|Kid Rock performed aboard Carnival Triumph on a special cruise last month.|
Last month, thousands of Kid Rock fans headed out to see the superstar perform in a concert. But they didn’t flock to a stadium. Instead, they boarded Carnival Triumph for a four-night Chillin’ the Most cruise from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico. The goal was to immerse themselves in four days of mind-blowing live music.
That themed cruise was developed by Sixthman, an Atlanta-based firm that creates and markets musically driven lifestyle events and cruises. In the past decade, the company has come up with more than 30 full-ship charters focused on musical performances and memories.
Depending on the theme, cruisers savor everything from Elvis to classic rock, from country to heavy metal and pop performances. The firm’s entertainment lineup has included such artists as Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer, Jillian Michaels, Barenaked Ladies, Sister Hazel, Lyle Lovett and Sarah McLachlan. Sixthman also has partnered with VH1, American Express and Graceland.
More than 60 percent of Sixthman’s themed cruise guests return for a future musical cruise, a solid number considering they typically book for the musical experience and not the cruise itself. “This cruise is for people who want to be in an environment where everyone has common interests,” says Andy Levine, CEO and founder of Sixthman. “We are seeing mostly adult professionals from 28 to 49 who work and play hard.”
The opportunity for agents is twofold. “We are seeing lots of first-time cruisers who thought cruising was something completely different and experienced cruisers who say they will never go on a normal cruise again,” says Levine. First-timers who previously told their agent, “I don’t think a cruise is for me,” may reconsider if their favorite artist is onboard. Cruises typically feature live musical performances, autograph sessions, Q&A sessions with the stars, games and other interactions.
Sixthman has a range of cruises, including weeklong offerings. Its four- or five-day voyages have strong appeal for both first-timers not sure about taking a week-long cruise and experienced cruisers seeking a short, secondary getaway for the year.
“We hope that agents will see our cruises as an opportunity to re-engage their customers and offer them something new and different,” says Levine. “We pay 10 percent commission to all agents which usually ends up being a larger number because our cruises are two to three times [the cost of] a normal cruise.”
On September 29, clients may sail from Tampa to Cozumel on Rombello, the newest Sixthman adventure at sea onboard Carnival Inspiration. Performers at the eclectic live shows, from morning to night, include Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti and Spearhead, G. Love & Special Sauce, Citizen Cope, as well as Brett Dennen, JJ Grey & Mofro, SOJA, Gaelic Storm and Jukebox the Ghost.
Alternatively, clients may dust off their blue suede shoes for the fifth annual Elvis Cruise January 12-16, 2012, on Carnival Fascination. Sailing from Jacksonville, FL, to Nassau, the Bahamas, this cruise will feature renowned Elvis tribute artists, co-stars from Presley’s many movies and Elvis’ friends and associates. Activities include panel discussions, concerts, fashion shows and movie screenings.
On March 1, 2012, The Rock Boat XII cruise will sail from New Orleans to Cozumel on the Carnival Ecstasy with hosts Sister Hazel, as well as the Alternate Routes, Carbon Leaf, the Freddy Jones Band and Vertical Horizon.