The Original Love Boat is Headed for the Scrap Yard

Say it isn't so?! The original "Love Boat," the original Pacific Princess which left the Princess Cruises fleet in 2002, is headed for the scrap yard.

Built in 1971 for Flagship Cruises, the 19,903-ton ship first sailed as Sea Venture before becoming the Pacific Princess. It operated in the Princess fleet from 1975 to 2002.

A much newer Pacific Princess, which joined the fleet in 2002, now sails for Princess Cruises.

However, the pending demise of one of the world's most famous ships is likely a sad occurrence for millions of Americans who watched the 600-passenger ship weekly on the Love Boat television series, which ran from 1977 to 1986 on the ABC network.

For many viewers, it was their first exposure to the world of cruising. Today's boomers grew up watching the tales of Captain Stubing, Cruise Director Julie, Purser Gopher, Bartender Isaac and the rest of the Love Boat gang.

Actor Fred Grandy, who played Gopher, subsequently served in U.S. Congress. Captain Stubing (aka actor Gavin MacLeod) still assists Princess at ship christenings and other functions.

Upon learning of the ship's situation, Princess Cruises wrote this on its Facebook page: "We’re saddened to learn that our original Pacific Princess has reached the end of her sailing days.Although she left our fleet in 2002, we’ll always fondly remember our star of “The Love Boat” and the huge impact this ship made on the entire cruise industry!"

After leaving the Princess fleet in 2002, the original "Love Boat" was renamed and operated by several firms including Spanish-based Quail Cruises. For more than a year, the 19,903-ton original vessel has been laid up at a Genoa, Italy dock.

It's now been sold to a Turkish demolition firm for about $3.3 million and will be broken up for scrap.

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