Live music has become a dynamic global scene, creating new options for those who travel with listening in mind. The options for Western classical and opera are especially broad. Amadeus River Cruises’ “Classical Music on the Rhine” brings string quartets on-board a riverboat that stops for symphony concerts in cities between Amsterdam, Holland, and Basel, Switzerland. Australia’s Academy Travel offers concert and opera cruises in Europe and the U.S., and the Australian tour agency Hayllar Music Tours bills backstage access, premium seats and background talks before concerts.
Classical music and opera tour companies often combine concerts with visits to heritage sites. Great Performance Tours offers five- to ten-day visits to regions or single cities. These boast excellent seats for numerous performances and incorporate visual arts excursions. Independent travelers might look at Allegro Holidays, which curates custom packages, securing tickets and accommodations in music-rich locales across Europe, and advising on plans “for intellectually demanding travelers.”
A number of symphony orchestras and chamber music societies design signature excursions. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center sends its annual cruise to a new global destination each year. San Diego based Mainly Mozart wows patrons with natural beauty on a cruise from Quebec to New York during the fall color season, hosting on-board such talents as concert pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.
The international jazz community looks forward to two on-board annual festivals, The Jazz Cruise and Blue Note Cruise, both featuring dazzling rosters of the world’s top jazz artists. If names like Christian McBride and Arturo Sandoval pique your attention, you’ll be excited by the 2020 lineup. For seven days, luxury passenger vessels sail to Caribbean ports and provide countless performances, interviews and Q & A sessions with jazz icons.