15 Music Cruises To Book For 2024, 2025, & Beyond

If music is your jam, it's time to think about booking a themed cruise. A funky way to spend a few days or more, music cruises allow guests to bee-bop, jive, groove, and get down to tunes from a variety of genres. Whether you're a fan of jazz, country, emo, Hip Hop, or the '80s, you're bound to find a cruise devoted to your favorite songs. And with so many fun music cruises available, it's easy to become a dancing queen on the high seas.


Celebrity artists mix with up-and-comers to entertain ship guests with live concerts and meet-and-greets. Plus, there's a chance you'll run into your favorite band at breakfast or on the pool deck in the afternoon. When you aren't rocking out to funky beats, you'll still have all the perks of cruising, like playing pickleball or volleyball, swimming, dining, taking a fitness class, checking out the casino, or disembarking to explore a new town or island. Before booking, take a peek at these five crucial things you're failing to check before booking a cruise. Spoiler alert: always read the fine print!

Not sure where to start your search? We've sifted through online reviews and researched each cruise's amenities, artists, and concert venues to find the best music cruises to book for 2024, 2025, and beyond. All you have to do is choose the one that sings to you, pack your dancing shoes (and maybe a sparkly outfit or two), and book soon — they fill up quickly.


Tips for booking a music cruise

Most music cruises book up shortly after revealing the next year's sailing dates. If you hope to score the best cabin to combat seasickness, sign up well in advance. Some companies offer priority reservations to cruising alums. If you miss a year between sailings, you'll still have priority but will be considered lower status than those who sailed on the prior cruise. That means you're second string when it comes to picking a stateroom.


Didn't make the cut on the cruise you were hoping for? Don't worry. Many cruises have a waitlist you can join to receive a notification if a room becomes available. Other cruises, like those run by Sixthman, have a First Available Program that allows you to check their website weekly (usually on a Friday) to see if a room becomes available. You may just need a bit of patience and persistence.

Headbangers Boat Cruise

Hoping to rock out with the best of them but also looking for a little R & R? Book a Headbangers Boat Cruise. When you aren't moshing with your fellow cruisers, take a load off at the onboard spa, lounge by the pool, or dig your feet in the sand when you disembark in the Dominican Republic's beautiful Puerto Plata. Then, get ready to jam to a concert on the pool deck or at one of the ship's other performance venues. Other activities include a Q&A with metal titans Lamb of God, a poker tournament, a drum-off, and a DJ set by Lamb of God drummer Art Cruz.


A popular voyage for metalheads, the second annual cruise is already sold out for 2024, but you can join the waiting list if you're itching to go. Or, hold out for 2025 and keep checking their site to see when booking begins. 

Dates: October 28 – November 1, 2024

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Artists: Lamb of God, Poison the Well, Exodus, Soulfly, Chimaira, At the Gates, Dethklok, Napalm Death, Corrosion of Conformity, and others.

Rock the Bells Cruise

Hip Hop Hooray! The Rock the Bells Cruise: A Hip-Hop Experience is back, and it sounds like a ton of fun! This four-day jam session is bursting with enough music to keep you dancing from morning to night. This inaugural cruise set sail in 2023, marking the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, and was such a success that it's back for more! Founded by LL Cool J, you can rest assured that the iconic performers will have you bustin' a move on every deck of the ship. MCs, DJs, and producers are on tap to get you vibing on this awesome music cruise. Don your fave kicks and get ready for a voyage packed with non-stop entertainment and two exciting Bahamian places to visit during your trip — Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau.


Like many of the journeys on this list, the Rock the Bells Cruise booked up quickly. If you have your heart set on pumping your fist to tunes on deck, check out the First Available Program. As of our publishing date, some newly available rooms were bookable on the cruise's website. Check Fridays to see if additional cabins have freed up.

Dates: November 13 – 17, 2024

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas

Artists: Past artists have included DJ Nina 9, Bun B, Lil Jon, DJ Critical Hype, Just Blaze, Pete Rock, DJ Scratch, The Finisher Mister Cee, and others.

