One of the most famous cruise ships of the modern era, the former Pacific Princess, is heading to the scrapyard, according to Italy’s La Repubblica.

The news outlet says the 40-year-old vessel, recognizable to millions of Americans as the “Love Boat” of 1970s television, has been sold to a Turkish demolition company for just over 2.5 million euro — about $3.3 million at current exchange rates.

The 19,903-ton, 600-passenger ship, tiny by today’s standards, has been languishing at a dock in Genoa, Italy for more than a year. The vessel last sailed for Spanish-based Quail Cruises after changing hands a couple times since sailing for Princess Cruises from 1975 until 2002.

Built in 1971 for Flagship Cruises as the Sea Venture, the vessel was renamed Pacific Princess in 1975 after joining the Princess fleet. It gained worldwide fame over the subsequent decade as the backdrop for ABC’s The Love Boat television series, which aired from 1977 to 1986.

Cruise industry executives often credit the top-rated show for igniting a multi-year boom in cruise bookings. Starring Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing and Fred Grandy as Gopher, the hour-long comedy depicted fictional passengers and crew involved in adventures and romances at sea.

A new 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.

Kind of a sad day for Love Boat fans. It was a fun show with a lot of great guest stars. Check out my facebook page by clicking here.

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March 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Kevin Machado, On Air | No comment

 

 

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