Love Boat makes its final run to Turkish scrap heap

ISTANBUL Wed Aug 7, 2013 11:48am EDT

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The MS Pacific, a cruise ship made famous by its appearance in the popular U.S. 1970s television show "The Love Boat," has sailed its final voyage to a ship-breaking yard on Turkey's Aegean Sea coast, a shipping group said on Wednesday.

Called the Pacific Princess when it was on the long-running comedy, the iconic 13,500-tonne, 171-m-long (561-foot-) vessel will be stripped for its metal and parts, said Ersin Ceviker of the Ship Recyclers' Association of Turkey.

Aaron Spelling's "The Love Boat," starring Gavin MacLeod as the ship's captain, ran on the U.S. television network ABC from 1977 to 1986. The show was set on board the Pacific Princess, which mainly sailed from California to the Mexican Riveria.

Each week passengers and crew members, caught under the Pacific Princess' romantic spell, engaged in love affairs or humorous encounters during the one-hour show.

"This ship has undergone several modifications over its lifespan. It had been decommissioned for five years, and renovation now would have been too costly," Ceviker said.

Turkey's Izmir Ship Recycling Co. acquired the 42-year-old Pacific for 2.5 million euros ($3.3 million).

The vintage cruiseliner arrived from Genoa, Italy, at the breakers in the seaside town of Aliaga in Turkey late on Tuesday after a difficult trip in a violent storm, Ceviker said.

The Pacific began taking on water and required the help of additional tugboats to make it to Aliaga. It was now listing on its starboard side at Aliaga.

($1 = 0.7513 euros)

(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (4)
zombiedave wrote:
Very sad to see this once great cruiser going to the scrap yard, only last year another old timer the SS Emerald sailed her last journey to Alang in India for breaking she was the last ever cruise ship built in the USA back in 1958 her former name was the Santa Rosa, I will miss both these ships R.I.P

Aug 08, 2013 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mikegraham88 wrote:
So very sad to see this ship go. It is a shame she couldn’t become a maritime museum or be used in some other fashion. Though, romantically, that would be nice, financially. I’m sure it would be unrealistic.
Long live the Pacific Princess.

Aug 11, 2013 3:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jayinDetroit wrote:
We lost a storied Great Lakes cruise ferry in the same manner 6 years ago. The S.S. Aquarama had been a conversion from a World War II troop & armor-hauling ship, the Marine Star. Do a search on ‘scrapping S.S. Aquarama’ to see what she looked like on this very scrapping beach at Aliaga.

It costs about $1 million to tow a ship across the Atlantic in this manner. And $1 million was about all the Aquarama was worth as scrap. At least these owners got $3.3 million. They also had much more difficult towing trip.

There’s a lot of hazardous material on an old ship like the ‘Princess’, which is not a huge regulatory issue in Turkey, India or China. Waste oil, asbestos, and lead paint are just 3 of the offenders that tough & expensive to deal with, scrapping on U.S. shores. Plus the scrapping labor is much, much cheaper in Turkey. Maybe this helps make sense for you of towing the Love Boat all the way to Turkey.

And yes, it IS sad to see so many millions of memories reduced to scrap for nearby Turkish steel mills. Farewell and thanks for all those memories and those breathtaking opening aerial scenes, Pacific Princess….

Aug 13, 2013 1:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.