As the perennially sold-out sailings of The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party at Sea prepares to launch its 10th anniversary excursions in January 2013, parent company Entertainment Cruise Productions is determined to keep the party going strong by creating a West Coast outing from San Diego to exotic Mexican ports in the fall of 2013 with music hosts Brian Culbertson and Boney James. Grammy winners David Sanborn and Marcus Miller will perform on the new program and continue to serve as the music hosts of the traditional January sailing of The Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2014 that will embark from Fort Lauderdale to Caribbean paradise as it has done for a decade. Both 7-day cruises will be held aboard a luxurious Holland America ship and feature performances by legends, hitmakers and fan favorites.
“As we enter the second decade of The Smooth Jazz Cruise, we want to keep things fresh for our loyal family of cruisers that comes back year after year. Thanks in part to their suggestions, we decided to spread the love by creating a sensational West Coast cruise. With a cruise on both coasts, we feel that the hosts should reflect the different personalities of each coast. I cannot imagine a more exciting cruise menu than Brian Culbertson and Boney James hosting a West Coast cruise and David Sanborn and Marcus Miller topping an East Coast cruise. Brian, Boney, David and Marcus will perform on both cruises as will Jonathan Butler and Candy Dulfer. We’re going to showcase 22 incredible headliners between the two cruises,” said Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of St. Louis-based Entertainment Cruise Productions.
The first-ever left coast departure for The Smooth Jazz Cruise, the West Coast expedition will make its maiden voyage on the m/s Westerdam October 12-19, 2013 from San Diego and visit Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Baja Coast. Joining Culbertson, James, Sanborn, Miller, Butler and Dulfer as performers will be Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Euge Groove, Kenny Lattimore, Earl Klugh, Oleta Adams, Brian Simpson, DW3, comedian Alonzo Bodden and special guest Tower of Power.
Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican balneario resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas. The 2010 census reported Puerto Vallarta’s population as 255,725 making it the sixth-largest city in the state of Jalisco. The City of Puerto Vallarta is the government seat of the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta which comprises the city as well as population centers outside of the city extending from Boca de Tomatlán to the Nayarit border (the Ameca River).
Puerto Vallarta was once named as La ciudad más amigable del mundo (The Friendliest City in the World), as the sign reads when entering from Nayarit. Today, the presence of numerous sidewalk touts selling time-shares and tequila render the city’s atmosphere more akin to tourist-heavy resorts like Cancun and Acapulco, but overall the city’s reputation remains relatively undiminished.
Tourism in Puerto Vallarta has increased steadily over the years and makes up for 50% of the city’s economic activity. The high season for international tourism in Puerto Vallarta extends from late November through March (or later depending on the timing of the College Spring Break period in the USA.) The city is especially popular with US residents from the West Coast because of the sheer number of direct flights between Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The city is also popular with tourists from western Canada with a number of direct scheduled and charter flights from western Canadian cities.
Puerto Vallarta is also a highly popular vacation spot for domestic tourists. It is a popular weekend destination for residents of Guadalajara (tapatíos), and a popular national destination for vacations such as Semana Santa (the week preceding Easter) and Christmas.