Fans of bad TV from the 70’s and 80’s are shedding a tear today on news that one of the world’s most famous ships, the M/V Pacific, has been sold to a ship breaker for scrap. Never heard of the ship? That’s because she is more more famous as the Pacific Princess, the official cruise ship for the television show The Love Boat.
The show aired on ABC’s popular saturday night lineup from 1977 till 1986 and was usually set aboard a cruise liner called the Pacific Princess. Other ships used for filming where the sister ship Island Princess as well as the Stella Solaris, Pearl of Scandinavia, the Royal Viking Sky and the Royal Princess and Sun Princess.
The ship began operation in 1971 with Flagship Cruises, under the name Sea Venture. During this period the vessel came to the rescue of the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, after the QE2 had major engine trouble. In April 1975 she was sold to P&O’s newly acquired Princess Cruises along with sister ship Island Venture. The pair were renamed Pacific Princess and Island Princess, the latter now operating as the Discovery.
But the sailing hasn’t been all smooth for the historic vessel. In 1998 the Pacific Princess was impounded by police in Piraeus, Greece after 25 kg of heroin was found on board, smuggled by two members of her crew. According to police sources quoted in the BBC report at the time, there was evidence the ship had become a major tool for drug smugglers in the Mediterranean.
Maritime Matters reports that the 20186 gt, 600 passenger M/V Pacific (ex Sea Venture and Pacific Princess) was sold last week for 2.5 million Euros to the Turkish company “Cemsan”, which specializes in ship breaking. The ship, built in 1971 and last owned and operated by V Ships Leisure, has been idle at Genoa’s San Giorgio del Porto shipyard since being seized by the Italian Coast Guard in 2009 and is currently non-operable as she waits for a final tow to the scrap yard.