The 'Love Boat' heads for the scrap heap

The ship that served as the setting for the long-running TV show -- and inspired millions of viewers to take a cruise -- will sail no more.

By Aimee Picchi Aug 8, 2013 1:51PM

'The Love Boat' from the TV series 1977-1986 (© EVERETT COLLECTION/Rex Features)Boomers and Gen Xers, another part of your pop culture history is about to land on the scrap heap.

The MS Pacific, known as the Pacific Princess when it appeared on the long-running hit TV show "The Love Boat," has made its last voyage. Its destination: a ship-breaking yard on Turkey's Aegean Sea coast, Reuters reports. 

The TV show, created by Aaron Spelling and starring Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing, aired from 1977 to 1986 and usually featured plots about its passengers' romantic entanglements. Its cheesiness was only enhanced by its rolling list of guest stars, including Morgan Fairchild, John Ritter and Eva Gabor.

The ship's owner decided that renovating it would be too costly. 

"This ship has undergone several modifications over its lifespan. It had been decommissioned for five years, and renovation now would have been too costly," Ersin Ceviker of the Ship Recyclers' Association of Turkey told Reuters.

The ship arrived in the Turkish town of Aliaga on Tuesday after what Ceviker said was a difficult trip through a violent storm. It started taking on water and made it to Aliago only with the help of tugboats, Reuters reports.

Built in 1971, the ship and the TV show are credited with helping boost interest in cruises. In 2011, more than 16 million people booked cruises on lines such as Carnival (CCL), up from fewer than 2 million in 1980, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

The Love Boat is considered small by today's standards, as USA Today points out. It last sailed for Quail Cruises, based in Spain, but it has been sitting at a dock in Genoa, Italy, for years, the publication adds. 

While "The Love Boat" may live on in YouTube clips and aging Gen X memories, the days of the Pacific Princess setting "a course for adventure" are long gone.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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Aug 8, 2013 3:52PM

Ah this brings back groovy memories of the late-70s. Oh yeah, baby.  I guess that since the Love Boat is going to be scrapped, I should probably also get rid of my ****-and-crotch-hugging mid-thigh deck shorts, and knee-high white pull-up socks.

Aug 8, 2013 3:17PM
Cruising is a lot of fun...been on about 30 cruises & love it.  The Love Boat injected the cruise industry with many travelers  taking to the seas. RIP in the big sea in the clouds.
Aug 8, 2013 3:41PM

My wife and I took  4, 30 day cruises and 1, 15 day cruise on the Pacific Princess, LA to Sidney, Australia, Buenos Aries to San Juan PR, Hong Kong to Bombay, Venice to Bangkok, Thailand and Istanbul to Cape town, South Africa.

The ship was our favorite even though she was small and old. Cruise lines started building the huge floating hotels to accommodate 2,000 to 5,000 passengers for the efficiency of size.  The loss of intimacies one had on the smaller ships was missed and  I think that the Renaissance ships were built  to offer the personal service and intimacy of the Pacific Princess and her sister ship the Island Princess.  Princess Cruise Line ended up buying 3 of the 8 Renaissance ships when that line went bankrupt and the first was named Pacific Princess.  We sailed on that one also on two trips, one from Miami down to Rio De Janerio  and the second from Honolulu to Beijing.  Unfortunately the new Pacific Princess did not have the same feeling of friendliness as the old one.

Aug 8, 2013 6:27PM

It's another sign of the times to view the Pacific Princess as "small" in size. While significantly smaller than large ships of its era, at just under 600 feet (QE2 is nearly 1,000 feet), "LB" was not regarded as a small ship by any means. A cruise ship in basically the "classic" design, it is a member a generation of larger cruise liner ships that still resembled maritime vessels. Today's ships look like a first-year design student's effort to see how many stories can be stacked above the deck, before the ship lists to its side! 

Aug 8, 2013 5:14PM
Aug 8, 2013 5:03PM
Aug 8, 2013 7:34PM

As cheesy as the show was, it brings back fond memories.  Rip Pacific Princess, Merrill Stubing, Dr. Bricker, Gofer, Isaac, Juile and the numerous has-been guest stars who entertained me during the late 70's as I was getting ready to go out on a Saturday night.


Exciting and new...

Come aboard...

We're expecting you....

Aug 8, 2013 5:35PM
not the Love Boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 8, 2013 5:36PM
Another Cultural Icon gone to the scarap heap, instead of being preserved..........just like the old SS CATALINA.  Glad I have a model of her!  Always brings back the memories.
Aug 9, 2013 11:34AM
A classic ship and one  the last well designed cruise vessels built. :(
Aug 8, 2013 5:44PM

I thought I read a while back that someone was going to make a floating condo like place

 out of this ship.guess it was just someones thought of doing it.

Aug 8, 2013 5:51PM
Maybe you can do what the Coast gaurd did and sell it the the Philipeano Navy.
Aug 8, 2013 5:47PM

How about turning it to one of those gambeling ships that go to inter national waters.

You could get rid of half the rooms and make it a full service casino.

Aug 8, 2013 4:56PM
I *hated* that show. They should use that tub for U-boat practice.
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