Well it had to happen. The last of the Love Boats is being put up for sale at the end of summer by her parent company, All Leisure Group. Discovery began life as Island Venture for Flagship Cruises in 1972 until being sold in 1974 to P&O Princess. As Island Princess, she became as famous as her sister, Pacific Princess, thanks to the Love Boat TV series and was sold in 1999. Since 2002 she has become a popular lady for Voyages of Discovery, and I got to cruise on her myself FINALLY in 2012, thanks to Rob O’Brien, who I knew first on Facebook. It was during this cruise, as we prepared to leave Flam, that the announcement was made she would be going to Cruise & Maritime Voyages from February 2013 in a joint partnership.
Her sister, Pacific, already hit the beach in Turkey in 2013, having been laid up in Genoa for four years after being arrested for unpaid work at the shipyard. Due to this, they managed to keep Discovery going by cannibalising parts after she developed engine troubles in 2008.
As with all the old girls, they sadly develop more problems and end up costing more to run than they’re worth so she’s not done badly for a 42 year old. She’s still younger than me! Heck, we even had an issue with no heat on our first night resulting in a blanket overnight then fan heater in a force 9 before being moved to another cabin. Par for the course and quite funny really. I would hope someone will buy her for more cruising but the reality is very slim. While there is a market in Europe and other places for the smaller, more intimate ships, smaller cruise lines are a business, not a charity taking in pretties dumped by bigger business. We should be thankful there are still these willing to invest in the ships for years after major lines stopped bothering.
Thanks for the memories. You’re certainly MY Love Boat.