Gladys Knight, Trace Adkins to perform on Carnival ships

Carnival Cruise Line released the initial set of artists that will perform in its Carnival Live program of ship concerts for next year.

Shows will kick off in February in St. Thomas with R&B legend Gladys Knight. Other artists that will give shows include the rock band Journey, country star Trace Adkins and disco icon KC & the Sunshine Band.

Carnival Live performances will be offered on cruises departing from eight U.S. ports with concerts taking place while vessels are docked in Cozumel, Nassau and St. Thomas.

Ticket prices for next year’s concerts will range from $40 to $75 for general admission. VIP tickets are available for $150 to $250 and offer seating in the first four rows, a photo opportunity with the artist and a commemorative concert pass.

Carnival unveils big-name musical acts for concert series

By Arnie Weissmann

Carnival Live, Jennifer Hudson“American Idol” and “Dreamgirls” star Jennifer Hudson joined Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill on stage to make the point that Carnival is serious about bringing big-name artists to the stages of its ships.

In April, Carnival will launch an experience branded “Carnival LIVE” featuring live performances by artists including Hudson, Chicago, Styx, .38 Special, Foreigner, Gavin DeGraw, Jewel, Kansas, LeAnn Rimes, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Lady Antebellum, Daughtry, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins.

The artists will join ships at homeports in Cozumel, Nassau and Catalina Island, playing the last night of one cruise and the first night of the next. The performers will be in the main show lounge, and will not be sailing.

The shows will not be included in the fare; tickets will cost $20 to $40, and can be purchased in advance through the line’s web-based shore excursion system, or onboard at the shore excursion desk, if available.

VIP tickets, selling for $100 to $150 each, will include a meet-and-greet with photo opportunities, a laminated concert pass and seating in the first three rows.