If you were a fan of the 1970s sitcom, The Love Boat, you’ll be excited to learn that a reality dating series based on the show has kicked off this week.

The Real Love Boat, is loosely based on the hugely popular original series which aired from 1977 to 1987.  The new version takes place on Princess Cruises ship, Regal Princess, which was inspired by The Love Boat’s famous setting on Pacific Princess.

It’s brilliantly timed for Princess and the rest of the Australian cruise industry, which has the Majestic Princess mega liner arriving in Sydney in 13 days and is now ramping up operations thanks to the return of sailings after a two-year hiatus.

Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, UK & Europe Stuart Allison, told Cruise Passenger at the show’s launch: “It’s been a long time coming for ships to be seen back in this part of the world, so to have a show like this on TV for the next two months, just as the industry starts to bounce back, it’s perfect timing,” he said.

“I certainly think a show like this helps us to reach audiences that we maybe wouldn’t have reached in the past, so I think that’s going to be good for Princess and good for the cruise industry.”

The series is hosted by Darren McMullen – who has previously hosted The Voice and The Masked Singer – in a role that sees him responsible for guiding contestants through the murky waters of modern dating as contestants board the luxury cruise ship and sail across the Mediterranean, where they will go on dates and participate in challenges in the hopes of finding “the one”.

“My first time on a ship, and what better way to kick this off than cruising around the Mediterranean in summer,” McMullen said of the cruisy gig.

“This is one of those experiences where you really have to pinch yourself and can’t believe your luck. I feel incredibly blessed and I’m looking forward to seeing the romance blossom for our singles.”


Captain Paolo Arrigo is set to be at the helm of the Regal Princess as he guides the Cupid Crew while they sail across the picturesque waters of Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Turkey and Montenegro over 21 days.

“As the custodians of the original and beloved Love Boat TV series, it is an honour to participate in a new and contemporary rendition of the show and help our Australian guests find love like the series,” Captain Arrigo said.

“It is also a wonderful opportunity to introduce Australian viewers to cruising and show why it’s one of the most-loved holidays on offer.”

Fans of Below Deck will likely remember Hannah Ferrier, who joins the team as the ship’s cruise director, covering events, such as “themed parties, breakfasts, lunches”.

“We’re in some of the most beautiful countries in the world,” said Ferrier. “And I just think – especially after COVID – people are hungry for culture, travel, food, all those amazing things we watch travel shows for – but here combined with a reality dating show. It’s genius.”

Also onboard is bubbly Network 10 reporter Daniel ‘Doods’ Doody, who will be taking on the role of entertainment director.

For all the information about Network 10’s new reality series, check out below.

When does The Real Love Boat air?

The Real Love Boat will premiere on Wednesday, October 5 at 7:30 pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.

What will contestants win?

With only one couple making it to final port, the winning duo will receive a cash prize (How much? It’s a secret!), as well as a once-in-a-lifetime trip from the series’ exclusive line partner, Princess Cruises.

Who are the contestants?

Moana Berryman, 26, Queensland

Instagram: @miss.moana.nui

Mikaila Norman, 23, Queensland 

Instagram: @mikaila_norman

Katie Langford, 25, Queensland

Instagram: @katestagram._

Tyler Grayling, 23, New South Wales 

Instagram: @tylergrayling

Sari Thaiday, 25, Queensland

Instagram: @sarithaiday

Courtney Justin, 25, Victoria

Instagram: @cjjustiin

Sally Victoria, 31, Western Australia

Instagram: @sally_victoria_

Naomi Tibbles, 28, Queensland

Instagram: @naomitibbles

Keanu Moore, 26, New South Wales 

Instagram: @keanumoore

Joshua Hack, 28, New South Wales 

Instagram: @mrjoshuahack

Jesse Anderson, 23, Victoria

Instagram: @jesse.andersonn

Jay Bonnell, 30, New South Wales 

Instagram: @jaywbonnell

Jack, 35, New South Wales

Harley Anderson, 23, Queensland

Instagram: @harleyandersonfitness

Daniel Goodburn, 25, Queensland 

Instagram: @dangoodburn

Dalton Ford, 27, Queensland

Instagram: @dalton.ford

Chris Antos, 29, Australian Capital Territory 

Instagram: @chrisantos31

Paddy Hughes, 27, New South Wales 

Instagram: @paddyhues

Chris Antos, 29, Australian Capital Territory 

Instagram: @chrisantos31

Paul Antoine, 28, Western Australia

Instagram: @paul___antoine