Captain Gavin MacLeod

Princess Cruises Honors Love Boat Captain Gavin MacLeod For His 30 Years as Global Ambassador | Cruise News July 7, 2016

Princess Cruises celebrated Gavin MacLeod, the beloved actor who played Captain Merrill Stubing on TVs iconic The Love Boat, for his 30 years serving as the cruise line’s global ambassador.

The City of Santa Clarita, California, home of the Princess’ headquarters, honored MacLeod by proclaiming July 6 “Gavin MacLeod Princess Cruises Ambassador Day.” A special ceremony hosted by Captain Stubing’s TV daughter Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing) was attended by hundreds of Princess employees and fans.

MacLeod has served as the cruise line’s celebrity ambassador for three decades, exclusively promoting the cruise line and sharing the joys of cruising through media interviews, public appearances, travel industry conferences, and at special onboard events aboard Princess cruise ships.

“We are so proud to honor Gavin MacLeod as our beloved global ambassador and treasure the impact he’s had on not only Princess Cruises but the entire industry over the last 30 years,” said Princess Cruises president, Jan Swartz. “In this role, Gavin has truly touched millions of people, sharing and listening to cherished cruise memories. If you’ve been lucky enough to swap stories with Gavin, shake his hand, or take a photo, you’ve been lucky enough to experience his pure passion for cruising and love of life.”

During the event, Swartz also announced that MacLeod will continue his ambassador duties for the line with an upcoming role as celebrity judge on the line’s newest onboard entertainment offering, “The Voice of the Ocean,” based on  TV’s popular singing competition complete with auditions, mentor rehearsal sessions, the iconic “I Want You” chairs, three charismatic team coaches, and a live finale performance where guests choose the winner.

From 1977 to 1986, MacLeod won the hearts of millions of viewers playing everyone’s favorite cruise ship captain on The Love Boat, as Princess served as the backdrop for what became one of the highest-rated primetime television shows in history. The show has been widely credited with introducing millions of viewers to contemporary cruise vacations sparking a dramatic expansion of the industry.

“Promoting Princess has truly been one of the highlights of my life,” said MacLeod. “People still come up to me and tell me that The Love Boat gave them something to dream about and now, all these years later, cruising is a reality for millions and the growth of the industry just proves that dreams really do come true.”

Photo credit: Princess Cruises L-R: Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta, Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan, Gavin MacLeod, Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz, and Mayor Bob Kellar at the ceremony in Santa Clarita, California

Sign up for weekly cruise news, fun contests, and exclusive offers delivered right to your inbox!

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!