The new year opens with lots of significant new developments

  • $6000 prize draw winners announced – for bookings May – Dec 2014
  • a new $6000 prize draw announced – for 2015 bookings in 2015
  • prices rising and cabins/ships booking out (outside our group)
  • 2015 is our biggest cruise year ever – with 4 cruises on our calendar, 2 in Australia and 2 overseas. In fact our 1st cruise for the year starts in just 6 days time
  • 2016 now seems much closer, especially when our 12th cruise ship is almost entirely booked out 13 months ahead of the cruise (except for the limited number of cabins our group holds)
  • Unlock the Past and major international events

$6000 prize draw winners announced

We are delighted to announce Heather Fitzpatrick, a regular UTP cruiser, is the winner of the major prize – AU$2500 value. Click here to see all 13 winners of AU$6000 in prizes in all

This draw was from all who booked a future cruise between May and December 2014  – and who subscribed to our Unlock the Past email newsletter.

NEW $6000 prize offering

Booking any future UTP cruise during 2015 – AND subscribing to our email newsletter – will get you in yet another draw for AU$6000 worth of prizes, to be drawn around this time next year. Again I would like to acknowledge the support and generosity of Clean Cruising, our cruise travel agent, and Royal Caribbean International, for contributing to the prizes on offer.

But there is more … every cruise has its own prize draw, with the prize pool varying from $1000-$6000, depending on the size of the cruise and the number of prize donors.

Prices rising and cabins/ships booking out

If you are considering a future cruise we recommend you at least register your interest as soon as possible with Clean Cruising, our cruise travel agent. Click on the book now button  on the cruise of interest.

Whilst some cruise lines might drop in price nearer the cruise if bookings are slow, the opposite is happening now with all our cruises. Prices are rising, sometimes very steeply. Further I mention two cruises in 2016 which may well book out entirely up to a year ahead.

  • 11th cruise NZ to Australia – 18 nights 11 Feb-3 Mar 2016 – all categories completely sold out already, except for a small number of inside cabins – and the limited number of cabins already allocated to our group
  • 13th cruise – European river cruise – 7 nights  along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel in 31 Jul-7 Aug 2016. River cruises, especially this time of year, can book out up to 12 months in advance. We have a small allocation only of cabins, about half of which are already booked. Early bird pricing with AU$200 discount applies to this initial allocation. We won’t know until these are sold out whether we can get any further cabins.

But cruise line prices are rising also on most of our other cruises. Click here for more information on this.

The good news for now is that our own prices however are fixed for the (limited) allocation of cabins we have been given – for a time.

The bad news is that when our allocation is sold the only option is to pay the rate of the day, which can be up to $1000 above our listed prices, plus our conference component of the fare.  Further if the cruise line sells out (as is the case with the 11th cruise in most categories), they have the right to recall any unsold cabins from our allocation.

The bottom line message is “don’t delay” if you are considering a cruise. You must pay higher fares or face a booked out cruise – or at least booked out of categories of your choice.

2015 is our biggest cruise year ever

Here is a quick overview our 2015 cruises

In 2016 cruises will be upon us soon enough, with some likely book out a year ahead

Unlock the Past at major international events

We will be exhibiting at a record number of international events in 2015. Please visit our booth whether you are interested in cruising or not. As well is promoting our cruises, we will be showing UTP publications and genealogy ebooks. In addition cruise vouchers and other prizes are offered at most events we exhibit at on land – usually $1000-$2000 in prizes at major events. Be sure to check out our booth at any of the following events we expect to be attending in 2015:

Other significant Australian events we will be at:

If you are a solo cruiser

If you are travelling alone but interested in sharing a cabin with someone else to help with costs, we can probably find a suitable cabin partner of the same gender. Click here for further information.


Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past team