Southern Harmony


Sounds on the Seas

By Debra Pamplin. Photography courtesy of StarVista

Cruising has always been a popular vacation choice, and while taking life easy and breathing in the gentle breezes off the water might not seem to leave much for improvement, the fine folks at StarVista Live have found a way.
By creating several music-themed cruises throughout the year, fans of many music genres can enjoy meeting their music icons, while cruising their favorite destinations.
Some of these speciality cruises have been around for over 15 years, while some are having their debut cruise later this year. Here is a look at the seven very different cruises, with all but one departing from Florida’s port of call.

Abbey Road on the River
Gearing up for its 16th year, the Abbey Road on the River will cast off from the banks of the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Ind. Since 2002, about 25,000 music fans from around the world have been attending the annual Abbey Road on the River.
This cruise allows attendees to enjoy 250 Beatles and 1960s-themed concerts throughout the five day cruise. Some of the biggest band names from the 60s will be on the ship as well. Join Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Peter Asher, The Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay, Ambrosia, The Family Stone along with the very best Beatles tribute bands from England, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Holland, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, and The USA. This year’s cruise will celebrate another Beatles milestone: the 50th anniversaries of Sgt. Pepper and The Summer Of Love with concerts. films, and speakers.

Southern Rock Cruise
Kicking off its first voyage out of Tampa, this cruise will include live performances from the greatest rock bands, beautiful ports of call and non-stop entertainment and music. Teamed up with extra on board events, such as a special Q&A session and panel discussions, bourbon tastings with the musical stars, poker tournaments and game shows that combine artists and guests. Of course, the best part of the trip just might be seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd in a special Jamaica concert.
Other scheduled artists include 38 Special, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Wet Willie, Louisiana’s LeRoux, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Live At The Fillmore: A Tribute to the Allman Brothers.

70s Rock & Romance Cruise
This cruise just made its debut this past month, and features a strong lineup from the 70s rock ‘who’s who’ list. Peter Frampton, America, Little River Band, The Orchestra starring former members of ELO, Christopher Cross, Ambrosia, Orleans, Stephen Bishop, Firefall, Player, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night. Wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, along with karaoke, dancing under the stars, pool parties and trivia contests were just a few of the events hosted throughout the cruise. As with the other cruises, there will be a Q&A session and panel discussions, and plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with your favorite hit maker from the 70s.

Flower Power Cruise
This cruise is all about the love, long hair, bell bottoms and peace signs any ‘hippie’ can enjoy! Specific to this cruise is a huge blast from past, complete with a Psychedelic 60s dance party, ‘super groovy’ costume party, a bell bottom blast and celebrity-led activities. A few of the artists from this era that have participated in the past two cruises include Peter Asher, Blood Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice, The Buckinghams, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Micky Dolenz – The Monkees Lead Singer, The Grass Roots, The Guess Who, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Jefferson Starship, Mark Lindsay former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, The Family Stone and more!

Soul Train Cruise
This seven day cruise to exotic locations is heavily grounded with artist interactions. Fans on this cruise can relive moments while making their own memories and dancing down the Soul Train Line, alongside original Soul Train Dancers each night. Other unique experiences include cooking with artists and celebs, nightly performances, and cocktail receptions.
A few of the super stars that have sailed on the Soul Train cruise include Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind & Fire, The O’Jays, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, The Isley Brothers, Charlie Wilson, Kool & The Gang, Frankie Beverly & Maze and Roberta Flack!

Country Music Cruise
This Caribbean cruise seems to sell out pretty quickly, as it brings passengers face to face with some of country’s biggest stars. From cocktail parties, wine tastings, cooking exhibitions and autograph sessions, fans can interact with their favorite artists throughout various scheduled activities and impromptu run-ins. With over 50 live performances throughout the cruise, along with jam sessions, there will be daily opportunities for fans to interact with several stars. Bumping into them at meals, the spa or casino is just as likely.
The 2018 Country Music Cruise will bring back the Grand Ole Opry, headlining performances mixed in with an evening of stories and songs celebrating Nashville’s most acclaimed theatre. Past artists that have joined in the cruise include Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Randy Owen- lead singer of Alabama, Martina McBride, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mel Tillis, Patty Loveless, The Gatlin Brothers, Lorrie Morgan and John Anderson.

Malt Shop Memories Cruise
Rock ‘n’ Roll legends, exotic ports of call and non-stop entertainment await this shout-out to the late 50s and early 60s. Dig out those poodle skirts, leather jackets and saddle shoes and dance the night away at the sock hops. Pack formal attire for the Senior Prom, and relive the memories of being young and in love. In addition to the autograph sessions, live performances and game shows, there will be a special rock ‘n’ roll vow renewal ceremony.
Artists that have joined fans on this cruise over past years include the Beach Boys, Dion, Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Temptations, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Ronnie Spector and the Four Tops.

Read More in DeSoto Magazine online.