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BB King's Blues All-Star Band

10 Chart-Topping Reasons Why Holland America Line's Music Hits all the Right Notes

Author: Olivia Sharpe

Published on:

Check out our musical countdown to why the cruise line topples the competition when it comes to live entertainment

A great adventure deserves an equally epic soundtrack. Fortunately, live music is front and centre on Holland America Line cruises, where every night the sounds of live bands and spectacular vocalists ricochet from its core.

At the heart of every cruise is Music Walk: an exclusive collection of five music experiences spanning very different genres and featuring electrifying performances from talented artists. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to on why nights aboard vibrate with some of the finest harmonies at sea.

Chart-topping hits from Billboard Onboard

#10. Exclusive partnerships with the biggest names in music

Having teamed up with iconic music institutions like Billboard and Rolling Stone magazine, Holland America Line boasts some serious musical kudos. The exciting partnerships have given rise to experiences such as Billboard Onboard, where 50 years of chart-topping hits are used as the framework for a live interactive music experience. Guests can watch talented musicians perform shows centred around an array of swirling facts and figures from the music industry as chronicled by Billboard, the leading destination for charts, trends and innovations in music. Aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam, audiences are also invited to step into the pages of esteemed music bible Rolling Stone magazine, while a five-piece band chronicles the colourful history of rock ‘n roll, playing the best from four decades of the genre.

#9. A huge variety of musical styles

From the soulful sounds of Memphis blues and foot-tapping rock ‘n’ roll to classical chamber music and chart-topping anthems, guests of Holland America Line can find something they love night after night, with boredom never an option. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet nightcap accompanied by the sultry sounds of a string quartet, or a good old knees-up to Diana Ross and The Supremes on the dance floor, you can find your perfect vibe.

Rolling Stone Rock Room

#8. State-of-the-art tech brings performances to life

Holland America Line is all about blending technical innovation with raw talent to up the ante when it comes to live entertainment. There’s no better example than with the ‘World Stage’ theatre aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam. A dazzling two-story-high, 270-degree wraparound LED screen surrounds audiences with moving HD graphics and images as part of unique live performances. The Step One Dance Company is just one troupe to utilise the fleet’s exciting multimedia credentials, with six elite dancers marrying vivid image projections with ingenious choreography to create soul-stirring shows.

#7. Relive your teen pop obsessions

All-male pop group Cantaré will bring back nostalgia for the days of swooning and autograph-hunting, with two charismatic shows: ‘I'm Your Man’, comprised of songs by popular male artists; and ‘Classics,’ where well-known songs from a variety of eras are warbled with aplomb. Don’t forget to rise from your barstool for the key change.

The World Stage

#6. Check out contemporary classical music

An exclusive collaboration with New York’s famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has given rise to an outstanding programme of chamber music onboard Holland America Line ships. From familiar classical works to undiscovered gems and twists on contemporary favourites, all shows are performed by world-class ensembles in live music venue the Lincoln Center Stage. Afternoon recitals also jazz up leisurely days at sea, tickling the ears with melodious harmonies.

#5. You can hop from venue to venue

A distinct energy pulses through the Holland America Line nightlife scene, and infectious music calls from all corners. Take a stroll from the Queen's Lounge, where you can dance to classic blues with the BB King's Blues Club, to Billboard Onboard, where twin pianists belt out chart-toppers through the decades or take in a classical music recital at the Lincoln Center Stage. Either way, memorable performances from world-class musicians will fill your journey with the best live music at sea.

Lincoln Center Stage

#4. No tickets required

Forget the hassle of booking into shows and performances, and no need to worry about allocated seating. Everything’s easy breezy when it comes to onboard entertainment. Just check your daily planner for performance times and show up whenever you like. Plenty of seating means you’ll never have to stand, unless of course, the urge grabs you to get up and shake your tailfeather, in which case you won’t be alone.

#3. Entertainment is linked to destinations with a rich musical heritage

Legendary Beale Street in Memphis is the birthplace of blues music and a buzzing thoroughfare through the city lined with live music bars and sizzling barbecue restaurants. Holland America’s BB King’s All-Star Band brings the best of Memphis rhythm and blues to its ships, where audiences can groove to the Beale Street beat. An eight-piece band with two vocalists gets the party started with a stable of hits that get everyone on the dance floor if they’re willing to put down their specially-themed cocktails like the 'Lucille' and 'Rock Me Baby'.

#2. Live music forms the backbone of a ship

All entertainment venues spiral off from a walkway that links the theatre at one end to the elegant main dining room at the other. This means guests can catch a glimpse of what’s on offer as they make their way from one end of the ship to the other, and can slip in at a moment’s notice if they hear something that catches their attention. Putting live music right at the heart of the ship itself makes entertainment absolutely central to a Holland America Line cruise.

#1. Award-winning entertainment makes industry noise

Holland America Line bagged the prestigious ‘Best Entertainment’ accolade at the independent ‘Cruise Critic Awards, 2019’. The much sought-after gong recognises the cruise line’s commitment and creativity to staging live entertainment and elevates it to crème de la crème status within the cruise industry. Bravo. Encore.

For more information on Holland America Line call 0344 338 8605 or visit