Cruise cancellation/s – possible new cruises – 2015 cruise survey 

We are sorry to have to report the cancellation of our transatlantic cruise as well as some doubt about the short Brisbane cruise. However we are considering two more cruises to add to our current schedule. Here is an update on the status on all cruises currently booking, highlighting the benefits of booking early or at least registering your interest as soon as possible. We also have an all new future cruise survey.

2015-2016 cruises status


Itinerary – click for larger image

8th UTP cruiseBaltic – 14 nights from 11 Jul – now just 3 months away
Room still available, but we are not sure for how long. The cruise line now has the right to recall any unsold cabins and re-offer them publicly at the current list price (most well over $1000 above our conference inclusive group pricing). We do not know when they will recall our unsold cabins – it may be 2 months away, but it could just as well be this week. Book now or register your interest with our cruise travel agent to be sure of a place.

9th UTP cruise – Transatlantic UK to the US, 15 nights from 1 Nov
Due to poor bookings this cruise is now cancelled

10th UTP cruise – out of Brisbane – 2 nights from 8 Dec – just 8 months away
This cruise too is in the doubtful category due to low bookings at this stage. However it would not take too many more to remove the doubt. If it is of interest to you, early booking or registration of interest will help ensure it does go ahead.


Map211th UTP cruiseNew Zealand to Australia – 18 nights from 14 Feb – just over 10 months away
There has already been good interest in this cruise and reasonable bookings. But a number who have expressed interest have yet to confirm this with bookings. Register your interest and book early to ensure the best chance of a place at the right price.

12th UTP cruise – Barrier Reef – 7 nights from 6 Mar – less than 11 months way
This cruise has had the strongest interest and bookings so far of any cruise after the Baltic. But ship has smaller contract rooms than any other cruise ship we have used, which will limit the number we can accommodate. Unsurprisingly the Barrier Reef cruise is a popular itinerary. It is more affordable than many of our larger cruises, there is a great balance of the port days and sea (conference) days. We also have a top-level team of presenters headed by Carol Baxter who will present her highly acclaimed 8 lecture Researching and writing history series. It is advisable to register your interest and book soon to ensure the best chance of a place – and best choice of cabins.

13th UTP cruise – Rhine river – 7 nights from 31 Jul – just over 15 months away
This will be a small group. We have only been given 20 cabins, nearly one third of the number the ship has in all. Ten of these are now booked, so, as with other cruises, it is advisable to register your interest and book soon to ensure the best chance of a place. Cruises with this itinerary can book out completely up to a year ahead, so it is unlikely we will be able to get more cabins for our group after mid 2015, if our allocation sells out then.  Our ship, Tranquility II, will be the very latest state of the art panorama ship – only due to enter service this month (April 2015). There will not be a regular conference on this cruise as we are in port every day. We expect to run special interest groups depending on the interest and expertise of those booked on the cruise. There will be no supported speakers on this cruise, but if any recognised presenter/s book on the cruise, it may be possible to have a few late afternoon or evening  presentations.

2017 – 2018 cruises under consideration

At this stage we have not made any commitment to cruises beyond August 2016. In fact we do not know what 2017 cruises are even on offer. However we do know generally what the cruise lines do from year to year.

7-11 night cruise out of Sydney
A proven itinerary for many no doubt because of easy access to the cruise and moderate pricing

  • entry level pricing estimate AU$1500-$2000 (approx US$1150-US$1500 or £750-£1000) twin share
  • likely timing: between February and April 2017 (but could be 2018)
  • conference? – the extent of this will depend on the number of sea days but would feature leading international presenters
  • itinerary – this will depend on cruises offered at the time, but would likely be chosen from the following options – all from Sydney. A choice will be based largely on cruises available in 2017 (or 2018) when schedules are released – and preferences of potential cruisers when we have more information
    • South Pacific Islands
    • New Zealand
    • Tasmania and possibly other southern Australian cities

7 night Alaskan cruise
From previous surveys this is the strongest polling cruise destination that we have not yet scheduled. There are different Alaskan itineraries, but we will likely favour one that returns to the point of departure, with 2 of the 6 cruise days as sea days (conference days)

  • entry level pricing estimate AU$1800-$2200 (approx US$1400-US$1700 or £900-£1100) twin share
  • likely timing: mid 2018 is (but could be 2017)
  • conference? – with 2 days at sea (and some other times) a good conference will be offered featuring leading international presenters

Please indicate your interest in either of these cruises (and others currently booking) in our new 2015 future cruises survey – see next item

Survey-cartoon2015-2018 future cruises survey

We have set up an all new future cruise survey to sound out interest in possible new cruises in 2017-18. It will also serve to prompt anyone considering cruises already booking. The 12 question survey should be able to be completed in perhaps 5 to 10 minutes. Whilst it may remain open for a few months, we will be making a final decision on the transatlantic cruise by late April at the latest, based on survey responses and/or any subsequent bookings by then.

CLICK HERE to do the survey

All who complete the survey by 30 April 2015 (and give contact details) will be in a draw to win one of five $20 genealogy ebook vouchers.

Cruise cabin share partners wanted

Are you interested in a cruise, but don’t have a spouse or partner to share a room (and costs) with?

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.

We quite often match women willing to share, and occasionally men. Right now we have 2 men looking for a male partner to share with – one the Baltic cruise in just 3 months time and another on the New Zealand to Australia cruise in February 2016. Please contact us at Unlock the Past cruises ( or Ciaran at Clean Cruising ( if you would be interested in sharing.

An unusual sharing request – we have had an inquiry from someone wanting to do the Sydney to Fremantle leg only of the New Zealand to Australia cruise. It is not usually possible to join a cruise part way through, but we know sometimes this can happen by special arrangement. If you are interested in doing the Auckland Sydney leg only of this cruise, please contact us or Ciaran at Clean Cruising. If we have specific proposal we will put in an application for a special arrangement.

Reminder – $6000 prize offering … and more

Booking any future UTP cruise during 2015 – AND subscribing to our email newsletter – will get you in our draw for AU$6000 worth of prizes to be drawn in January 2016. I 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.

Unlock the Past at major events in the US, Australia and UK

We exhibited in February at the huge Roots Tech conference in Salt Lake City the US – over 23,000 people registered. In March we exhibited at Australia’s largest and grandest genealogy event – the highly successful Australasian Congress in Canberra.

Next week (16-18 Apr) we will be exhibiting at the biggest event in the British Isles – Who Do You Think New Are? Live, Birmingham, UK. If you are at the event please drop by our booth, to say hello, learn more about our cruises and meet some of our cruise presenters who will be helping at our booth.

And while you are there check out our 14 new guide books released over the last 2-1/2 months, some by our cruise presenters who will be there.

Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past team