The cast of the "Love Boat" will christen the next Princess Cruises ship. ©Princess Cruises

The cast of the “Love Boat” will christen the next Princess Cruises ship.
©Princess Cruises

(Relaxnews) – To help fete Princess Cruises’ 50th anniversary next year, the company has tapped the cast of the iconic 1980s TV series “Love Boat” to serve as its global ambassadors.

It was the show that popularized the notion of cruising with its weekly plots of romantic escapades and amusing little adventures and misadventures aboard a luxury liner, represented by Princess Cruises.

Nearly 40 years after the airing of the first episode, and on the company’s golden anniversary next year, the brand has named all six cast members of the “Love Boat” to serve as godparents for its newest ship, the Regal Princess.

That includes 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).

The cast will reunite November 5 in Fort Lauderdale to christen the new ship.

“We can think of no more suitable godparents for our newest ship than the cast of the show that put Princess Cruises on the map,” said Jan Swartz, the line’s president, in a statement.

“The show has been such a visible part of our company’s history, it made sense to kick off our anniversary celebrations with this special tribute.”

The first episode to launch the series was shot in 1977 aboard the Sun Princess. Over its 10-year run, the cast and crew made the Pacific Princess and Island Princess their primary base.

The Regal Princess, which can accommodate 3,560 guests, entered service this spring and will set sail from Fort Lauderdale this fall to make her maiden Caribbean voyage.

Special features include a SeaWalk designed to take guests over-water; the largest pastry shop at sea; and a top-deck, glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet (9 meters) beyond the edge of the ship.