The Country Music Cruise

Yee haw! Grab yer partner and get ready for some good ol' fun aboard StarVista LIVE's Country Music Cruise. With over 50 performances spread over seven days, there will surely be some boot-stomping fun and lots of line dancing on this rowdy cruise. Get to know the country celebrities at cooking demos, meet and greets, jam sessions, and panel discussions. The Grand Ole Opry is a big hit, with some of the biggest stars on the ship joining forces to perform. And then there are the games — Texas Hold'em, trivia, and cornhole, are just a few of the fun things to do onboard. Step off for an adventure in Key West, Cozumel, and Costa Maya for a vacation you won't forget.


Sadly, the Country Music Cruise has already filled up. Didn't make it in time? Don't fret; you can join the Cabin Waitlist. Once signed up, you'll get notified if a stateroom becomes available.

Dates: January 19 – 26, 2025

Ship: Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam

Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Itinerary: Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico

Artists: John Michael Montgomery, Deana Carter, The Bellamy Brothers, Diamond Rio, Neal McCoy, Home Free, Moe Bandy, T.G. Sheppard, John Berry, Jimmy Fortune, Mo Pitney, The Isaacs, and others.

Soul Train Cruise

You'll want to pack your most colorful outfits and comfortable dancing shoes when preparing for your Soul Train Cruise. Actually, you should probably include a few costumes for theme nights (such as funk night and white night) to make sure you're as jazzed up as you can be for these exciting events. A fabulous mix of R&B, funk, and soul musicians will grace multiple stages throughout the day and night on this happening cruise. Created in homage to the classic television show of the same name, guests have the chance to learn dance moves from some of the OG Soul Train Dancers (you might want to stretch first). Take a break from getting down and make the most of this themed cruise with karaoke, trivia contests, comedy shows, pool parties, wine tastings, and panel discussions with celebrity artists. Make sure to disembark for sightseeing adventures in Costa Maya, Belize City, and Cozumel.


Another sold-out sailing, funky travelers can join the Cabin Waitlist to be informed when a stateroom becomes available. The company sends e-mails about new vacancies on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET, so check your inbox! Didn't get a message? Those with a StarVista LIVE account can log in daily to check for any openings. Or pre-book a cabin for Soul Train Cruise 2.0, due to sail from Fort Lauderdale on November 9 – 16, 2025.

Dates: January 26 – February 2, 2025

Ship: Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam

Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Itinerary: Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico

Artists: Charlie Wilson, Jeffrey Osborne, Dru Hill, After 7, The Brothers Johnson, Zapp Band, and others.


The 90s Cruise

Groove is in the heart (and on the sea) next February. Dubbed "the freshest 90s party," the inaugural 5-day The 90s Cruise is set to depart Tampa on January 31 before moving to Cozumel and Costa Maya. With 90s music all-stars like Blues Traveler, Everclear, and Lisa Loeb belting out their greatest hits, there's no doubt (get it?) that you'll have a rockin' good time. Pack your baggiest jeans, a pair of overalls, and the most colorful scrunchies in your collection (we know you have one hiding somewhere). Then hit the seas for a nautical party you won't forget. Fun activities include theme parties, concerts, meet and greets, karaoke, and trivia. As if that wasn't enough to keep you jamming till the wee hours, there are sports courts, multiple bars, a large pool, and mini golf onboard. Love yourself a good '90s flick? You're in luck. This cruise boasts plenty of movie nights, not to mention a dance-off you won't want to miss.


Dates: January 31 – February 5, 2025

Ship: Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas

Port of departure: Tampa, Florida

Itinerary: Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico

Artists: Blues Traveler, Collective Soul, Gin Blossoms, Everclear, Color Me Badd, Lisa Loeb, C+C Music Factory, Jesus Jones, Sophie B. Hawkins, Digital Underground, and others.

