Since our last general cruise update in April 2014 we have:
- opened bookings on 5 more cruises. In all we now have 9 cruises/tours booking through to mid 2016
- published a two-year cruises catalogue 2014-16, available as a PDF download or printed catalogue
- firmed up major speakers all our cruises over the next 2 years
- completed our 5th cruise – a 10 night cruise around the British Isles
- introducing a new win a free cruise opportunity
Click here for a compact two-page PDF version if you prefer it to this lengthy post
Win a free cruise
Book any Unlock the Past cruise and be in the draw to win a future Unlock the Past cruise up to AU$2500 value – or one of 12 additional prizes – AU$6000 in prizes in all. The prizes will be drawn in early January 2015 from all who make a booking between 12 May and 31 December 2014 – for any future Unlock the Past cruise open for booking. Click here for details.
Download our all new Genealogy cruises catalogue. We have recently published our first ever genealogy cruises catalogue – 16 pages of information on all our coming cruises … and more. It is available as a download or as printed catalogue. Here you will find in a handy reference format with:
- details of all 8 cruises now booking from October 2014 to July/August 2016
- information on our planned European river cruise in July/August 2016
- information on our Norfolk Island conference and tour – just over 10 weeks away
- comparisons with land holidays
- comparisons with land conferences
- what some of our international speakers – and some of our cruisers have to say about UTP cruises
For more information and to download your copy click here. If you would like a printed catalogue and/or if you could use a quantity to distribute to your family history group or elsewhere please contact us at email@example.com
Here is an overview of the latest situation with each cruise tour, including booking status for each.
5th cruise completed – rated best ever
Our British Isles discovery cruise is now behind us. From anecdotal feedback and early responses from our post-cruise survey this is rated as our best cruise ever. Our group was smaller than usual, but we had an outstanding speaker line up, probably the most interesting itinerary we will ever have, amazing weather throughout and the most supportive cruise ship staff of any cruise. See the excellent reports of this cruise by Helen Smith and Alona Tester (scroll down on both to see earlier reports).
A short cruise with great two day conference program–19 topics, mostly in a single stream:
- Queensland and Victorian genealogy—Shauna Hicks
- New South Wales genealogy—Carole Riley
- Digital resources online—Rosemary Kopittke
- Convicts and Norfolk Island—Cathy Dunn
- Family Tree Maker—John Donaldson
- … plus other general topics from most speakers
Visit the 6th cruise website for full details, including program and speaker biographies.
A genealogy/history conference on Norfolk Island in October 2014 with Shauna Hicks, Australia’s most sought-after genealogy/history presenter and Cathy Dunn, leading 1st Settlement Norfolk Island historian and overall early colonial convict specialist. This conference is planned as a tie in with the 6th Unlock the Past cruise, but may be done on its own independently of the cruise. Conference features:
- a three day conference—with 13 sessions and a hosted cemetery visit
- Research Help Zone sessions for expert one-on-one or small group advice
- most people stay 5 to 7 days on the island, giving plenty of time to do Norfolk Island tourist things – and interact informally with other like-minded people
- special offers on Unlock the Past guidebooks in conference bookshop and over $1000 worth of prizes
Do both the cruise and the Norfolk Island conference and get $100 off the conference.
7th cruise – Western Australia, 5 nights 19-24 January 2015 – book now. This cruise coincides with 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 1914. A well-balanced cruise with 2 days in ports (Esperance and Albany) and 2 days at sea for a great conference with Dr Richard Reid, leading military and Irish historian, Mike Murray, Dr Lesley Silvester, Helen Smith and Eric and Rosemary Kopittke.
Current booking status: the cheapest inside and ocean view cabins are almost sold out. It is possible to book available cabins on the ship outside our group in these and other categories, however the price will be higher after the conference fee and gratuities are added in – and main restaurant dining may not be possible with our group. Note also that 7 of the 17 categories outside our own allocation have sold out and 4 more are down to the last few cabins. Unsold cabins from our allocation will be recalled by the cruise line, possibly as early as October.
This is our most anticipated cruise ever, so we have engaged probably the most significant team of leading international presenters (from 5 countries) we will ever bring to a single cruise. These our include previous favourite presenters such as Chris Paton, Paul Milner, Carol Baxter and Shauna Hicks, as well as exciting new presenters, Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s list fame from the US, Dr Janet Few from the UK and Daniel Horowitz from Israel, plus more from the US, UK and Australia. Click here for the latest presenter list.
Current booking status: we have only been given a limited number of cabins for our group by the cruise line. Note that all the cheaper inside and outside cabins allocated to us have already sold out already – 12 months ahead of the cruise! There is still reasonable capacity in the balcony and higher categories, but probably not enough for the expected numbers. It is possible to book available cabins on the ship outside our group in these and other categories, however the price will be higher after the conference fee and gratuities are added in – and main restaurant dining may not be possible with our group.
This is a superb cruise ship and we will have the finest presenter line up and program of any cruise to date. If you are considering this cruise book or register your interest now for the best possible price and choice of cabins. In fact if you book by 31 August 2014, you can take advantage of Celebrity’s “Pick Your Perk” bonus offer – for your choice of any 1 of 3 great offers. This can be worth several hundred dollars. Click here to learn more.
