Best Student Cruises for 2017: Performance Edition

When it comes to the best of the best in student performance group cruises, there are definitely a select few that really stand out. One of the biggest questions you have to ask yourself before embarking on both your research journey and the literal journey is whether you want to see award-winning performances at sea, or whether you want to do your own performance while setting sail.

Either way, we’ve got you covered! So grab your instruments, warm up those vocal cords, or just get ready to sit back and relax, it’s time for a performance cruiser!


  • Showboat Branson - A truly gorgeous ship, the Showboat Branson Belle is styled after the 1800s paddlewheel showboats, ushering you in comfort and style across scenic Table Rock Lake. During a two-hour cruise, you may enjoy the new CELEBRATE! show along with a fantastic three-course meal. Great for groups, the Branson Belle is also an educational vessel. Exhibits are available for school trips so that students may learn about the local native ecosystem, paddlewheel engineering, and even take nature walks nearby with educational guides. With a maximum capacity of 700 passengers, the Branson Belle is perfect for even large groups.
    Cruise Line: Branson Belle
    City: Branson, MO
    Specialty: Any fans of live music, education, and local history
    Time Span: 2-3 Hours
  • NOLA Dinner Jazz Cruise - New Orleans Steamboat Company offers a Dinner Jazz and Daytime Jazz cruise daily year-round and does so in the style of an authentic steamboat from the past. Visit the museum quality steam engine room, enjoy live jazz as well as a cruise wide Calliope concert, and even opt-in for some of the most delicious and savory creole dishes on the Mississippi. This 2-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter to the New Orleans Port, one of the world’s most active ports, will allow you to explore the decks of the boat as well as the pages of history as you hear the narration of the city, river, and boats past, present, and future. Be sure to stop by the Steamboat Gift Shop on your way out to pick up your very own unique or educational Steamboat Natchez keepsake.
    Cruise Line: Steamboat Natchez
    City: New Orleans, LA
    Specialty: Jazz and history  lovers
    Time Span: 2 Hours


  • Stars at Sea - ‘From Ballet to Ballroom and Choirs to String quartets, we are the one-stop resource that combines luxury cruise vacations with fantastic performance opportunities.’ With a description like that, this option is hard to turn down, the company providing students with two 30 minute performances, one-hour rehearsal, a shipboard group coordinator, a production technician and stage manager, group trophy, and even a possible one-hour educational workshop. Your group will be constantly learning during the trip as well, with several travels and cultural education opportunities, plus tons of fun opportunities as well, from onboard ice skating, rock climbing, and zip-lining, to offshore excursions to some of the most gorgeous places in the world.
    Cruise Line: Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean
    City: Multiple US Ports of Call - ‘Tropical private islands to world-class cities’
    Specialty: Performance Groups
    Time Span: 4-6 Days
  • Rock the Boat - Rock The Boat cruises provide student groups with top-notch
    live entertainment, swimming, dancing, karaoke, and performing opportunities, as well as unforgettable journeys to some of the most educational, and beautiful, places around the U.S and beyond. Performance groups that are welcomed on these cruises include instrumental, vocal, dance, and drama groups. These student groups may choose to perform in a more relaxed, unjudged situation at any of the port of calls along the way, or may also choose an adjudicated onboard performance, critique, and clinic. The onboard space is big enough to handle musical groups, corporate events, and various student team-building exercises, so you won't’ have to worry about a group ‘too large’. Rock the Boat Cruise Line also offers different educationally themed cruises, providing opportunities like swimming with the dolphins, searching for marine wildlife, exploring local cultures, or eco-snorkeling!

    Cruise Line: Carnival
    City: Galveston, Miami, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Port Canaveral
    Specialty: Performance, Education, Student Group cruises.
    Time Span: 3-5 Days


    Credit Rock the Boat

  • Land and Sea Performing Arts Consultants -This cruise line offers all the best in adjudicated and non-adjudicated performances, both onboard their luxury ships and at various ports of call. The Performing Arts Consultants specialize in instrumental or choral group performance options, the cruise company able to give groups that perform with them onboard clinics, written and digitally recorded evaluations, and rankings for their performances based on National Standards. The Performing Arts Consultants will provide your group with adventures into unique cultures and vibrant atmospheres, with several youth education stops and snorkel/swim spots. It will be apparent, once here, why this company likes to boast a fleet of the ‘largest cruise lines in the world’, the entire collection the perfect way to get in a fun, educational, and performance filled trip!
    Cruise Line: Royal & Norwegian
    City: Multiple US Ports of Call
    Specialty: Performance Groups
    Time Span: 4-6 Days