The boat from this favorite Columbo episode ended up sinking off the coast of Thailand
The Sun Princess was scrapped pretty recently.
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"Troubled Waters" continues to rank high on favorite episode lists with Columbophiles. The fourth-season murder tale takes has a lot going for it. Columbo plays ring toss on the deck of a cruise ship… and hurls the ring into the ocean. Poupée Bocar, all big hair and red lace, croons a campy version of "Volare." It also happens to be just one of three Columbo murders that takes place outside of the United States, in international waters, specifically — the others being "A Matter of Honor" in Mexico and "Dagger of the Mind" in Great Britain. Robert Vaughn makes for a fantastic killer, surrounded by a supporting cast that includes Bernard Fox and Dean Stockwell in mustaches.
So, yeah, "Troubled Waters" is great. But don't overlook the ship. She's a star, too.
The boat had a long and fascinating history, some of which took place onscreen in Hollywood. Launched in 1972, the vessel was originally named the Spirit of London, until Princess Cruises purchased it and rechristened it the Sun Princess. Yes, that would be the same Princess Cruises that operated the Pacific Princess, the setting of The Love Boat.
In fact, the 1977 The Love Boat pilot was filmed aboard the Sun Princess, the ship seen in "Troubled Waters" two years earlier, not the Pacific Princess. That's just one of its moments in the spotlight. The cruise liner could also be seen in the Starsky & Hutch episode "Terror on the Docks," not to mention the 1980 Walt Disney sequel Herbie Goes Bananas, the fourth film in the Love Bug series.
But you can't keep a good ship down. Unless it sinks. We'll get to that.
The Sun Princess went through several ownership and name changes over the years, becoming the Southern Cross, the Flamenco and the New Flamenco.(Note: It was still the same old Flamenco.)
By 2012, the 40-year-old ship was known as the Ocean Dream. A dragon was painted on its bow, like a mid-life crisis tattoo. In 2016, the boat capsized off the coast of Laem Chabang, Thailand. It had been sitting in the waters there unused for months. Workers failed to upright the ship, so it was scrapped at seas.
Take at look at the remains of the junked ship here. At least it lives on in reruns, with "Volare" echoing in its cabins.