Emo's Not Dead Cruise

Break out your black eyeliner, skinny jeans, and dark clothes –- it's time to board the Emo's Not Dead Cruise. When you aren't losing yourself in the music, you'll find plenty of interesting things to do, like participating in a belly flop competition, drinking triathlon, or dodgeball tournament. The fact that each guest has a shared love for all things emo makes the experience even more exciting. Held over four days in early February of 2025 is sure to be a hit with goths of all ages, and guests are certain to enjoy the excursions offered in Nassau, Bahamas.


While the 2025 sailing is fully booked, die-hard emo fans can join the First Available Program and check every Friday to see if any rooms have been released.

Dates: February 4 – 8, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas

Artists: The Used, BoysLikeGirls, Hawthorn Heights, Saosin, Hey Monday, Norma Jean, The Early November, Lydia, Reclaim the Fallen, and others.

Boots on the Water

Don't be all hat and no cattle when it comes to living it up on the Boots on the Water cruise. In non-cowboy lingo, stop talking about how much fun you'll have line dancing, hooting, and hollering and get to it. This fun cruise is packed to the brim with entertainment worthy of any honky-tonk-loving passenger. From live concerts and a belly flop contest to a cruise kickoff tailgate and whisky tastings, you won't lack ways to unleash your inner whippersnapper. There's even a silent disco, flip cup tournament, and live band karaoke. When you aren't stomping your boots to the catchy beats or brushing elbows with some of your fave country music stars, take a dip in the pool, try your luck at the casino, have a rub down in the spa, or challenge another buckaroo to a game on the sports court.


Dates: February 8 – 13, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Artists: Big & Rich featuring Gretchen Wilson, Jo Dee Messina, Lonestar, Craig Morgan, Pam Tillis, Montgomery Gentry featuring Eddie Montgomery, Little Texas, and others.

The Smooth Jazz Cruise

Put your feet up, sway your head to the beat, and let the salty air caress your cheeks as you enjoy a week-long vacation on The Smooth Jazz Cruise. A more laid-back voyage than some of the others on this list, the Smooth Jazz Cruise has been sailing the open seas since 2004 and hosted over 60,000 guests. Over 17,000 of them have boarded this toe-tapping cruise four times or more! Top-rate entertainment, exceptional shows, and fun activities (theme parties, culinary events, artist excursions, talent shows, and music seminars) make this a must-board cruise for jazz lovers. Plus, the musicians participate with guests in everything from hosting wine tastings to game shows to ping pong tournaments.


Stay cool if you weren't fast enough to grab a stateroom on this stellar cruise. Joining the waitlist gives you a chance to book a canceled room. That said, more than 2,500 names are on that list, so you may be better off joining the pre-sale for 2026. Joining the waitlist gives you access to booking available rooms on The Jazz Cruise '25, Botti at Sea II '25, and Journey of Jazz '25 cruises, as well as a chance to join that Smooth Jazz Cruise '26 pre-sale.

Dates: February 11 – 18, 2025 and February 18 – 25, 2025

Ship: Celebrity Summit

Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Itinerary: Labadee, Haiti; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Nassau, Bahamas

Artists: Hosts Marcus Miller and Boney James and musicians Brian Culbertson, Jonathan Butler, Candy Dulfer, Bob James, Dave Weckl, Lee Ritenour, Mindi Abair, David Sanborn, Patches Stewart, and others.


Ultimate Disco Cruise and Beyond

Suffering from disco fever? A trip on StarVista LIVE's Ultimate Disco Cruise and Beyond is just what the doctor ordered. Celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2025, this groovy voyage is primed for those who love to boogie down to classic disco tunes with stars like Kool & The Gang. What do you wear on a disco cruise? Anything you'd like, but extra points if you've packed a wig, bell bottoms, mini-dresses, tie-dyed shirts, and platform shoes — there are plenty of theme nights. Over 40 live performances take place during this five-day cruise, and we suggest you rest up before you board, as there will be non-stop partying and dancing once you set sail. This cruise offers the typical artist Q&A and panel discussions found on other music cruises, as well as dance competitions and game shows. Cruise from Miami to Mexico and back with an excellent mix of dance music guaranteed to make you boogie.


