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The final cruise for the Love Boat

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Several news outlets are reporting that, according to an Italian newspaper, the former Love Boat has been sold for scrap.

The 41-year-old ship, the former Pacific Princess, was the setting for the ABC megahit "The Love Boat, where "love, exciting and new" was the subject, and subtext, for the weekly show, which ran for nearly 10 years.

It's difficult to minimize the impact the show had on the cruise industry. It helped popularize cruising as a vacation and was a particular boon to Princess Cruises, which over the years has hosted events starring the "Love Boat" crew -- Gavin MacLeod, the captain of the Love Boat, celebrated his 80th birthday onboard the Golden Princess last year.

Princess hasn't owned the Pacific Princess in more than 10 years, however. The ship was sold to Liberty Maritime International in 2001 and briefly chartered back to Princess; it operated its last cruise for the line in October 2002. (The line christened another ship in the 600-passenger range, a former R-class vessel, the Pacific Princess.)

It wasn't clear from reports who owned the ship before it was sold to Cemsan, a Turkish demolition company, for around $3.3 million. Reports said it had been tied up in a Genoa shipyard and that its current owners had failed to pay a local company about $7.8 million for asbestos removal and refurbishment.


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