April 30, 2001
It's a sad day at Princess, which has officially announced that Pacific Princess, the almost-original "Love Boat" (the now-transferred Island Princess was used in the pilot but the popular hour-long television show was based on the Pacific Princess) will be leaving the fleet. The 20,000-ton ship, which launched in 1972 – Princess' oldest – and carries 640 passengers, will depart the fleet after its Bermuda 2002 itineraries. Oddly enough, Princess has not announced new plans for the ship (the fact that Pacific Princess was leaving the fleet came out of a comment at yesterday's London-based quarterly stockholders' meeting) but we'll keep you posted on whether she'll be sold or transferred. "A lot of people do have special memories of Pacific Princess," said spokeswoman Denise Seomin, "whether it's because of the television show or because they have sailed on her." Pacific Princess, in recent years, has been the company's path-maker, opening up newer and more exotic itineraries, such as Africa. But, Seomin says, "passenger trends are changing and we're creating more innovative ships." Flexibility to incorporate the cruise line's well publicized "personal choice" campaign isn't the only issue. In the next three years, Princess will be adding six new ships to the fleet, including the 109,000-ton Golden Princess, the Grand Princess' sister ship, which launches in May.