Earlier this year we flagged the possibility of further cruises in 2017 and possibly beyond. We had a short survey with our blog about this, but at the time did not know 2017 cruise schedules. The early 2017 cruise schedules are now announced, and for best choice of cruises with suitable conference rooms, we should make a decision on whether to proceed and what cruise to request in the next few months.

Brief review of cruises to date
Our early cruises (1st to 4th) – all out of Australia – generally met or exceeded expectations based on our surveys. From mid 2014 the numbers for our next five cruises (5th to 9th) fell short of what our surveys suggested – and did not support the number of speakers we engaged.

Several factors would have contributed to the lower response. Probably the main one is that the cost of those out of the UK in particular is much higher than for the cruises out of Australia – and even more so for Australians who make up the bulk of our numbers, who have international flights to add in. Another factor would be that with multiple cruises a year, some of our repeat cruisers, need to be more selective.

Future cruises can be viable
The largest expense in running any cruise is the cost of speaker support. By better management of this, and a focus more on the proven itineraries from eastern Australia, we can still offer cruises in future, even with lower numbers than we had on earlier cruises. We would still maintain a top line program with leading international presenters on our major Australian or international cruises, and leading Australian and New Zealand presenters on shorter Australian cruises.

A 2017 cruise
Royal Caribbean, whose ships have the best conference facilities, have released their early 2017 Australian schedules since our last blog about this. And there is double good news:

  • their cruise prices are lower than they have been in previous years, probably because of the huge increase in capacity they will have in 2017
  • they will have 5 ships down under in 2017 (two more than they have had recently), including two Voyager class ships, the best they have for conferences. This gives us more flexibility and choice of cruises.

We have not yet committed to any cruises in 2017 or beyond, but will likely do so if there is sufficient interest. To help us decide please tell us what you think.

Survey-cartoonTell us what you think
We have set up a short survey, with the main cruise options available to us between January and April 2017, as well as outline of the itinerary and a guide to cost of each. If we do a cruise we will choose just one of these. So please tell us what level of interest you would have in all of the cruises we have listed.

Click here to do the survey.

All who complete the survey will receive a $10 discount code for any Genealogy ebooks purchase of $20 or more by 31 October 2015.

2018 and beyond?
There has been good interest in the past in a possible Alaskan cruise. We have again included a question in the survey on this to see if there is still sufficient interest. Whether we do an Alaskan cruise or not, we are still open to doing Australian/New Zealand-based cruises. We have also included an option in the survey for the one way Sydney to Singapore relocation cruise. Relocation cruises are always usually lower per day cost than other cruises. They represent great value, offer a different itinerary and if desired a springboard to subsequent travel in Asia.