At CruiseMapper's Music Cruise survey you will find departure dates, itineraries, and various "music and dance" theme cruise information and tips. We offer you a list of Classical music concerts and dance cruise specials on deals to visit the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia on a big cruise ship vacation. Caution - music cruises are super fun, generally promoting a lot of drinking and dancing activities. Cruise drinking and dancing fun generally involve big money spending. Very special are also all the music concert voyages on big riverboats in Europe.
For your convenience, the following link jumps down directly to CruiseMapper's music-cruises schedule, listing lines, ships, departure dates, and homeports. Follow Mardi Gras Carnival cruises visiting the US port cities New Orleans Louisiana, Galveston Texas, Tampa Florida, Long Beach (Los Angeles) California, NYC New York, Mobile Alabama, and of course - Rio De Janeiro (Brazil). This survey is integrated with our Themed Cruises.
"Dance and Music" themed cruises
Themed as "Music Cruises" deals are from the list of the industry's newest inventions. They are very similar to all the music concerts arranged at land-based facilities (music halls, theaters, stadiums, etc. And since modern cruise ships can accommodate from 2500 (on average) to more than 5000 people, these so special marine vessels become the perfect place for the mixed "music concert and party" cruise vacation the world has never seen before.
From what Wikipedia has said about music - it's the art form "whose medium is sound and silence". However, on cruise ships there's no such thing as silence - it's party time all the time! The word "music" derives from Greek "mousike" meaning the "art of the Muses". And what is better than a Muses-inspired vacation of several days at sea, right?
The dance cruise experience is a major part of the "Music Cruise" specials - especially when famous bands and singers are involved in these actions. And these "musical" deals suggest a hell of a lot dancing on the ship. Imagine you can enjoy (if fortunate enough) your super cool band's performance at sea. There are some truly unique sailings, which include huge crowd dancing parties featuring NKOTB (with the "New Kids On The Block" celebrities).
Christian-themed music cruises are another unique offer in this category. On those, you'll enjoy the company of hundreds and even thousands of like-minded folks sharing your ideas of God, right and wrong. And quite often, preachers there dance and enjoy the music more than the audience itself.
Popular musical genders on the specially themed music and dance cruises are Rock, Country, and Folk bands. And Classical music and Jazz themed cruises offer one truly sophisticated experience at sea. Often music-themed sailings are combined with specials from the category of Food and Wine cruises. These are usually Jazz- or Classic music-themed (often river cruise) deals, offering a gourmet voyage on some of Europe's biggest rivers, such as the Danube, or Rhone and Seine in France.
P&O Cruises UK ships offer each year several Music Cruises leaving from Southampton, and their Australia brand may offer such themed deals from Sydney, Australia. Most of them are Mediterranean cruises from Southampton, and Cruises To Nowhere from Sydney - i.e. without additional ports of call (which significantly lowers their cost by not including port charges).
How much do "Music Cruises" cost, what is included in prices?
Your dance/music cruise infrastructure is pretty much like a normal sailing - but it's not, ok? The cruise part as always, includes tanning, swimming, drinking, dining, sleeping (with the "repeat until" command) summarized as "easy big-time fun". Your "music cruise tickets" prices are inclusive of all meals on the boat and add to that the 24-hr room service onboard. This means all main dining rooms and the buffet dining, specialty restaurants charge extra (from ~$20 to $50 per meal). Alcohol, soda and soft drinks are not in the list of inclusions.
Beware - enjoying the music cruise fun in a not healthy and not cheap combination with lots of beverages could cost you way more than the ticket itself. Virtually all music and dance cruise deals are on round-trip departures from some of the world's biggest cruise ports - like Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, NYC New York, Boston MA, Los Angeles, Southampton UK, Sydney AU.
Most of the following voyages are themed on Classic, Folk, Country, Rock, or Jazz music.
Note: In the following table, all links are internal (CruiseMapper) redirecting to the ship’s itinerary schedule where you can compare dates and prices per person (double occupancy rates).
|Companies / Ships||Music Themes||Regions||Departure Ports and Dates|
Carnival Cruise Line
NCL Norwegian Cruise Line
|"Electric Sunsets" with 90s boy bands Five and 911, Bewitched, S Club Party, DJs Judge Jules, and DJ Sash|
Avalon Poetry II and Avalon Tapestry II
American Cruise Lines
|(2022) 8-day between Memphis and Nashville, along the Mississippi River and its tributaries: the Tennessee, Ohio, Cumberland Rivers|
AQSC-American Queen Steamboat Company
Mardi Gras cruises are music and dance-themed voyages with itineraries that visit the US port cities New Orleans Louisiana, Galveston Texas, Tampa Florida, Long Beach (Los Angeles) California, NYC New York, Mobile Alabama, and of course, Rio De Janeiro Brazil.
