Welcome to our first Unlock the Past cruises subscriber newsletter. We will issue newsletters from time to time as there are significant developments. Cruise specific newsletters are emailed to those who have booked or registered interest on the particular cruise. They are also put online for all to see.

The 4th cruise is now in its final stages of booking. We have opened two more cruises for bookings.

4th Unlock the Past cruise – last stages of booking
Southern Australia cruise – 9 nights 4-13 February 2014 on the Voyager of the Seas
A southern Australian ports cruise out of Sydney visiting Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart. A varied program is planned with leading presenters from five countries – around 100 topics in all in 50 sessions or time slots, some as parallel electives from 24 presenters from England, Scotland, the US, Australia and New Zealand.

News just confirmed – we are working with Rootstech to bring you one or two Rootstech 2014 sessions (almost) live on our cruise. Rootstech as many will know is a huge genealogy conference held early each year in Salt lake City. The 2013 conference attracted nearly 7000 attendees. They now plan to develop partnerships for satellite “Rootstechs” across the world. It is very likely our cruise will be the first of these. Our own heavy program does not of course allow many Rootstech sessions. But we do plan on one or two. Rootstech starts two days after our cruise starts and ends five days before our cruise ends. Time differences and internet speeds will not allow live screening of sessions to be played so we will take recorded sessions a day or so after they were actually presented.

5th Unlock the Past cruise – now booking
British Isles discovery cruise – 10 nights 19-29 July 2014 on the Marco Polo
Itinerary: Depart 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).  Arrive London.

Register your interest or book now if this cruise interests you. The strong early interest suggests this cruise could book out very quickly, possibly in two to three months. We have had 20 bookings in the first five days! It took over two months to reach 20 on each of the 3rd and 4th cruises. Both these ended up with 143 and 240+ (expected) respectively. We have only been given 70 cabins (for approx 120 people) on the 5th cruise. We may be able to get more if our allocation sells out, but they will be at a higher price. Some 5th cruise features:

  • presenters – we can now announce our main speaker team – nine world class presenters. Four are from the UK, one from the US and four from Australia
  • program – we are a developing a program of 35-40 topics in 20-25 sessions or time slots, sometimes two streams for greater variety and choice. Talks will not be scheduled during the day while the ship is in port, though a few may be programmed late in the afternoon or early evening when most people will have returned to the ship anyway. Check the program page for a preliminary outline program we hope to put up in the next week or two
  • itinerary and shore tours – a major feature of this cruise is the number of places visited – 8 days in ports. For more on these and likely shore tours to be offered visit the itinerary page
  • genealogy shore tours – we are liaising with leading Irish history and heritage company Eneclann to offer a special genealogy shore tour on the Dublin port day – maybe a choice of two. We are also considering offering genealogy shore tours at some other ports in Scotland and possibly in London the day before the cruise or the day it returns.

7th Unlock the Past cruise – now booking
Southern Western Australia cruise – 5 nights 19-24 January 2015 on the Astor
Itinerary: Depart Fremantle, Esperance, Albany. Return Fremantle

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. This cruise program is expected to have some tie in with this occasion—as part of a wider general interest program.

Four (or five) more cruises scheduled (provisionally)

  • 6th Unlock the Past cruise – Eastern Australia cruise – between Sep and Nov 2014 possibly to the Barrier Reef
  • 8th Unlock the Past cruise – Baltic cruise – from England or Europe -12-14 nights mid 2015 possibly June
  • With the very strong interest in this cruise we are considering offering two different Baltic cruises, with choice of time, slightly different itineraries, ships and presenter teams. If so possibilities based on 2014 schedules (if repeated in 2015) may be:
  • mid June 2015
  • late August 2015
  • 9th Unlock the Past cruise – Transatlantic cruise UK/Europe to the US – 12-14 nights late 2015
  • 10th Unlock the Past cruise – Australian-New Zealand cruise -12-14 days early 2016

Do you know?

  • we can help you find a suitable cabin partner to lower your cost – if you are single traveller. Please contact [email protected] or Natalya or Ciaran at Clean Cruising. Ciaran, who will be known to many who have cruised with us in the past is returning to Clean Cruising as part of their groups team in a week or so after about six months back in Ireland
  • Unlock the Past offers a loyalty discount to those who have cruised with us before – $50 for one previous Unlock the Past cruise, $100 for two or more
  • Australia has one of the highest per capita cruise rates in the world. Only the UK (slightly) and US were ahead of Australia in 2011, and Australia has been growing much faster than both these countries – with average growth 2007-2011 of 22.5% per year

If you have not already done so please have your say – do our full future cruise survey.

Finally, you can keep in touch and follow cruise discussions with our occasional cruise newsletters and Facebook page.

Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past team
[email protected]