Review and Photos by Andrew Hartl
This was the 3rd installment of the annual YES Cruise to the Edge, a five-day event featuring some of the world’s top progressive rock acts. The line-up included YES, of course, along with Marillion, Saga, Haken, Neil Morse Band, Alan Holdsworth, Anathema, Three Friends, PFM, Martin Barre, Caravan, Spocks Beard, Nektar, Anglagard, Lifesigns, IO Earth, Enchant, Messenger, Moon Safari, Thank you Scientist, Jolly, Bad Dreams, and a host of others.
Round the clock prog rock was scattered throughout the beautiful Norwegian Pearl Cruise Liner. YES as well as Marillion each played 2 shows in the Stardust Theater, the pool deck was transformed into a concert venue during the afternoons and evenings, and every lounge, nightclub and bar aboard the ship featured bands performing throughout the day.
This year’s itinerary began at the Port of Miami then sailed to Key West which was followed by a private island (which had been pounded with rain the previous day). So, to make up for the lack of a beach party day, travelers got to spend 12 hours in Nassau, Bahamas, which was followed by a full day at sea.
Passengers were able to get their photos taken with all of the artists involved, thanks to daily Meet and Greets. There were also band Q&A sessions, theme nights, and nightly karaoke in the Bliss Lounge, which turned out to be extremely popular among the passengers as well as the artists.
The cruise was a great way to spend a few days vacation among ongoing live music, beautiful Caribbean destinations, and being pampered with wonderful food and good times. With more than 18 dining options and countless bars, no one went hungry or thirsty. And the ship’s casino was a highlight for some lucky passengers whose shrieks of joy mixed with the non stop music. To help soothe aching muscles after a day of rocking out, the ship featured an amazing spa where party goers could relax, and it was a welcome sight to many.
Organizers have delivered these rock themed cruises for several years now, and trust me when I say they know how to do it right.
From the moment passengers arrive at the cruise terminal until they disembark the ship, everything runs like a well oiled machine. The logistics are mind boggling. Hats off to the amazing crew for a job well done.
Here is a photo gallery of the performances. Click on photos to enlarge.