The middle of winter may bring daydreams of being on a luxurious cruise ship, nothing but clear skies above and warm breeze in your hair. But just how does one choose between say, hopping aboard a cruise ship and going to a music festival, given that most people have limited vacation time and discretionary income?
It’s difficult to make comparisons between traditional music festivals and EDM cruises. While even the least expensive cruise will run you more than your typical, general admission festival ticket, cruises bring the festival experience up a notch or two, as comfort, great food, and the likelihood of bumping into your favorite artist are built in, not to mention the stunning island views and exotic destinations. While the traditional festival experience holds its own sort of magic, EDM cruises are a great option for those who have a bit more to spend and want to make the most out of their time off.
The good news is that for those who love cruises and love EDM, there is no need to choose, as there are now various EDM cruises that combine the best of both worlds. The bad news is that unless you plan to travel outside of the United States to hop aboard a cruise ship, you’ve literally just missed the boat, as all three major EDM cruises departing from U.S. locations run in January. On the other hand, this is the perfect time to start a cruise fund and figure out what EDM cruise experience might be the best option for you.
Following is a rundown of the three major, U.S.-based EDM cruises:
Billing itself as “the world’s premier electronic music cruise,” Groove Cruise is celebrating 17 years in operation this year. The U.S.-based Celebrity Infinity departs from Miami and goes to Mexico’s Mayan Coast. The last cruise featured nonstop music from artists like Above & Beyond, Kshmr, Nora En Pure, Markus Schulz, and other big festival names, as well as budding artists. Pricing for the Jan. 9–13 cruise from Miami started at $749. While currently, the company’s website is advertising for Groove Cruise Miami 2021, another cruise option for the present year is Groove Cruise China, with 2020 dates to be announced. Keep an eye out for a cruise headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico from San Diego, California in October as well, although that voyage currently remains uncomfirmed.
Another cruise with a January departure, Holy Ship! is known for an eclectic lineup. This past featured headliners such as Diplo, Lane 8, Claude Vonstroke, Madeon, and Jai Wolf. The Norwegian Epic took hosted its ninth Holy Ship this year, going from Port Canaveral, Florida to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. In previous years, it has gone to Nassau, Bahamas. Pricing for the Jan 22–26 voyage started at $1,299 per person. In addition to music, expect activities such as poker tournaments, workshops, and yoga aboard this cruise.
FriendShip is the newest multi-day EDM cruise on the U.S. scene, taking its maiden voyage just last year. It is the brainchild of Gary Richards, better known as DJ Destructo, who previously had a hand in Holy Ship’s creation. With another January departure, the Friendship leaves from Miami, Florida and goes to CocoCay, Bahamas. This year’s cruise included big acts like AC Slater, Griz, Malaa, and Space Jesus. The Royal Caribbean Navigator sailed Jan. 11–15, at a tune of $849 per person for the least expensive ticket option.
More important details
Take note, that as with regular cruises, the price advertised is rarely what you end up paying. If you’re not sharing a room, you pay for the whole room. So a double occupancy rate of say, $749 would double unless you are one of two people occupying the room. Also, expect port and other fees. Despite the many comforts of cruising versus attending a typical camping festival, that tent in the woods and portable showers may not sound so bad after all.