Music Festivals

Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Mavericks Headline Inaugural Outlaw Cruise in 2016

As the number of music cruise choices increase, so does the diversity. No longer the novelty they were as little as ten years ago, these excursions are now becoming as diverse and plentiful as the number of genres represented. In Miami alone, we have the ever-popular Holy ShipMotörhead's MotörBoat, and more.

There’s so much competition, in fact, that we’re now seeing some musical overlaps as cruise promoters attempt to dissect the broader base of specific styles and narrow them down to even more finite realms.

Among the latest cruises set to launch with a more defined purpose is the Outlaw Cruise, sailing from the port of Miami on the Norwegian Pearl February 7 through 11, with a stopover in Grand Cayman. It’s the latest offerings from Sixthman, the Atlanta-based cruise promoter which for years has successfully offered excursions headlined by Kiss, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Train and dozens of other A-list headliners.

The Outlaw Cruise is in itself a spin-off of sorts from Sixthman’s ever-popular Cayamo Cruise. Many of the artists that have appeared on Cayamo cruises in the past — Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, the Mavericks and Band of Heathens — will on board the Outlaw Cruise. Better known renegade rockers like Bobby Bare Junior and senior, Willie Nelson’s son Luka Nelson and his band POTR, Shooter Jennings, son of the late Waylon Jennings, Mojo Nixon, Dale Watson, and Blackberry Smoke, are among the dozen and a half artists already announced. Special theme nights, contests, exclusive artist events, one of a kind collaborations and late night jams are also some of the events promised in the way of entertainment.

While the Outlaw Cruise is clearly targeted at a core country crossover audience, the response is likely to be enthusiastic from the get-go. After all, in its fourteen years of operation, Sixthman has helped pioneer the entire idea of music cruises, taking the festival experience to the high seas. And while the costs may be higher than that involved with simply pitching a tent in the middle of a field surrounded by several thousand slightly inebriated friends, the opportunity to indulge in around-the-clock food, music, and fun makes cruising an attractive option. It’s an appeal that Sixthman has clearly capitalized on, resulting in a total of 81 full ship charters and 170,000 delighted guests.

Costs for booking a stateroom on the Outlaw Cruise range from $500 to $15,000 for the ship’s most exclusive and luxurious suite. Yes, it’s big bucks, but in terms of the entertainment, these outlaws provide a pretty good ransom in return.

The Outlaw Cruise. February 7 through 11, departing from the Port of Miami. Call 770-738-6008 or visit Tickets cost $500 to $1500.

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Lee Zimmerman