Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alabama Cruise the High Seas

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Alabama have back-to-back concert cruises scheduled for this fall.

Both will take place on the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship and will sail from Miami to a private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

First up is the Simple Man Cruise, which heads to the open sea on October 20, and before returning on October 24, will also make a stop in Key West, Florida. Lynryd Skynyrd will play the Sail Away Concert on the pool deck, and also will perform in the main theatre during the cruise. Other performers will also be on the ship, and there also will be theme nights, Synyrd-hosted activities and at least one Q&A with the band.

Fares start at $700 per guest and include all entertainment, food and access to the cruise ship’s amenities.

Wasting no time, Alabama sets sail on the Norwegian Pearl the same day the Simple Man Cruise returns, October 24, and will return on October 28. This trek will have an additional stop in Nassau, Bahamas rather than Key West.

Dubbed the Alabama & Friends Festival at Sea, the band will perform two outdoor concerts during the cruise, and individual band members also will play separate sets. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the band will be inviting along over a dozen guest performers that will be named later.

Tickets for the Alabama cruise start at $750 per person. In addition to the performances, guests also receive photo opportunities with the band and an autographed poster. Kids 14 and under sail free other than the cost of taxes and fees.

The Norwegian Pearl has all the amenities expected of a modern cruise ship, including two pools, a spa, hot tub, 13 bars and lounges, and 19 dining experiences. The ship also includes a bowling alley, basketball courts, a casino and a rock climbing wall.


Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Alabama Headline Boots and Hearts Festival

Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Alabama Headline Boots and Hearts Festival

Organizers announced recently that Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Alabama will headline the new Boots and Hearts Music Festival near Toronto later this year.

The event is being billed as the “largest international country music festival ever hosted on Canadian soil,” and will feature more than 20 international and Canadian artists on two stages throughout a 750-acre space in Bowmanville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.

The lineup also will feature Kid Rock, Big and Rich, Paul Brandt, Lauren Alaina, Jason McCoy, Dallas Smith, High Valley, Canaan Smith and many more, including many local Canadian country artists. The event will be held August 10-12 at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Shannon McNevan, executive director of Republic Live, which produces the festival, said in a statement about why the festival is great for Canadians.

“Canadians deserve a festival where they can enjoy the very best country music has to offer and camp with their friends and family without having to travel to the United States,” she said. “We have three full days of country music on two stages, tailgates, barbeques, and all kinds of activities throughout the day to keep fans entertained. And just when other music festivals call it a night, Boots and Hearts will ramp things up with nightly after-parties. It’s definitely shaping up to be the party of the summer.”

The large Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has been recently refurbished, and will be set up for the festival and camping during the event. Additionally, the area will feature a kids zone and petting zoo, local Farmer’s Market and a mechanical bull. The grounds also will feature many local food and craft vendors.

There is an additional fee for camping passes. The fees vary by camping type – RV camping and tent camping are permitted. VIP packages are also available, which include access to VIP areas, premium reserved seating and private restrooms.