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Princess Cruises: Remembering Gavin MacLeod, “The Love Boat” Captain

Gavin MacLeod, Princess Cruises global ambassador and much-loved TV veteran, known for his starring role in “The Love Boat”, passed away on Saturday at the age of 90.

Gavin MacLeod, Princess Cruises global ambassador and much-loved TV veteran, known for his starring role in “The Love Boat”, passed away on Saturday at the age of 90.

On Saturday 29 May 2021, TV veteran Gavin MacLeod sadly passed away.

“It is with sadness felt to the depth of the oceans that we mourn the passing of actor Gavin
MacLeod our beloved global ambassador, dearest friend, and treasured member of the Princess Cruises family for more than 35 years,”
Princess Cruises wrote in a statement released over the weekend.

From his 10 seasons staring as Captain Merrill Stubing on the hit TV show “The Love Boat” (1977 to 1986) and for more than three decades following the show’s final season, Gavin enthusiastically shared his passion for the joys and adventures of exploring the world while cruising.

Princess Cruises said he always reminded us that – like the popular TV series, “cruising gives people something to dream about.”

In our thoughts

Gavin MacLeod
Gavin MacLeod

Gavin, who celebrated his 90th birthday in February, officially became Princess Cruises’ global ambassador in 1986, appearing in a vast array of advertising campaigns and countless public and media appearances for the company. His role for Princess continued until his passing.

“All of us at Princess Cruises and our loyal guests around the world whom, to this day, remain avid fans of Gavin’s, send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Patricia (Patti) and his entire family who have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather. We offer our sincerest gratitude to them for sharing Gavin with all of us for so many years,” Princess shared.

Gavin MacLeod was perhaps best known for his role as Captain Merrill Stubing in the popular television series, “The Love Boat.”  One of the longest-running television shows in history, “The Love Boat” cruised through 10 seasons from 1977 to 1986 followed by four, three-hour-long TV specials, and is still in syndication in 92 countries worldwide.

Gavin MacLeod
Princess Cruises celebrating Gavin MacLeod on his 80th Birthday with a Pacific Princess cruise ship cake.

In 1986, MacLeod accepted an invitation to formally join the Princess Cruises family to serve as the cruise lines’ ambassador and spokesperson. Throughout his 35-year partnership with the cruise line, MacLeod conveyed his passion for cruising by making appearances at numerous special events, travel agent trade shows and onboard Princess cruise ships signing autographs, sharing stories and giving countless embraces with fans from around the world.

He was a trusted and familiar face in marketing and advertising campaigns, conducted thousands of media interviews and helped to launch nearly every new Princess ship that joined the fleet. One of his greatest joys in the second half of his illustrious career was traveling the world extolling his passion for cruising and Princess Cruises, his ocean-going co-star.

We will always remember the joy he brought to the world.