All Aboard For The Jazz Cruise

The annual cruise begins its Caribbean voyage early next year and already has a stellar lineup guaranteed to delight your inner jazzman.

Entertainment Cruise Productions likes to call its cruise “The Greatest Jazz Festival At Sea.” While that might seem a tad over the top, once you see the lineup you’ll agree that Jazz Cruise is indeed special.

Set for Jan. 29-Feb. 5 and departing from Fort Lauderdale with ports of call including Aruba, Curacao and the private Bahamas island Half Moon Cay, newbie performers for the 11th annual Jazz Cruise will be John Pizzarelli, Carmen Bradford, Kurt Elling, Kirk Whalum, Scott Hamilton, Joe LaBarbera, Heath Brothers and Benny Golson.

The list of performers that are Jazz Cruise veterans is even longer and includes Randy Brecker, Renee Rosnes, Houston Person, The Clayton Brothers, Freddy Cole, Jeff Hamilton, Jay Leonhart, Ken Peplowski, Shelly Berg, Tom Kennedy, Ernie Adams, Wycliffe Gordon and more. In fact, this list is sooooo long, it’s amazing that the Entertainment Cruise people found a ship big enough for the musicians and their fans.

But Holland America Line’s MS Westerdam should be up to the task, having sailed the Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean, the Norwegian fjords and the British Isles.

“Every year, we aim to make The Jazz Cruise lineup reflect the most active and proficient musicians who perform standards-based, straight ahead jazz,” Entertainment Cruise Productions executive director Michael Lazaroff said. “The lineup for The Jazz Cruise 2012 may very well be our very best effort towards achieving that goal.”

Of course, The Jazz Cruise features nightly headline concerts starring unique artist pairings as well smaller, more intimate lounge shows, jam sessions and those spontaneous performances that bring people back year after year.

Reservations for the 2012 Jazz Cruise are now being accepted. But you better hurry because the cruise has already filled 60 percent of its capacity. Visit for more information.