Get Ready To Boogie — Blues Cruise Is Coming

Guests aboard the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise get their groove on.

St. John will be full of the Blues on Wednesday, Janaury 26.

More than 1,000 passengers from the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise will descend on Love City when the cruise ship docks offshore of Cruz Bay Wednesday morning for an island-wide party.

This isn’t the first time the popular Blues cruiseline will visit Love City. Several years ago the ship docked in St. Thomas and hundreds of Blues fans came over to St. John for concerts across Cruz Bay.

This year the party will be in Cruz Bay’s Frank Powell Park, at all three island schools and across the island to Coral Bay.

“Last time the ship docked in St. Thomas and we had a pub crawl in Cruz Bay,” said devoted St. John Blues fan Yvonne Tharpes, who is helping to organize the festivities and will be cruising as well. “This time, they are anchoring off of Cruz Bay and we expect about 1,500 of the more than 2,000 passengers on board to come ashore. There are a lot of things happening that day.”


To kick off the St. John Blues day, Department of Tourism officials are hosting a cultural exchange concert in Frank Powell Park at 11 a.m. which will feature local musicans, according to Tharpes.

Aftrer enjoying tunes in the Cruz Bay park, the Blues cruisers will be able to take the groove out to Coral Bay for a pub crawl, Tharpes explained.

“Cruise ship guests rarely go to the heart of Coral Bay,” she said. “They may see an overlook, but this time they’ll get to explore Coral Bay and visit the businesses and have a little exposure to the other side of the island.”

Shuttle service will be provided from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay venues including Skinny Legs, Island Blues and Shipwreck Landing where the music is scheduled to start between 11:30 a.m. and noon, according to Tharpes.

Skinny Legs will be full of New Orleans Blues as Chris Klein and the Boulevards entertain the crowd. Cruisers will stop by Island Blues to hear the Van Gills Band and Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s will keep the crowd at Shipwreck Landing entertained.

Blues fans can expect some surprises at each venue as well, Tharpes added.

“All of the musicians from the ship, and there is an incredible line up there, are encouraged to comeout and jam at all of the different locations,” said Tharpes.

Shuttles will be circulating to each venue, giving Blues fans the chance to hear all three bands and enjoy the full pub crawl, Tharpes added.

The Coral Bay concerts are expected to wrap up around 3 p.m. when the cruise ship guests will be transported back to Cruz Bay for an afternoon Blues concert in Frank Powell Park faturing Bob Margolin and Zac Harmon, according to Tharpes.

But the Blues isn’t slated just for pubs and parks; St. John students at all three island schools will get some serious entertainment on January 26 as well, Tharpes explained.

“We’re hosting concerts in all three schools as part of the Blues in the Schools program,” she said. “Corey Harris will be playing at Guy Benjamin School, Zach Harmon will play at Gifft Hill School and Rick Estrin will play at Julius E. Sprauve School.”

After the late afternoon Frank Powell Park concert, several other venues in Cruz Bay are expected to host Blues concerts as well. Specific details, however, were not finalized as of press time.

Tharpes encouraged as many people as possible to come out to the various venues and take part in a true Blues explosion on St. John.

“Everyone should take the day off and come out and support the Blues,” said Tharpes. “This is a real cultural exchange and there is going to be a ton of talent playing across the island that day.”

The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, which will have Tharpes and Love City’s Blues king Steve Simon — who will be hosting the Ninth Annual St. John Blues Festival March 16-20 — on board, departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 22 and stops in Antigua and Barbuda on January 25 before docking off Cruz Bay around 9 a.m. on January 26.

For more details about the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise visit