ISTANBUL Aug 7 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)