Coronavirus cuts short Princess Cruises' 'Love Boat' world cruise, ship heads to Los Angeles

Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — The "Love Boat," caught up in the coronavirus pandemic, is coming to the port that made it famous.

The Pacific Princess, the next generation of the cruise ship that gained fame from the popular "Love Boat" television series in the 1970s and 1980s, is sailing to Honolulu and then on to Los Angeles, Princess Cruises said Wednesday.

The ship departed Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 5, for a 111-day, around-the-world cruise. Its voyage ended prematurely March 21 in Freemantle, Australia.

The ship is carrying only 115 passengers, ones who were unable to disembark in Freemantle because of medical or other fitness issues that prevented them from flying home with the others. Princess Cruises said their conditions are not connected with COVID-19.

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The cruise had been expected to visit 42 ports in 26 countries and not end until April 26, in Fort Lauderdale. The itinerary called for passage through the Panama Canal and, after visiting Los Angeles, going on to Hawaii, French Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia. Sailing westward, it then was headed to Asian destinations including Bali, Indonesia; Singapore; and Phuket, Thailand.

No. 3: Around the World Cruise. Guests aboard the 2020 Around the World Cruise with Princess Cruises get to explore five continents, 26 countries and 42 destinations on a 34,287-nautical mile journey aboard the Pacific Princess. Travelers can opt for the full 111-day experience, or come on for shorter segments.

From there, the Pacific Princess had been slated to visit Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Seychelles. It would then round Africa and sail directly to Brazil before working its way back to Florida. Fares started at $22,999.

The voyage ended abruptly with a U-turn after the visit to Australia.

Pacific Princess made a stop in Melbourne and is headed to Honolulu, Hawaii, where it is due to arrive next week. After that stop, it will steam to Los Angeles, a journey expected to take 21 days in total, the cruise line said. The original Pacific Princess was seen every week on the TV show at its berth in the Port of Los Angeles.

As of Sunday, Pacific Princess was the last of Princess Cruises' 18 cruise ships still underway and in operation. The rest are scattered at ports around the world and are no longer going to sea with passengers.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: 'Love Boat' cuts world cruise short, headed to Los Angeles