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The Last Voyage of the Love Boat: A Cruise Icon Retires

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You might not remember the name the Pacific Princess, but the “Love Boat” probably rings a bell. The successful television show aired for nine years, but the cruise ship that viewers saw every week has a 42-year history.

The “Love Boat” launched a new era of cruise travel.  When the show first aired back in 1976, only 600,000 Americans and Canadians took cruise; by 1985, it was 1.7 million. CLIA now anticipates 17.6 million North American cruisers for 2013.

As the Pacific Princess, she carried 646 passengers, and later, she sailed as the MS Pacific with a capacity of 780 passengers. The ship sat in Genoa  when she failed a safety inspection in 2008.  It was deemed too expensive to fix her, and there were no buyers at auction. Ultimately, she was purchased by a Turkish scrapyard where she made her final voyage this week to be stripped for metal and parts.

In a final farewell to the ship and the show, follow along as Peter charts the long legacy of the Pacific Princess and the “Love Boat.”

For some cruises setting sail right now, check out: