Concert cruises where you can mingle with rock stars

Elissa Richard
CompassAugust 12, 2013

From Kiss to Kid Rock, Matchbox Twenty to Weezer (and many more in between), chances are that one of the coming year’s concert-themed cruises will really float your boat. With several concert cruise promoters in tune with the wants of rock ‘n’ roll fans, cruise-goers can now listen to chart-topping bands while charting the seas.

Best of all, with rates as low as $500, some of these cruise getaways are priced for a song. Bookings as far out as April 2014 are available.

The Kiss Kruise III
Dates: Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2013
Rates: From $1,000/person

Sailing a four-night route (Miami to Key West to the Bahamas) aboard the Norwegian Pearl, The Kiss Kruise III comes headlined by Kiss for a fitting Halloween cruise with one of rock ‘n’ roll’s best-costumed bands. From their full-blown concerts to “un-masked” acoustic deck shows to band-hosted onboard activities and group Q&A sessions, you’ll get plenty of face time with Kiss themselves. Plus, expect quirky extras like a Kiss-themed vow renewal ceremony and theme nights (like a BYOW—bring-your-own-wig—party), all capped off by a Kiss look-a-like costume contest on Halloween night. The event is put on by concert cruise promoted Sixthman.

Dates: Nov. 1-5, 2013
Rates: From $500/person

Another Sixthman-run, Norwegian Pearl 4-nighter from Miami, the Rombello music festival at sea is slated to feature a host of live bands, including Michael Franti & Spearhead, G. Love & Special Sauce, State Radio, and more. Rockin’ onboard activities will include games like a live-music-led game of “boozical chairs” (booze-fueled musical chairs), and activities like a “silent disco,” where club-goers groove to the beat with headphones.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man Cruise
Dates: Oct. 20-24, 2013
Rates: From $700/person

Set sail from Miami this fall for a four-night sailing helmed by rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl. In between sets—including performances by Skynyrd and accompanying acts such as Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Los Lonely Boys, and more —enjoy port calls in Key West, Fla., and Great Stirrup Cay (the cruise line’s private isle), in the Bahamas.

Matchbox Twenty Cruise
Dates: Dec. 6-9, 2013
Rates: From $849/person

A three-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, from Miami, aboard the 2,056-passenger Carnival Imagination, cruise-goers on this December sailing (operated by Rose Tours) can count the rockers behind Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls among their cabin-mates. The bands, in addition to giving some great live concerts, will also mingle with guests for special Q&A sessions, photo ops, deck parties, and more.

The Weezer Cruise
Dates: Feb. 13-17, 2014
Rates: From $899/person

Cruise aboard the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fascination for a four-night festival-style sailing (chartered by Rose Tours over Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day weekend) from Jacksonville to the Bahamas (at Freeport and Nassau), and be joined by rockers like Weezer, Cat Power, Toro Y Moi, The Cribs, and more. Expect plenty of onboard concerts (plus a private beach concert), and other opportunities to mingle with the musicians with Q&A sessions, interactive game shows, artist-led events (yoga, karaoke, and more), photo ops, and more.

Concerts at Sea Rock n Roll Cruise
Dates: Jan. 18-25, 2014
Rates: From $1,199/person

This classic rock cruise (run by Excellence in Travel) sails aboard the 3,080-passenger Caribbean Princess, with 2014 headliners set to include Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Cowsills, BJ Thomas, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and Charlie Thomas’ Drifters. Concerts will be paired with meet-and-greets, Q&A and autograph sessions, hosted cocktail parties, a sock hop dance, and more. The seven-night Caribbean sailing embarks from Houston, with stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Roatán, Honduras.

The Rock Boat XIV
Dates: Feb. 22-26, 2014
Rates: From $650/person

Running Sixthman’s Norwegian Pearl regular four-night route from Miami, this year’s rendition of “The Rock Boat”—dubbed a “summer camp for adults”—will feature performers like Sister Hazel, Collective Soul, Alternate Routes, Bronze Radio Return, and more. Gearing up to deliver non-stop music at sea, plus a private beach party with even more live tunes ashore, cruise-goers are guaranteed maximized music for their money.

The Monsters of Rock Cruise
Dates: March 29-April 2, 2014
Rates: From $1,099/person

Sail aboard the 3,502-passenger MSC Divina from Miami to the Bahamas for four nights of hard rock on the high seas, brought to you by On the Blue. Headliners include a bevy of hard rock and heavy metal bands from the ‘80s and beyond, including Tesla, Ratt, Cinderella, Slaughter, and many more. Stop off for port calls in Nassau, as well as “Monster Island,” a private Bahamian island getting a “monsters of rock” makeover just for the occasion, plus expect plenty of action onboard, anchored on what’s being billed as the world’s largest cruise ship pool stage.

Kid Rock’s 5th Annual Chillin’ the Most Cruise
Dates: March 3-7, 2014
Rates: Sold out; waiting list only

Also on Sixthman’s Norwegian Pearl circuit from Miami to Key West and Great Stirrup Cay, this March marks the fifth annual Kid Rock concert at sea. In addition to rockin’ onboard concerts, the private island will be transformed into a “Redneck Paradise” just for the occasion, complete with a beer-and-bikinis-fueled beach party. Kid Rock’s personally vetted lineup is soon to be announced.

Cruise to the Edge
Dates: April 7-12, 2014
Rates: TBA

Also aboard the MSC Divina, this five-night sailing takes off from Miami, stopping at Roatán, Honduras, and Cozumel, Mexico. Details and pricing from promoter On the Blue are still pending, but the lineup of veteran rockers has been announced, with acts like Yes, Steve Hackett, Queensryche, and more on the roster.