Five Faves: Cruise Soundtracks – These recent releases can take your next vacation to music paradise.

Porthole’s Five Faves

Five favorite cruise soundtracks

These recent releases can take your next vacation to music paradise.

Sure, there’s all kinds of groovy music on board: piano standards drifting elegantly from the atrium, Broadway tunes belted from a stage, a calypso band crooning poolside island ditties. But having your own playlist can customize your next cruise with even more righteous jams, plus bonus points for being able to take them home with you. Here are five recent and downloadable releases to soundtrack your days at sea.


1. Beck – Morning Phase

Vacation demands a gentle kind of wake-up, and this album, Beck’s 15th, is a goose-down pillow for the ears. Ease into the day with warm and drifting guitar work and soft-tempo melodies studded with strings and piano. Layered on top: the artist’s creamy and serene vocals, guaranteed to make you go aaaahh.


2. Shovels & Rope – Swimmin’ Time

Roam the deck and stir up some trouble with 15 down-home and rollicking songs from this bluesy alt-country duo, who combine rootsy guitars and bucket-drum beats with harmonies about fishing, swimming, and river-side livin’. The collective effect is a honky-tonk swamp that pairs well with beer and half-shells.


3. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager

Late afternoon is tricky — you want to save some wattage for the evening soirees but you don’t necessarily want to crash out and sleep through dinner. Lewis offers just the right in-between sound, somewhere between a gentle California thought-pop and a breezy rock flavor sweetened by her pretty and perfectly pitched singing.


4. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – Give the People What They Want

Ready for some heart-thumping funk? A hefty helping of true gold soul? This must-listen is a delicious mash-up of burn-the-house-down tracks and you-love-me-right (or wrong) ballads. Dress up and head out to this nonstop groove of horns, tightly chugging guitars, smooth and winding bass lines, and a front woman whose voice soars over all like a wise and mighty queen.


5. David Gray – Mutineers

Whether you’re calling it a night at 9 pm or a few hours before sun-up, it’s nice to wind down a bit before signing off. Filled with intimate hooks and lounge-y polished beats, the singer-songwriter is better than ever at blending the right parts of soul-searching and optimism with a sound that glides across 11 elegant and shimmering tracks.



—Emma Trelles

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!