Story last updated at 12/18/2013 - 5:08 pm
Late last month James Taylor announced on his Facebook page that he would be joining the Cunard Line on a transatlantic crossing to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Queen Mary 2 in August of 2014. Passengers on that special sailing would be able to attend not one, but two James Taylor concerts while at sea.
This is just the latest in a growing series of music cruises. No matter what kind of music you enjoy, there is sure to be an upcoming cruise to match your interests.
Cruises schedule for the winter of 2013/2014 include a Miami to Nassau trip with Matchbox Twenty in December, and a weeklong Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Pearl with country music stars Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and Wynonna scheduled for mid-January. Fans of Christian music, Heavy Metal, Alternative Rock and Classic Rock also have musical journeys to consider on the cruise ship calendar.
I'm not a huge Kid Rock fan, but his 5th Annual Chillin' the Most Cruise gets my vote as the party cruise of the year. You can sail with Kid from Miami to the private island of Great Stirrup Kay for exclusive use of "Kid Rock's Redneck Paradise" in early March and enjoy daily concerts, guest artists and tons of beer drinking fun as the Kid owns his own brewery.
One way I keep current on music cruises is through the Cruise Critic website. It's a little tricky finding the "special interest" cruises, but a few clicks of the mouse will show you a nice assortment of upcoming special sailings. Start with the website at www.cruisecritic.com, then hit "Find a Cruise," followed by "Cruise Styles" and "Theme Cruises." Once you are there, scroll down the page to find "music cruises" among the many educational and entertaining cruise opportunities.
But don't stop with that list. There are dozens of music cruises a year that may never be listed on Cruise Critic. To find out if your favorite artist is sailing this year, subscribe to their Facebook page, check their website, and Google "Music Cruise" from time to time.
Another good place to look for a roundup of upcoming music cruises is the travel section of USA Today. For next year they are listing a sold out Smooth Jazz cruise with David Sandborn and Natalie Cole, a Country Music Cruise to the Caribbean with Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Patty Lovelace, Jo Dee Messina and Ronnie Milsap among a dozen other performers and a very popular Soul Train Cruise leaving Fort Lauderdale in late February for a week in the Caribbean with the Isley Brothers, The Commodores and Roberta Flack.
One of the premier Music Cruises is Cayamo, which for the past six years has sailed from Miami to the British Virgin Islands each February with a stellar cast of the best singer/songwriters in the world. This year they will be sailing with John Prine, Brandi Carlile, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby, Buddy Miller, John Hiatt and Shawn Mullins. With only two days in port, the days at sea are filled with music from morning until night.
That cruise is on my bucket list and is one that I check each year to see who the performers are. As with all the special cruises, staterooms can sell out quickly, so don't wait to make a decision if you are interested in a music cruise. But the good news is that there are often payment options for the berths, and many of the cruises sale out of Fort Lauderdale, an Alaska Airlines city, or Miami, which is only 28 miles south.
So save up your Permanent Fund Dividend and Alaska Air Miles and start planning for a once or twice in a lifetime musical adventure at sea.