s. The show starred Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing and Fred Grandy as Gopher and depicted fictional passengers and crew involved in misadventures and romances on the high seas, with big name guest star actors making cameo appearances. A new, much larger and more spectacular Pacific Princess joined the Princess fleet in 2002 and continues to sail for the line. The original Pacific Princess' name was changed to Pacific after it left the Princess fleet.

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