It began a decade ago when then 70 year-old Anita Berry became the first person ever to charter a full cruise ship to create The Jazz Cruise featuring over a dozen of the genres’ grandest musicians. A St. Louis-based company, Jazz Cruises, LLC was also born and conceived the star-studded The Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2004 under the executive direction of Berry’s son, Michael Lazaroff. With both cruises selling out annually, including a second week of The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party at Sea that was added this year, Jazz Cruises, LLC blossomed into the world’s leading full ship music charter company. 2011 brought unprecedented growth for the company that evolved into Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC, the new corporate moniker that reflects its diversification into music genres beyond jazz.
Last October, Entertainment Cruise Productions teamed with Time Life to produce the second Malt Shop Memories Cruise, which featured a slate of idols from the 1950s & ‘60s such as The Beach Boys, Chubby Checker, and Little Anthony & The Imperials whose music is contained on the nearly 4-million selling, 10-CD box set Malt Shop Memories. The four-day Caribbean cruise was so successful that it will become a seven-day cruise in 2012 boasting a luminous lineup of legends such as Dion, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, The Original Drifters, The Duprees, Carl Gardner’s Coasters, and nearly a dozen other artists. Malt Shop Memories Cruise will sail October 27-November 3 aboard Holland America’s M/S Eurodam from Fort Lauderdale to Turks & Caicos, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.
Time Life again tapped Entertainment Cruise Productions to produce the first ever Soul Train Cruise, which is spawned from the iconic, trendsetting television series of the same name. “The Hippest Trip at Sea” debuts February 17-24, 2013 with a lineup certain to keep the Soul Train line grooving including Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Kool & The Gang, Jeffrey Osborne, War, The Spinners, Harold Melvin’s Blues, Cuba Gooding & The Main Ingredient and others under the musical direction of George Duke. Cruising aboard Holland America’s M/S Westerdam, cabins are already being booked for the cruise that will party from Fort Lauderdale to Turks & Caicos, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.
“At Entertainment Cruise Productions, we are committed to providing the very best live music cruise experience possible, regardless of the music genre,” said Lazaroff. “We are delighted to be launching the first ever sailing of The Soul Train Cruise along with Time Life. To date, we have been selective in our genre selections as not all of them would make good cruises and some require a proper vehicle for presentation. The vast world of R&B, soul and Motown is a good example. While this music is perfect for a cruise, we have been trying to find the right wrapping paper to deliver this present to the public for years. When Time Life mentioned Soul Train, we embraced the iconic theme and culture as the perfect vehicle for such a cruise. The concept is immediately clear through the brand name and the programming elements are endless. When added to our Malt Shop Memories Cruise and our industry-setting sailings of The Jazz Cruise and The Greatest Party At Sea (a/k/a The Smooth Jazz Cruise), Entertainment Cruise Productions is proud to be the leading full ship charter music cruise producer in the world. With over 30 sailings, no company can match our experience and expertise. And we are constantly entertaining and exploring new cruise concepts.”
Entertainment Cruise Productions’ jazz offerings remain healthy and robust. The Jazz Cruise 2012 sold out last summer and both weeks of The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012, which will be renamed The Greatest Party at Sea in 2013 to reflect the wide appeal and array of live entertainment offered during the cruise, will again be sell-outs when they depart from Fort Lauderdale next month.
About Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC
The largest private music ship charter company in the world, St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Party: Greatest Party At Sea (www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com) and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com), and is proud to partner with Time Life for The Malt Shop Memories Cruise (www.maltshopcruise.com) and The Soul Train Cruise (www.soultraincruise.com). Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC prides itself on providing first-class musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. With its current slate of excursions, Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC will have produced 37 full-ship charter cruises. Additional information is available at www.ecpcruises.com.
Source: Great Scott Productions