Courtesy of On the BlueThe fifth annual edition of YesCruise to the Edge gets underway on February 3, and the seagoing prog-rock festival will also serve as the launch of the band’s 50th anniversary celebration.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” keyboardist Geoff Downes says of the five-day cruise. “And we’ve got a particularly great lineup, I think, this time…with Steve Hackett, Marillion and a whole host of other people.”

Among those “other people” is founding Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye, who will be rejoining the band not only for the cruise but for a 50th anniversary world tour that will follow.

“He’s gonna be part of the whole celebrations,” Downes notes. “And I think…it’s a great addition, because he was a fundamental member. He was a great influence on me as well. And also, he was a big part of the ’80s Yes, so having him on board is gonna be a really exciting experience for everybody.”

As for how Yes will approach performing with two keyboardists, Downes says, “Obviously, I think Tony’s gonna be more focused on the periods that he was involved with the band and, of course, I’ve got my own area that I played for the band and also right across the board. So, it’s gonna be an interesting way of presenting it.”

The 2018 Cruise to the Edge sets sail from Tampa, Florida, and will visit Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico, before returning to port on February 8. Other performers include Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre, Saga, Gong, Focus and the new prog-rock supergroup Sons of Apollo.

Meanwhile, Downes tells ABC Radio that Yes likely will mount a North American leg of the 50th anniversary tour in June, July and August.

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