Atlanta-based cruise company Sixthman has announced the return of three popular music cruises from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Barenaked Ladies and Sister Hazel, which will set sail early next year.

Atlanta-based cruise company Sixthman has announced the return of three popular music cruises from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Barenaked Ladies and Sister Hazel, which will set sail early next year.

Sixthman will launch Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man, the Rock Boat VIII and Barkenaked Ladies' Ships & Dip III in conjunction with Carnival Cruise Lines starting in January 2008. Each cruise will feature live performances, artist meet and greets, Q&A sessions and other onboard activities. Onsales begin this month.

"Sometimes you'll think that a cruise is for the newlywed, the nearly dead or the overfed, but when it comes to musicians playing cruises, it gives your fanbase a whole new perspective and a really good vacation at the same time," Lynyrd Skynyrd manager Ross Schilling told Billboard following the band's sold-out Gimme 3 Days cruise in January.

Along with three live performances during Skynyrd's inaugural three-day cruise to the Bahamas, 2,200 fans who bought tickets ranging between $599 and $1,999 for a two-person cabin were treated to concerts from 38 Special and a number of other acts. Schilling says the cruise grossed $1.5 million in cabin sales alone, a number that excludes alcohol and merchandise sales.

Skynrd's Jan. 10-14 cruise in 2008 will sail to Calica, Mexico, and feature the Marshall Tucker Band and "a spectacular array of artists from Southern rock and country," according to a statement. The Jan. 19-24 Rock Boat VIII will head to Grand Cayman and Jamaica, featuring such acts as Sister Hazel, Marc Broussard, Aslyn and Toad The Wet Sprocket, along with solo sets from Glen Phillips, Josh Kelley, Sons Of William and more. The Barenaked Ladies' Jan. 27-Feb. 1 Ships & Dip III also heads to Grand Cayman and Jamaica.

This year's Ships & Dip found the Barenaked Ladies entertaining fans with wine tastings, Scrabble competitions and a songwriting panel. "It's just the bands and their fans," Sixthman co-founder Tod Elmore recently told Billboard. "There's no radio or a record company -- there's no middleman."

Sixthman will unveil additional music-themed cruises in the coming months. "We're absolutely going to do the Beach Boys," Elmore says.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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