Protect yourself! If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, click here to get information and assistance from the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline!
Sisters Site Logo.svg
Oh no!
It looks like you aren't logged in to the Sisters community. Log in to get the best user experience, save your favorite articles and quotes, and follow our authors.
Don't have an Online Account? Subscribe here

5 Black Cruises to Book Now

Get on board with an exciting travel trend: Ocean voyages created for us!

Comment Icon
Couple laying on chairs on cruise deck
Getty Images
Comment Icon

Sisters, we love it when we’re cruisin’ together. And we can’t think of a better way to spend our winter or spring vacation days than on a fantastic voyage filled with music, fitness and fun curated specifically with grown and sexy Black folks in mind.

On a Black cruise, “You’ll find all of the things that people love about traditional cruising on an African–American cruise, but the difference is that American Black vernacular and culture aren’t limited to side chatter. On a Black cruise, they take center stage,” says Cruise Critic contributor Heather Greenwood Davis.

So start filling your piggybank now and tell your BFF, mom, sorority sisters and your boo to save the date. Then get ready to cruise away from here on a high seas adventure that takes fellowship to a whole new level!

Soul Train Cruise (January 18 – 25, 2020)
It’s all love, peace and soul aboard this seven-day cruise, featuring 50 live performances by your favorite old-school R&B artists, including the Jacksons, Cameo, the Isley Brothers, Johnny Gill and Atlantic Starr. Hosted by Tony Cornelius (son of Soul Train founder Don Cornelius), the cruise on the Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam leaves from Fort Lauderdale with ports of call in St. Maarten, St. Croix and Half Moon Cay. With 24-hour in-room dining, plus interactive activities like karaoke, cooking classes, trivia contests, late-night movies and your chance to groove on down the Soul Train line, you’ll never be hungry or bored.

Blue Note at Sea Jazz Cruise (January 25 – February 1, 2020)
Feel the hep cat vibes on this cruise hosted by Blue Note jazz musicians Marcus Miller and Robert Glasper and producer and label president Don Was. With perks like swanky bars and lounges andCanyon Ranch spa facilities, the Celebrity Infinity sets sail from Miami en route to ports of call in St. Thomas, Punta Cana and Labadee, Haiti. Headliners include Melody Gardot, Gregory Porter, David Sanborn, Kamasi Washington and Kirk Whalum.

Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise 2020 (March 28 – April 5, 2020)
Party with a purpose on radio personality Tom Joyner’s annual Fantastic Voyage, starring Usher and Sisters from AARP playlist favorites Jill Scott and Alicia Keys. Departing on the Carnival Magic from Fort Lauderdale, ports of call on the all-inclusive excursion include St. Maarten, St. Kitts and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Step up to the mic in a lip-sync battle, savor pasta, burgers and barbecue, and rev up your reps at the outdoor fitness-and-fun of SportSquare, featuring the world’s first ropes course at sea. Your cabin purchase benefits the Tom Joyner Foundation, and a portion may qualify as a charitable contribution.

Festival at Sea (Various dates)
Do the Wobble, raise a glass and play dress up for costume parties along with 3,000 of your new best friends. Travel agency owner Patricia Yarbrough launched Festival at Sea in 1992 and prides her excursions on “cruising with an African–American twist.” The full ship charters of Celebrity Equinox are a celebration of family, dance, religion, and comedy and have featured comedy shows by Sinbad and Rickey Smiley and music performances by Salt-N-Pepa and Babyface. The popular Caribbean cruise for 2020 is already sold out. To cruise beyond the Caribbean, however, spots are still available on Yarbrough’s Friends of Festival at Sea – group excursions onboard luxury cruises to exotic locales like Southeast Asia (March 1 – 16, 2020) and Cape Town and Southern Africa (December 8 – 22, 2020).

Grown and Sexy Cruise (Various dates)
After cruising with friends in 2000, radio personality Keith “KJ” Jones noticed they were pretty much the only people of color on the ship. The following year, Jones cruised with 20 friends and family members, launching the inaugural Grown and Sexy Cruise. Now “the biggest party at sea,” G&S cruises offer several seductive boat trips and all-inclusive resort takeovers throughout the year like the upcoming Sixth Annual Vibe cruise (May 22 – 25, 2020). Setting sail on the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas from Miami with stops in Nassau and Coco Cay in the Bahamas, the Vibe cruise will feature entertainment by DJ Spinderella and R & B diva K. Michelle.