Even if you have never watched The Love Boat you know the show takes place on a ship. The iconic vessel is displayed prominently in the opening credits, serving as a backdrop to the frenzy of guest stars that appeared on the program each week.
Certainly, the vessel featured on The Love Boat was a real ship. But what is its backstory? And where is it today?
The first ship was built in 1971 for Flagship Cruises for about $25 million and named Sea Venture. For the first four years in service, the ship went back and forth between the United States and Bermuda. It was named after the original Sea Venture, which sunk in 1609. Its survivors were the first people to settle the island.
In 1975, Princess Cruises took over the ship and named it Pacific Princess. The next year, the company allowed camera crews to film it for the upcoming television movie, which eventually turned into the series we know and love today. Although a few ships were featured on the Love Boat, the Pacific Princess became to represent the popular show.
Since the 1970s, the ship sailed around the world for almost four decades. In the late 1990s, the BBC reported the Pacific Princess had become a hot spot for drug smugglers in the Mediterranean Sea.
By 2010, the ship had become too old and costly to renovate. When the owners couldn’t sell it, they decided to sell it for scrap in 2012 to a Turkish company for about $3 million. It was taken to Turkey the following year, where two men died of carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to dismantle parts of the ship.
Although parts of the Pacific Princess’ backstory are tragic, it’s fitting that the boat featured on The Love Boat has such an intriguing past.