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In six months and 15 days we will be cruising!
Numbers have already passed 170, so we look well on track to reach 200, maybe even up to 250 the way bookings are going. Our initial cabin allocation has fully sold out, but we have been able to obtain more.

In our last newsletter we asked for your input into the program. This has guided us in developing an early version of the program, which is now available for download – click here. There will be some adjustments, but we expect to retain all topics listed.

Unlock the Past Cruises International launched
Last newsletter we gave you a preview of our new web site. On 25 June this was announced widely through a media release. Explore the site to see what is ‘hidden’ under the various menus.

Three new cruises planned from mid July 2014 to January 2015
We are furthering plans for more cruises – more choices to suit individual preferences. But we want as much feedback as possible to ensure there is enough interest to even commit to the cruises, and in some cases to guide our cruise choice from several options. These are quite different from those done so far. Two are shorter and cheaper. Two are totally new cruise regions. All will have a much more moderate program.

  • British Isles discovery cruise – 10 nights July 2014 on Marco Polo – Itinerary: London, Invergordon (Scotland) Kirkwall (Orkney Islands), Stornoway (Outer Hebrides), Tobermory (Isle of Mull), Dublin (Ireland), St Mary’s (Isles of Scilly), St Peter Port (Guernsey), Honfleur (France), London. Cost guide (excluding travel to and from London): from approx AU/US$2000 (£1200). This cruise is destination focused, with limited time at sea for a moderate conference program.
  • Eastern Australia cruise – 3-7 nights – late 2014 – several options are open to us. A final choice will be based on survey responses and cruise line negotiations. See survey for the various itinerary options we will choose from and cost guide (from $700).
  • Southern Western Australia cruise – 5 nights – 19-24 January 2015  from Fremantle, WA on the Astor. Itinerary: Fremantle, Esperance, Albany, Fremantle with two full days at sea (conference days) Cost: from approx AU$1100. Albany’s Anzac Centenary Albany was the gathering point for the convoys carrying the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later to be known collectively as the ANZACs), that departed from Albany in November and December 1915. Albany will have commemorations from November 1914 to Anzac 2015. We will likely run a military stream within a wider (but moderate) general interest program.

We expect to run all three, subject to sufficient interest for a group of at least 50 people for each cruise and finalising suitable cruise contracts.

Click here to tell us which cruise/s (or none) may interest you – and for more information on each.

This short survey closes 31 August 2013, but early responses will help us make an earlier decision on some.

Unlock the Past Cruise partners
We are delighted to welcome aboard a number of promotional partners. They will help promote our cruises widely around the world and contribute promotional material, offers and prizes for our cruises. To date we have ten great partners. Click here to see who they are. Click on the logos or links to learn more about them.

Cruise speaker interviews
Alona (Gould Genealogy) has commenced a series of profiles of our cruise presenters. Learn all about them – a different view from the the biographies on the cruise site. Even if you know the speakers generally, you will find out lots of previously ‘hidden’ information here. Five are there now: Chris PatonRosemary KopittkeShauna HicksMike Murray and Anne Daniels. Fifteen more to come on Genealogy & History News.

A question raised on the cruise Facebook page

  • Question: There is a lot going on not, much time for actual ship programs, lol. Are the activities interactive or just speakers talking lecturing?
  • Response 1: Either
    • 1. we choose topics for you by limiting the program and – cut out half the speakers and topics (maybe your favoured topic/s) – or
    • 2. you choose. We prefer to offer a wider choice and allow cruisers to choose what to attend.
    • The latter makes it a more valuable cruise for more people. Individuals effectively set their own program. Some prefer to attend most sessions, some an even mix of cruise and conference program, others just do a smaller number of conference sessions.
  • Further response: Our cruise program is designed to give cruisers maximum choice and value. Each person can choose own mix of conference and general cruise program sessions. Our 3rd cruise offered 95 topics in 49 different program time slots. The 4th cruise will have less. The 3rd cruise post cruise survey showed all respondents attended at least some of the 49 possible conference sessions.
    • 9% attended 10-19 sessions
    • 21% attended 20-29 sessions
    • 35% attended 20-39 sessions
    • 35% attended 40-49 sessions – obviously the genealogy tragics!
  • Response 2: It is up to speakers how much interaction they allow at cruise sessions. Some at least allow questions – within the talk or at the end. But we have also scheduled 11 Research Help Zone sessions, fully interactive sessions – one on one (or small groups) with an expert. These are often where real break though advice is given. See Helen Smith’s advice on maximising the benefits of the UTP … Research Help Zone (written for another event) http://bit.ly/L5glN2

Follow us on Facebook for more cruise discussion and notices.

And don’t forget our three new cruises survey even if you are not likely to do more cruises. Just four easy to answer questions.

Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past team