Staterooms are still available on this funky cruise, so grab your spot today. Pinched for cash? An inside cabin is the best room to book on a cruise for travelers on a budget.

Dates: February 19 – 24, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Pearl

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico

Artists: Kool & The Gang, The Spinners, Shalamar (featuring Howard Hewett, Carolyn Griffey, and Jeffrey Daniel), Tavares, Rose Royce, and others.

Cayamo: A Journey Through Song Cruise

The 17th Cayamo cruise takes place in early March, with headliners like Emmylou Harris, Ani Difranco, and Jeff Tweedy. Music-loving guests set sail from Miami to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. John's in Antigua on a seven-day adventure filled with concerts, activities, and a variety of artists to appeal to everyone's taste. This annual cruise is dubbed "a journey through song," and you can expect just that — an exciting and mesmerizing voyage through roots music. Think of this like a floating music festival without the mud and insane crowds. 


This cruise is super popular, with alums who sailed on the previous year's boat being granted first dibs at booking via pre-sale. Next up to reserve their stateroom are alums who missed out on last year's trip. Finally, newcomers are invited to join the pre-sale or the waitlist, depending on how quickly the rooms are booked. Sign up as early as possible to ensure your spot. Not surprisingly, this cruise booked quickly, meaning your best chance at nabbing a canceled stateroom is to join the First Available Program. Check the site on Fridays to see if you're lucky enough to score a cabin.

Dates: February 28 – March 7, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and St. John's, Antigua


Artists: Ani Difranco, Emmylou Harris, Jeff Tweedy, Grace Potter, Nickel Creek, Little Feat, Lucius, The Black Opry Revue, Abraham Alexander, and others.

The 80s Cruise

What do jelly bracelets, crimped hair, and neon leotards have in common? You'll find them all, and many classic tunes, on The 80s Cruise. Whether you lived through this epic era or not, there's no denying the allure of '80s songs. From pop to Hip Hop to new wave to hair metal, you'll hear it all, and plenty of synthesizers, on this funky journey. Not surprisingly, The 80s Cruise tends to attract guests of a certain age (generally between 40 and 60), which means you step back in time and trade stories about mastering the leg warmer trend and popping wheelies on your bike, all while sipping a cocktail and screaming out lyrics you didn't know you remembered. With over 50 live performances and concerts, you're guaranteed to dance "All Night Long."


We've got great news! There's still room on the 2025 cruise, so act fast to ensure a spot. Book through the cruise's online reservation system. Are you a cruising newbie? Check out Samantha Brown's top tips for your dream cruise vacation before making your reservation.

Dates: March 2 – 9, 2025

Ship: Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Labadee, Haiti

Artists: Squeeze, Adam Ant, Sheila E., Men at Work, Andy Bell (of Erasure), Christopher Cross, and Warrant, among others.

Monsters of Rock Cruise

If you like to party hard, rock out, and scream until you're hoarse, the Monsters of Rock Cruise is a perfect place for you! Hard rock bands like Cold Sweat, Aldonova, and Hardcore Superstar will shred onstage while guests dance and play air guitar during the multiple concerts on tap for this five-night cruise. Beginning in Miami, Florida, the ports of call include Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas.


Rock on! The 2025 cruise still has rooms available. While many avid cruisers know that Thursdays are the best day of the week to book a cruise, you may not want to wait to reserve your spot on this head-banging journey. Secure a stateroom by creating a reservation on the cruise website, or if you happen to miss out, join the waitlist.

Dates: March 10 – 15, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas

Artists: Aldonova, Cold Sweat, Hurricane, Eclipse, Faster Pussy Cat, Hardcore Superstar, Jared James Nichols, L.A. Guns, Massive Wagons, Pretty Maids, and others.

Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea

There's a lot to love about the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruise. From top-notch talent to melancholic tunes to meet-and-greets with celebrity performers, this is a haven for soulful blues lovers in search of a festival-like experience. Joe Bonamassa is the headliner once again, celebrating Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea's 10th anniversary with a cast of star-studded musicians. Expect plenty of concerts, dance parties, and enough fun to keep you entertained from morning to night. Take a break from the tunes and hit the spa, get sweaty in the fitness center, run on the track, play a game on the sports court, or spend a day sightseeing in Harvest Caye and Costa Maya.