Mardi Gras Carnival
The Mardi Gras carnival aka "Carnival season" (the name literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French) is a Catholic festival celebrated in the countries of Anglican nations. The celebrations start on Epiphany (or "the feast day" on January 6th) and culminate on the day before Ash Wednesday (called "Fat Tuesday" and "Mardi Gras Day" - positioned exactly 46 days before Easter).
When is the Mardi Gras carnival day?
Because day's timing is set according to Easter, it varies by year - between February 3 and March 9. Follows a list with the Mardi Gras dates in the next couple of years (all dates will be on Tuesdays, though - no matter the year).
The Mardi Gras dates are:
- in 2020 on February 25
- in 2021 on February 16
- in 2022 on March 1
- in 2023 on February 21
- in 2024 on February 13
- in 2025 on March 4
- in 2026 on February 17
- in 2027 on February 9
To find your "Mardi Gras cruise ship", just pick departure port (New Orleans, Galveston, Tampa, Los Angeles, New York, Mobile, Rio De Janeiro). In the port's schedule, you'll find listed ships leaving from or going to that seaport. Then choose itineraries that include the year's carnival day.
Mardi Gras New Orleans is second only to the "Rio Carnival" in Brazil. According to Wikipedia, the Rio Carnival draws record numbers of day tourists to Brazil - 2,2 million for the Carnival Day in 2012. Add to this more than 5 million people for the whole week (around 70% of all annual guests to Rio De Janeiro), with over 400,000 foreigners participating in the week-long day and night music and dancing, and boozing.
"Mardi Gras booze cruise" inclusions
Most Mardi Gras themed cruise deals are offered by independent resellers and for larger groups with discounted cabin rates. Group booking ("Hosted Group Cruise"), besides great pricing, is also among travel agencies' special deals.
- Included by the agency are at least one Private Group cocktail party, all gratuities (depending on ship/itinerary these can be up to $100 PP), group departure, daily and nightly group gatherings, group dining (reserved tables), and, of course, your "Mask Party".
- Included by the ship (for the duration of the trip) are all meals (excepting alternative restaurants), accommodations and entertainment, 24-hour room service.
- Not-included (optional) are group shore excursions (again at discount prices), alcoholic beverages (optional all-inclusive drink packages are offered), gift shop purchases, spa services, gambling (casino / bingo), airfare (optional fly-cruise packages are offered from USA and UK), port charges, Government taxes, local transfers to the departure port. Remember that for US citizens a passport or certified birth certificate is always required.
- All Mardi Gras themed cruises offer special dining menu and carnival-themed shipboard activities - good music, exotic masquerade, booze packages, and promos.
Mardi Gras cruising experiences
In 2017, the UK-based Fred Olsen Cruise Line offered the company's first-ever Mardi Gras cruise as part of an epic travel adventure to ports in the Caribbean, North and Central America leaving roundtrip from the UK.
- From Southampton England, Fred Olsen’s ship MS Balmoral offered in February 2017 a 46-night itinerary as an adults-only cruise visiting 18 ports of call and featuring 3 full days and 2 overnights in NOLA (New Orleans) allowing plenty of time to enjoy the carnival atmosphere.
- This unique themed cruise (46-night itinerary, code L1703, the theme "Central America and the Mardi Gras" left Southampton on February 4, 2017. Prices started from GBP 3450 pp (based on double-occupancy twin-bed Superior Interior cabin). Pricing included accommodation, all onboard meals, and entertainment, plus port taxes.
- The list of cruise ports of call included: Southampton – Funchal Madeira – Bridgetown Barbados – Castries St. Lucia – St John’s Antigua – Road Town Tortola BVI – Falmouth Jamaica – Trujillo Honduras – Belize City – Cozumel Mexico – New Orleans LA (2-nights) – Tampa FL – Key West FL – Miami FL – Port Canaveral FL – Jacksonville FL – Charleston SC – Hamilton Bermuda – Ponta Delgada Azores – Southampton.
- The 2-night stay in NOLA allowed cruise tourists to enjoy the festivities at this fabulously extravagant festival. Passengers were also provided with the opportunity to attend the "Orpheuscapade Black Tie Ball" in New Orleans – something rarely experienced by tourists. This formal event was held in the city's Convention Centre, featuring live music, dancing, and the chance to get up close to the gigantic carnival floats, as a local celebrity leads the parade directly through the Centre.