On December 3, 2015, Princess Cruises celebrated the 50th anniversary of their maiden sailing in 1965. Since Princess’ first sailing aboard Princess Patricia, the cruise line has grown significantly, sailing with a fleet of 18 world class ships and providing cruise vacations to nearly 1.7 million travelers each year.
The 50th anniversary festivities took place aboard Princess’ famously named Pacific Princess, complete with the entire cast of the still popular TV hit, The Love Boat. Leading the celebration was Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director, Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain’s daughter). Airing between 1977 to 1986, The Love Boat introduced the world to the cruise vacation experience and pushed Princess to the forefront of the industry.
“People always ask us why ‘The Love Boat’ was so popular and I always say it’s because it gave people something to dream about,” said Gavin MacLeod. “They could dream about being out on the open seas on a cruise and discovering the world’s greatest destinations, dreaming about love and of course happy endings since the shows always ended on a high note. I’m proud to have played a role in the growth of the cruise industry – to see where these ships have come from the days we filmed aboard the original Pacific Princess to now experiencing the 18 magnificent ships in the fleet.”
The celebrations continued when the Pacific Princess set sail on a Mexican Riviera sailing from the Port of Los Angeles, sailing Princess Patricia’s original itinerary from 50 years ago. Taking the celebration of Princess’ 50 year milestone to the next level, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita officially declared December 3 as Princess Cruises Day, marking the achievements and success the cruise line has brought to the city and region.
“We’ve had so much to celebrate this year – from our first-ever float in the iconic Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, to our exciting new partnerships with Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz, award-winning chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone and the introduction of our Discovery at Sea program,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Today, it’s fitting that ‘The Love Boat’ cast is here with us to celebrate our 50th anniversary since they played a key role in the success of our company. We celebrate our successes over the last 50 years and I know our future is bright as we chart a course for the next 50 years.”