Music

Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Craig Morgan Lead New 2000s Country Cruise ‘Boots on the Water’

There’s cruises for outlaw country, classic country, and Americana country. Now, 2000s country finally gets its due. In 2025, the Boots on the Water cruise will assemble some of the biggest names from the Aughts for a five-day voyage to the Bahamas.

Big & Rich — the duo of Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich — will headline with special guest Gretchen Wilson in a mini-reunion of the Muzik Mafia that ran roughshod over the mid-2000s. Other Aught-shots aboard include Craig Morgan (“That’s What I Love About Sunday,” 2004), Lonestar (“I’m Already There,” 2001), Jo Dee Messina (“My Give a Damn’s Busted,” 2005), and Montgomery Gentry featuring Eddie Montgomery (“Something to Be Proud Of,” 2005).

Pam Tillis, Little Texas, Suzy Bogguss, and Nashville’s queen of the honky-tonk, Sarah Gayle Meech, round out the lineup, which also includes a well-stocked songwriters series featuring Liz Rose, Brett James, Kelly Archer, Wendell Mobley, and more. There’s also a slated tribute to Toby Keith, who was just announced as one of the new inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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Presented by Sixthman, the festival-at-sea company, and Live Nation’s Vibee, the five-day trip sets sail Feb. 8, 2025, from Miami for Nassau in the Bahamas, and returns to port Feb. 13. Pre-sale signups are now open, with a public on-sale set for April 5th at the cruise’s website.

Country cruises are booming. Next year, the ninth Outlaw Country Cruise will enlist Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucinda Williams, and Steve Earle for the first voyage since the cruise’s de facto emcee, Mojo Nixon, died earlier this year. And on April 1st, Midland will sail on their first branded voyage, the Last Resort Cruise, with Flatland Cavalry, Orville Peck, Kaitlin Butts, and the recently rebranded Silverada (formerly Mike and the Moonpies) on the lineup.

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