BREVARD HISTORY: Ship That Inspired ‘The Love Boat’ Made a Call On Port Canaveral 40 Years Ago
By Space Coast Daily // May 17, 2019
vessel was scrapped after a major fire in 1994
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise ports in the world with more than 4.5 million cruise passengers passing through during 2018.
Way before becoming a major cruise port, the ocean liner Carla C paid Port Canaveral a visit in September 1979.
The 20,469-gross ton vessel was a 599.7 feet long with a beam of 80.3 feet and originally launched as a French ocean liner named SS Flandre in 1952, sailing for the French Line.
By comparison, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, is a 180,000-gross-ton, 1,130-foot-long vessel with a 6,500-passenger capacity and is slated to homeport at Port Canaveral in 2020.
Costa bought the former SS Flandre in the late 1960s, renaming it the Carla C.
A group of producers reportedly originated the idea of the popular television series “The Love Boat” and wrote the first scripts while aboard the Carla C.
It was then renamed the Carla Costa and sailed to various Caribbean itineraries.
In 1992, Costa sold the ship to the now-defunct Epirotiki Line, which renamed her Pallas Athena. The vessel was scrapped after a major fire on March 23, 1994.
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