Country music legend John Williamson has been making waves since he burst onto the scene in the early 1970s. He’s recorded classics like True Blue, Under The Bridge and And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda; he’s used his celebrity status to draw attention to causes close to his heart; and he’s won more than two dozen Golden Guitar Awards, not to mention being inducted into The ARIA Hall of Fame. Now, he’s making waves of a different kind.
On October 9, Williamson will join fellow Australian country music icons Troy Cassar-Daley, Graeme Connors, Gina Jeffreys, Sara Storer, Tania Kernaghan, Anne Kirkpatrick, Amber Lawrence and James Blundell for a live music experience like no other, Cruisin’ Country 8.
Together with their fans – and a score of other great musicians – these nine legendary performers will sail from Sydney to Noumea aboard the luxurious “Radiance of the Seas”. They will cruise the Isle of Pines before returning to terra firma on October 16.
The trip gives country lovers an unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal with their heroes. The fans and performers will live, drink and swap yarns together for eight days while they explore the Pacific.
The annual cruise has become a fixture on the country music calendar, with artists looking forward to it just as much fans.
Lee Kernaghan compared last year’s cruise to Tamworth, saying both the quality of performances and level of camaraderie was hard to surpass.
“Looking back on it, I can still feel the excitement,” he said.
“(There were) so many great artists, all coming together in one place to relax, party and make a lot of music.”
Kernaghan fondly remembers the creativity and spontaneity that surrounded the entire week, with artists and old mates feeding off one another’s energy.
“One of the great highlights for me was rolling into the bar at around 2am to find the Duncan Toombs All Star Band had the place cooking,” he recalled.
“Someone asked me to get up and sing a few songs. I looked over and saw the legendary John Williamson with a drink in his hand. He looked at me and I looked at him… next thing I knew we were both on the stage singing one of his classics together, totally unrehearsed. The band absolutely nailed it and the crowd were going off. I’ll never forget that night.”
Kernaghan also said there was a real sense of community among country fans and artists and that it was great to be able to take a little bit of time out to have fun together.
“One of the most unique parts of sharing a cruise with a bunch of legendary people who’ve come from all over Australia and around the world is the friendly spirit on board,” he said.
“It’s all really casual and I enjoyed just catching up with lots of people around the ship and having a yarn or sharing a drink. After my last show in the theatre, I headed up to the amazing Champagne Bar and got to meet so many great people who’ve come out to my shows over the years. It was like a big family reunion. And the drinks were flowing as well!”
The South Australian music festival cruise company Choose Your Cruise has been creating music-lover holiday experiences for nearly a decade and they’ve got it down to a fine art. However, country fans aren’t the only ones they cater for.
From October 21 to 28, the company will be giving rock fans the chance to experience legendary British-American rock band Foreigner on the high seas with this year’s Rock The Boat.
Like Cruisin’ Country 8, the week long extravaganza has a sensational line-up, including Detroit punk-rockers The Romantics, Ross Wilson (from Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock), Russell Morris, Shannon Noll and 90s Aussie rockers Chocolate Starfish plus George Harrison and Deep Purple tribute acts.
From November 13 to November 21, Radiance of the Seas will play host to Bravo, an eight night pacific island cruise for lovers of big sounds.
Cheryl Barker AO, Rhonda Burchmore and Dutch-Australian soprano Mirusia will join Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Todd McKenney, The Celtic Tenors, The Metropolitan Orchestra and the Bravo Choir for this special event.
Bravo fans will also explore Noumea, Mystery Island and Lifou while enjoying all of the luxury the ship has to offer.
Finally, if you’re a fan of the King, Cruise N Groove will have you saying “Thank you very much!”
Dubbed “Elvis Meets the Legends”, this once in a lifetime experience brings together a stellar line-up of the world’s best Elvis tribute artists.
With more than 30 live acts, this is the ultimate celebration of the King, complete with a ‘Blue Hawaii’ luau-themed party and Elvis and Priscilla look-alike contests. The line up also includes “Johnny Cash, The Concert featuring Daniel Thompson” and “the Roy Orbison Show with Aaron Mansfield”.
This seven night cruise will have you “All Shook Up” with stops in both Mare and Noumea. The ship departs Sydney Harbour on November 6.
Not only do these holiday packages offer guests world-class entertainment and the chance to explore some truly exotic islands, the Radiance of the Seas is its own destination. With attractions including eight dining options (ranging from casual eats at Boardwalk Doghouse to family-style Italian fare at Giovanni’s Table); the multi-storey Aurora Theatre; and even a rock-climbing wall for the more adventurous. There’s never a dull moment aboard.
Best of all, staterooms are available to suit all budgets, from cosy interiors to spacious suites. Cruiseco currently have a special offer on cabins with a balcony for Cruisin’ Country 8, Rock The Boat and Cruise N Groove. If you book a twin share balcony cabin from just $3500pp, you’ll receive a free deluxe beverage package plus seven nights free internet. Or, alternatively, if you book an ocean view cabin from $3000pp or a balcony from $3500pp you can bring two more guests for free, plus you’ll receive up to US$400 of on board credit.
Cruiseco is also offering a “Free Indulgence” package for Bravo. If you book an inside cabin from $2495pp you’ll receive a free upgrade to an ocean view stateroom. Or, you can upgrade from an ocean view (from $3195pp) to a balcony stateroom for free. This package also includes a specialty dining package.
To find out more about the four 2018 Music Cruises simply contact your local Cruiseco agent, click here or call 1800 225656.