New cruises announced and other updates

This is our periodic newsletter to Unlock the Past cruises newsletter subscribers. With major new cruises announced it is also being sent to all who have done, booked or inquired about one of cruises or done a previous cruises survey. This newsletter covers:

  • 6th cruise (Eastern Australia – Oct 2014) announced – with optional Norfolk Island tour after
  • 8th cruise (Baltic 2015) – one cruise or two?
  • 11th cruise (European river – 2016) – can we book out an entire ship?
  • an all new survey – cruises 2014-2017
  • handy one page table of all Unlock the Past cruises
  • seven city roadshow – with leading cruise presenters
  • Unlock the Past Hangout on Air –Cruising with Unlock the Past

6th cruise (Eastern Australia) announced – with an optional Norfolk Island tour after
Three nights, 23-26 October 2014 onCelebrity Solstice. A short cruise out of Sydney as a prelude to an optional Norfolk Island tour after. Leading presenters: Cathy Dunn (Norfolk Island and convicts), John Donaldson (Family Tree Maker), Shauna Hicks (Queensland – and more), Carole Riley (New South Wales – and more), Susie Zada (Victoria – and more) and Rosemary Kopittke (online data sites). Further details and bookings – see 6th cruise web site.

8th cruise (Baltic 2015) – one Baltic cruise or two?
Further details – 8th cruise web site
With the very strong interest in the proposed Baltic 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:

  • if only one Baltic cruise is offered we will target June 2015
  • if two Baltic cruises are offered we will target mid June and late August 2015

The Baltic cruise(s) are expected to be 12 nights duration with 7 days in ports and 4 days at sea. We will have an international team of presenters (different for each cruise if two are offered) and an international program 80-100 topics with special focus on the British Isles. Prices are expected to start from about AU/US$2500-$3000 twin share.

We cannot sign up to Baltic cruises until mid 2015 schedules for the proposed cruise lines are released. We hope this will happen around March/April 2014. But we also need your feedback before then to prepare us to make a quick decision (on one cruise or two) at the earliest possible opportunity to be sure of getting a group allocation.

TELL US NOW what your preferences are with our all-new 2014-2017 cruises survey – A decision whether to offer one or two Baltic cruises will depend largely on your responses to this survey.

11th cruise (European river 2016) – NEW

Provisional plans:

  • Date: June 2016
  • Duration: 8 days/7 nights
  • Itinerary: Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Basel (Switzerland) – one way
  • Price: expected to start from AU$3500 to AU$4000 (US$3100 – US$3500 / GB£2000 to GB£2200)
  • If we get enough bookings (120?) – we can book out the entire ship.

Click 11th cruise web site for more details

An all new survey – cruises 2014-2017

We have an all new survey, taking account of latest cruises and proposed cruises based on previous survey results. If you have done one of our previous surveys we would still like your input into the latest proposals for 2015 to 2017 – especially if are interested in:

  • the proposed mid 2015 Baltic cruise – we may offer a choice of two – and this survey will be the major guide in our decision
  • the proposed mid 2016 European river cruise
  • other cruises not (yet) on our proposed schedule

Other current cruises

  • 4th cruise – Southern Australia – 9 nights 4-13 Feb 2014 This cruise is now booked out with 245 all up in our group. But the very latest on all future cruise planning will be given on board by representatives from Unlock the Past, Clean Cruising and a representative from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises.
  • 5th cruise – British Isles discovery – 10 nights 19-29 July 2014 on Marco Polo. Book soon – we have a limit of 70 cabins (about 120 people). Over 50% booked now
  • 7th cruise – Southern Western Australia – 5 nights – 19-24 January 2015 from Fremantle, WA on the Astor. Now open for booking – more details online

Two handy summaries of all Unlock the Past cruises

These overviews will be useful for those considering a future Unlock the Past cruise

Chris Paton and Thomas MacEntee downunder – a seven city roadshow February 2014

If you can’t come on the 4th cruise you can still hear the leading cruise speakers in a city near you. Click here for details and booking (click on your nearest city in the menu at the left)

A cruise hangout?

Unlock the Past is planning an ongoing program of hangouts

  • we have set up an Unlock the Past Google Plus Hangouts community page – click here to check it out
  • the first is scheduled for Tuesday 14 January at 8pm Australian Eastern Summer time. It will be on the subject of Genealogy cruising with Unlock the Past. It will touch on other coming cruises, but will be more aimed as an information/discussion session on the 4th cruise in February 2014. Jill Ball, the foremost Australian genealogy hangouts expert will host the hangout, assisted by Helen Smith
  • we will give more information next week to help you if you have not done a hangout before, but we recommend you go to the Unlock the Past Google Plus Hangouts community page and check out details of the 14 January hangout (click the “read more” link on the event post for more information). If you join the community, you can keep up with Unlock the Past hangout developments generally
  • join the hangout on 14 January to learn more about the 4th and other cruises. You will hear from some of the presenters and others Jill will interview – and if you wish, you can contribute questions or comments by text chat
  • we hope also to do a hangout from the cruise – possibly in Hobart – and from March onward we hope to do regular presentations and product tutorials from leading experts
  • to get an idea what a hangout is like, you can view a recent hangout by Jill. Bear in mind that this was the first one hosted by Jill and the first hangout for a number of the participants

What is a Google Hangout on Air? It is similar in many respects to a webinar or group conversation in Skype.

  • up to 10 people can interact in a live presentation, forum or discussion in the same way as a live presentation or panel at an event
  • in addition any number of people can watch the hangout live online. This is akin to the audience at a live presentation. It is also similar to watching a YouTube video – but with some differences:
    • viewers can ask questions or make comments by text chat online while the hangout is in progress
    • you can also pose questions on the hangout post BEFORE the hangout and follow up with questions/comments AFTER, much like a Google Plus or Facebook discussion
  • a further benefit is that all Hangouts on Air are recorded and posted on YouTube automatically – for subsequent viewing by anyone

More – and most up to date – cruise information

Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past team