- visiting 6 cities – Southampton, UK, Bermuda and Boston New York (2 nights) Port Canaveral and Miami in the US
- 8 days at sea – for wide-ranging international interest conference by leading presenters from at least 4 countries, including Dick Eastman from the US, Else Churchill, Alec Tritton and Kirsty Gray from the UK, Daniel Horowitz from Israel and Shauna Hicks and Eric and Rosemary Kopittke from Australia … and more to be confirmed
Current booking status: with nearly 15 months ago there is still good capacity overall. However our group is only been allocated 14 cabins in total in the cheaper inside and outside categories. These are expected to sell out early. We have a better range of cabins from balcony upwards. It is possible to book available cabins on the ship outside our group in these and other categories, however the price will be higher after the conference fee and gratuities are added in – and main restaurant dining may not be possible with our group.
The pricing structure of this cruise makes it the most affordable major conference cruise of any that we can offer. The Eclipse, as mentioned above, is a superb cruise ship and the speaker lineup makes for a great conference on a cruise with an itinerary that will be of great interest to many. If you are considering this cruise book or register your interest now for the best possible price and choice of cabins.
10th cruise – 8-10 December 2015. Now booking. A short 2 night cruise and one day conference at sea out of Brisbane – probably the most affordable cruise we will ever offer, priced from AU$499. It is ideal if you’ve never cruised before as a cruise sampler – minimal cost and minimal risk if you’re not sure how you will go on a cruise. But it will suit anyone who would like a short break and a great one day seminar program in a different environment.
11th cruise – one way Auckland, New Zealand, to Fremantle, Australia, 14 February to 3 March 2016. Now booking.
Despite this being our longest (18 nights) and therefore one of our most expensive cruises early expressions of interest from those on our recent 5th cruise show this is the cruise generating the most interest of all that we list for the coming 2 years. This could be for any or all of the following reasons:
- its superb itinerary touching on 11 ports around New Zealand and Australia
- its 8 days at sea allow for a great conference at a much more measured schedule then previous cruises
- in Judy Russell from the US, we have one of the most highly regarded international presenters to head a team which already includes other favourites from Australia and Canada … to be advised
- it is on Celebrity Solstice, the highest rated cruise ship operating in Australia by any major cruise line
- if coupled with the 7 night Barrier Reef cruise, departing 3 days after this cruise finishes, an unrivalled double cruise itinerary will attract those with tharee time and ability to do both. It will especially appeal to
- those from the northern hemisphere wishing to maximise the value down under
- Australians or New Zealanders who have never seen their own or neighbouring countries in such a comprehensive way or value package
- with nearly 2 years notice there is ample time to plan holidays and save for the cruise/s
Current booking status: though it is still 18 months away, we are already getting bookings and inquiries, including some from overseas who are interested in combining this with a Barrier Reef cruise following. For cruises on the Solstice and its twin Eclipse our group has only been allocated a small number (10) of the cheapest (inside) cabins with the rest of our allocation balcony or higher categories. These inside cabins are expected to sell out early. However with balcony cabins less than AU$500 above the cheapest insides, these are especially good value on this cruise – and we have a fairly good initial allocation of these. It is possible to book available cabins on the ship outside our group in any categories, however the price will be higher after the conference fee and gratuities are added in – and main restaurant dining may not be possible with our group.
If this cruise is of interest you should consider booking or registering your interest now for the best possible price and choice of cabins. In fact if you book by 31 August 2014, you can take advantage of Celebrity’s “Pick Your Perk” bonus offer – for your choice of any 1 of 3 great offers. This can be worth several hundred dollars. Click here to learn more.
12th cruise – Barrier Reef 7 nights 6-13 March 2016. Now booking. A great value 7 night cruise out of Brisbane to the Barrier Reef. An ideal balance between destinations and conference at sea.
Current booking status: though 19 months away, we are already getting bookings and inquiries, including some from those interested in bundling it with the 11th cruise from New Zealand to Australia. We have a good mix of cabins from the cheaper insides through to ocean views and balconies. Our key presenters committed so far include Carol Baxter who will give her 8 presentation program on researching and writing history, Eric and Rosemary Kopittke and Helen Smith.
13th cruise – European river cruise – 7 nights along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel in July/August 2016. If we get 100 to 120 people we will charter an entire river ship. Register your interest now for a priority option on this cruise—and to help achieve the numbers to support a full river ship charter.
Current booking status: though the cruise is nearly 2 years away, we already have a number who have registered their interest with $100 deposit (refundable if they don’t take it up) and more again have simply registered their interest. Should the numbers registering interest reach the maximum the river ship can take (about 115), they will be given a priority chance to confirm their booking before the cruise is offered to others.
Beyond August 2016? – we are not at this stage planning any further cruises. 2016 will mark 40 years of offering genealogy services through our various brands. And after 5 years of cruises to interesting and varied places and some fabulous conferences at sea, we may feel that we have done enough to satisfy the interest in genealogy cruising. This is not to say we won’t consider more if we find continuing interest from the genealogy public – and ourselves – and they can be done in a commercially viable way (not all have been). And with two interesting itineraries requested by many that are different from anything we have done – Alaska and Australia top end – there is some chance we may consider one or two more. But we won’t consider this for at least another year or more.
Here is the bottom line – if an Unlock the Past genealogy cruise is on your bucket list, you should probably consider doing one of those scheduled over the next 2 years to be sure you don’t miss out.