700 Amish & Mennonites Singing On A Cruise Ship (Video)

This is not your typical Amish singing video. What we see here is something called the Sail & Sing Christian Cruise. It’s a tour company based out of New Holland, PA.

So what are Amish doing on a cruise ship, you might be wondering?

For those who wish to visit Europe (or anywhere overseas), ship travel is the only option sanctioned by many Amish churches (one exception – New Order Amish permit flying).

Touring places in Switzerland, Germany and other countries important to Anabaptist history is popular with some Amish, so a cruise ship would be one way to get across the ocean. The company actually provides tours to a number of destinations. From their Facebook page:

Since our first cruise in 2012, we’ve been blessed to help thousands of folks experience God’s creation through a Christian cruise experience. Whether we’re sailing through the breathtaking Fjords of Alaska, enjoying the picturesque multicolored waters of the Caribbean, or sailing through the ancient Mediterranean, you’ll be blessed with Christian concerts, inspiring speakers, and encouraging fellowship.

And my first thought here was that they are in transit to or from Europe. However, looking at the Facebook page from this time, this appears to be a cruise around the Caribbean.

The video dates to early February 2020, which I’ll assume is about when it was filmed – so these voyagers likely got their trip in before travel restrictions hit.

I must admit I’ve never seen a singing like this before. Richard Miller, who uploaded the video, says that this is “Over 700 Amish and Mennonites singing German and English hymns”.

He adds that the singing was all in a private area of the ship, except for one night when it was public for all to enjoy. I see mostly Midwestern prayer coverings (except for what looks like one Lancaster covering); Miller says that the travelers “come from all kinds of different communities.” Enjoy:

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    8 Comments

    1. Carol

      Wonderful Music

      THANK YOU ERIK, for sharing this wonderful music!
      I have never heard of the Sing and Sail cruises, but what fun that would be, to be aboard with a bunch of believers who like to sing!
      I appreciate that singing ~ as I grew up in a family of singers, and my family sang together for special music at our church as well as other places, always acapella.
      (Some of the) Mennonite churches are some of the few who still sing 4 part harmony, without accompaniment, and it is almost a lost art, it seems. My grandfather used to teach at different times, what was called “Singing School” at our church and other churches as well, when I was young. It was to help folks learn to read music and sing one of the 4 parts.
      Again, thank you Erik….. LOTS of memories of mine are bundled up with music in 4 part harmony!
      ~ Blessings ~

      1. Glad you liked it Carol and I was happy to find it. I wasn’t aware of this company but going by the number of Plain people in the audience it looks like it’s pretty popular. They have an upcoming tour “in the footsteps of Paul” to places like Ephesus, Corinth, Rome. Can only imagine what it was like to be in the crowd of 700+ singing.

    2. Helen

      What an interesting article!

      We cruise a lot, or we did, I suppose, and often saw groups of mennonites and occasionally members of other conservative religious groups. I can only imagine being on a shared cruise with 700 religiously conservative people might put a crimp on bachelor/bachelorette groups!

      1. True it does seem like certain cruise behaviors would not at all mesh with this group…but aren’t there family-oriented cruises as well? I would guess that Sail and Sing works with those, if so.

    3. Fran Handrick

      Amish on cruises

      When I did my PhD research on Changes in the lives of Amish Women, I met many Old Order Amish who told me they enjoyed going on cruises. I was surprised at first but I got used to hearing it. Over the last ten years another change happened. Where at first it was typically older people no longer farming who were the ones taking cruises, I now hear young couples saying they are going to take a cruise for their honeymoon or before the children come. Of course, not all Amish go on cruises, but I Ithink it is more common than might be expected. And, also it seems to be slightly more common among Old Order than New Order in my experience. New Order tend to link their travelling to Missions trips and they are allowed to fly.

    4. Lowell

      Amish on Cruise

      Erik
      Thanks for sharing, I have noticed that the singing cruise experience seems to be accepted in some Amish communities and not in others. Many from Northern IN will attend. I believe the precursor to the cruise experience were the weekend A Cappella Gospel sings in Northern IN. These were held on a weekend in a large Mennonite church organized by several Beachy Amish/non conference groups and brought quartets and family singing groups from across the country. You will notice the audience is mixed with some Amish, Beachy Amish and Mennonites in attendance.
      Here is a You Tube video of it

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lsVCCAdzmY&t=1720s

    5. Diane

      Oh!

      So beautiful! It made me cry. Precious brothers and sisters, forever.

    6. Terrye Robins

      Beautiful!

      I really enjoyed watching to this video! I sang along with them. Thanks for sharing!