Ahoy, Matey!

Your local concert scene getting you down?  Does the club across town book the same five bands week after week?  Does every major act playing your city’s arena seem to be your kid sister’s flavor of the week? Or your father’s?  Maybe you need to go on a music cruise.

For many, spending three, four or even seven days soaking up the sun, fun and concerts aboard a music cruise is the ultimate vacation. After all, for the real music lover, what could be better than a floating 24/7 party filled with live performances, impromptu jam sessions and chances to meet favrorite your artists? KISS, Weezer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock and Zac Brown Band are just a few of the acts that have shipped out with a boatload of fans. And, from all accounts, artists and fans often come back for more.

Billed as the “first ever bluegrass festival at sea,” the “Mountain Song At Sea” cruise steams out of Miami for the Bahamas Feb. 1, 2013. Created via a partnership between Mountain Song Productions, Steep Canyon Rangers and music cruise outfit Sixthman, the cruise features the Rangers along with The David Grisman Sextet, Del McCoury Band, Tim O’Brien & Bryan Sutton, The Kruger Brothers, Peter Rowan, Larry Keel And Natural Bridge, The Travelin’ McCourys, Shannon Whitworth, Della Mae, Town Mountain and more.

With a routing that takes the good ship Norwegian Sky to privately owned island Great Stirrup Cay and back, passengers can expect Q&A sessions with the artists, intimate performances shipboard activities and pretty much everything you’d expect on a cruise plus music.

“Mountain Song At Sea” fares start at $495 per person for double occupancy, plus government taxes and fees. Although tickets won’t be available until May, you can sign up now for exclusive pre-sale booking. Visit MountainSongAtSea.com for more information.

Photo: Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com
Orlando Calling, Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

Some of soul music’s finest performers will travel the high seas in early 2013. Scheduled for February, the first-ever Soul Train Cruise will feature performances by Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Kool & The Gang, Jeffrey Osborne, WAR, The Spinners, Jody Watley, George Duke, Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes and others on a seven day adventure.

Leaving Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, the itinerary includes stops at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay before returning Feb. 24. Early reservation cabin rates start at $1,800 per person and include all meals, concerts, entertainment and onboard activities.

The Soul Train Cruise is presented by 24-hour music channel CENTRIC, home of the Soul Train Awards, Direct Holdings America which presented the Malt Shop Memories Cruise and Entertainment Cruise Productions, the folks who brought you The Jazz Cruise as well as The Smooth Jazz Cruise. Visit SoulTrainCruise.com for everything you need to know.

Photo: AP Photo
BET Honors, Warner Theatre, Washington, DC

Classic rock will be the game plan when the Rock Legends Cruise II departs Fort Lauderdale Jan. 10 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty Of The Seas for Labadee, Haiti, returning Jan. 14. Featuring three performance venues and promising more than 50 sets of music jammed into four days at sea, the Rock Legends Cruise II has signed up Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Bachman And Turner, 38 Special, The Marshall Tucker Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Molly Hatchet, Kentucky Headhunters, Pat Travers and more.

Along with all that music you can play shuffleboard, enjoy on-board surfing and other shipboard activities such as volleyball, basketball and more.

There’s also a charity angle involved with monies raised going to the Native American Heritage Association. Rates start at $649 per person for a four-person cabin, $999 per person for a two person cabin. For more information, visit RockLegendsCruise.com.

Photo: Dave Needle
Pacific Amphitheater, Costa Mesa, Calif.

For more information about music cruises, click here for Pollstar’s interview with Sixthman CEO Andy Levine, and here for photogarpher John Davisson’s account of the Sailing Southern Ground Cruise.