Sadly, this cruise is fully booked. Join the First Available Program and check the site every Friday to see if a room has become available.

Dates: March 21 – 26, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico

Artists: Joe Bonamassa, Larkin Poe, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Samantha Fish, Eddie 9V, Thunderstorm Artis, and others.

The Broadway Cruise

Love all things musical theater? Book a trip on Sixthman's The Broadway Cruise. A four-day adventure, this fun journey will have you singing and dancing along with some of Broadway's most talented stars. From Tony Award recipients to Golden Globe winners, there's no lack of talent on this incredible trip. To ensure a spot for every show held in the 850-seat Stardust Theater, buy The Broadway Cruise Standard Package. That way, you can see all four ticketed shows in person. Those on the Basic Package can only see the performances virtually in the Atrium. In your downtime, check out the pool, enjoy the attractions in the two ports of call, attend a Q&A with one of the cruise's headliners, and maybe even take part in an acting lesson or two. There's also a Live Band Karaoke, so you'll want to warm up your voice.


Staterooms are still available to reserve for the 2025 sailing. The best (and least expensive) time to book your next cruise is well in advance – we're talking six to 12 months ahead. What are you waiting for? Get on their site now to secure your place. If you run out of luck and things are booked, join the First Available Program.

Dates: March 31 – April 4, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Cozumel, Mexico

Artists: Past artists have included Bernadette Peters, Christian Borle, Kerry Buttler, Reeve Carney, Norm Lewis, Ali Stroker, Matt Doyle, Santino Fontana, Cheyenne Jackson, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and others.

Little Steven's Underground Garage Cruise

Little Steven's Underground Garage Cruise will set sail on its inaugural journey in early May 2025. With more than 20 bands on the docket and five music venues to enjoy, guests won't be at a loss for entertainment during their four-day journey. This rock-themed music cruise is headed by Little Steven and promises enough hard-core tunes to get your teeth gnashing and head thumping in a good way. You can even get tattooed on board. No wonder it's been billeted as "the coolest cruise in the world." Join a taping of SiriusXM Sessions at Sea, rock out to a concert, dance to a DJ's thumping mix, grab an autograph from your favorite musicians, or head to the spa to recharge before your next evening of thrashing. A time out in Nassau will also be appreciated, especially if you take the time to explore the beautiful beaches and sample the tasty island fare before reboarding the ship for an afternoon of "mind-bending musical mayhem."


Reservations for the cruise open to the public on June 11. Those with pre-sale tickets get earlier booking slots. 

Dates: May 9 -13, 2025

Ship: Norwegian Gem

Port of departure: Miami, Florida

Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas

Artists: Social Distortion, X, Rocket from the Crypt, Reverend Horton Heat, Old 97's, Low Cut Connie, Los Strait Jackets, Lenny Kaye, and Flamin' Groovies, among others.

Our methodology

To be included on this list, each cruise must be centered around music, obviously. And when we say "music," we're not talking about a small acapella group singing in the atrium or a pianist accompanying the dinner rush. We're looking at big-scale, well-organized, fabulous shows featuring acts so good you may get goosebumps. Whether they sing like angels or play a mean guitar, the musicians on these cruises will make your journey one you'll likely wish to repeat.


We consulted a ton of online reviews to ensure the cruises we mention on this list will live up to the hype. In addition to boasting talented performers, we searched for ships that were loaded with fun amenities, good concert venues, great food, and interesting ports of call. There's little worse than being stuck on a boat with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nothing decent to munch on. That's why we made sure to do a deep dive, researching each cruise company to ensure they would fit the proverbial bill.

We also contacted music cruise organizers like Sixthman and StarVista LIVE to enquire about future dates. They told us that next year's cruise dates are announced during the current cruise, so there are no definitive dates until that time. They did, however, mention that the following year's cruises should take place around the same time.