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KISS Cruise (AKA the KISS Kruise)
Cayamo Cruise
Cayamo Cruise 2019 (Photo: Will Byington)

Cayamo Cruise

Cayamo Cruise
Cayamo Cruise 2019 (Photo: Will Byington)
Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor
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Since 2008, the Cayamo Cruise -- also known as the Journey Through Song -- has brought together musicians of diverse genres for one of the most eclectic festivals at sea. Cayamo draws many repeat cruisers, so if you're interested, it's best to sign up for the pre-sale, as cabins begin booking long before the lineup is announced.

General Info

The weeklong full-charter cruise sails roundtrip from Miami, February 20 to 27, 2021. As part of the voyage, 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl will visit St. Thomas and St. Kitts.

Scoring a cabin on Cayamo is tough, especially if you're a newbie. Guests from Cayamo 2020 are automatically included in the pre-sale and get first priority to book. Then bookings open for Cayamo alumni who missed 2020, people who were placed on the 2020 waiting list and those who had to cancel. The last group to get pre-sale preference is new Cayamo guests. The cruise then opens to the general public for booking.

Lineup and Highlights

The Cayamo lineup for 2021 has not been finalized, but will likely include the same mix of folk rock, alternative country, bluegrass and blues artists that have made the at-sea festival a draw for more than a decade.

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Headliners for 2020 included Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys; Jeff Tweedy of Wilco; blues singer (and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer) Mavis Staples; and country singer Rodney Crowell. Other acts included Lake Street Dive, Soggy Bottom Boys, Anderson East, Buddy Miller, Deer Tick, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Watkins Family Hour, Raul Malo, Hayes Carll, Shawn Mullins, Jim Lauderdale, Ashley Monroe, Steve Poltz, Wilder Woods, Molly Tuttle, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Dan Tyminski, Dar Williams, Jill Andrews, The Wailin' Jennys, Over the Rhine, The Quebe Sisters, Allison Moorer, The Mastersons, Dirk Powell, Hush Kids, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Amythyst Kiah, Madison Cunningham, and Grayson Capps.

Cayamo is strong because of the sheer volume of performers -- many of which have small but dedicated followings -- as opposed to one star band. It's fairly common for musicians to drop in on each other's sets.  

Concerts are the main entertainment onboard, but the Cayamo cruise also has special experiences for passengers, such as beer tastings, songwriting sessions, open jams, live interviews, autograph signings and more.

Cayamo Cruise 2019 (Photo: Will Byington)

Onboard Vibe

The onboard vibe is mellow and fun. Cayamo draws mostly cruisers in the Baby Boomer age range who are past the hard-rocking stage of life. Expect to see people listening to music while lying down in their pool chairs, as opposed to crowding the stage. Midnight jam sessions are common, and they can go late, but after-parties aren't necessarily packed. You're almost sure to hear some Grateful Dead covers.

Who Would Like It 

This sailing is ideal for American music lovers and acoustic guitar fans who like a variety of genres and are also drawn to the idea of joining a "music family." Many cruisers cite the friends they've made over repeated Cayamo voyages as part of the draw.

How to Book

This cruise is run by Sixthman, a theme cruise operator owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Bookings are done via the

Cayamo website

. This cruise generally sells out, but you can always be added to the waitlist.

Want even more info about music at sea? Check our page on music theme cruises.

Updated February 28, 2020

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