Unlock the Past organised 17 genealogy / history conference cruises between 2011 and 2020. In total 1500 people joined us in groups ranging from 30 to 250 people.

We are considering more:

  • An ocean cruise from Sydney in 2024
  • One or two River Murray cruises in 2025 / 2026
    • An Upper Murray cruise out of Echuca, Victoria
    • A Lower Murray cruise out of Mannum, South Australia

We will be guided by your response to our survey to assess the interest.


2024 cruise schedules are known, so we have listed a representative selection of cruises with different destinations, durations, times of the year and cost. Upper and Lower Murray schedules are not yet known, but we have given general options, based on current cruises from their respective ports.

The survey is an initial guide to assess if there is interest generally in the different options. If there isn’t we won’t go any further. If there is, we will settle on particular cruises to offer. If 2024 is supported, a decision is likely to be made fairly quickly on which one. If the Murray cruises are supported, we will likely make provisional plans for the timing and itinerary, but will need to wait until schedules and prices are released before going further.

CLICK HERE to do the survey.


An overview of the cruise options follows. More detail is given in the survey.

2024 Cruise – from Sydney

The survey gives 5 different cruise options.

  • New Zealand – multiple ports (11 nights)
  • South Pacific – New Caledonia – Vanuatu (11 nights)
  • Visiting Melbourne – Adelaide – Kangaroo Island – Hobart (9 nights). A choice of two dates
  • Barrier Reef – Brisbane – Airlie Beach – Cairns – Pt Douglas (11 nights)

There are other possible cruises but these are more likely and will give an idea of your interest in various cruise times and costs and itineraries. The conference program will be headed by a leading international expert.

Four of the five options are on Celebrity Edge, one of the newest ships from Celebrity. The other is on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. Only one cruise will be chosen for 2024, based on there being sufficient interest in the first place as well as availability of conference space on the cruise of interest.

The survey has details, maps and current prices of each cruise.

2025/26 Cruise – Upper Murray from Echuca

This would be a charter cruise exclusively for our group. We would start from a standard cruise, probably 7 nights and customise it with conference sessions on board at selected times. The conference program will be headed by a leading Australian genealogy expert.

It would be on an all new paddlesteamer Australian Star due to be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2025.

The survey has more details and estimated prices of each cruise.

2025/26 Cruise only – Lower Murray from Mannum

The Murray Princess is a much larger boat. If we get sufficient interest this could also be a charter cruise exclusively for our group. Otherwise we would share the cruise with others on a regular cruise, as we do with all our ocean cruises.

The conference program will be headed by a leading genealogy expert. It may be held before the cruise

There are regular cruises throughout the year. No dates for 2025/26 are available yet.

2025/26 Cruise / tour – Lower Murray from Mannum

The cruise component of these two options is the same as in the above Lower Murray section.

This would add the following to the cruise (see full details):

  • 3 nights’ accommodation in Adelaide at the Stamford Plaza Adelaide
  • Full Day Ultimate Adelaide and Hahndorf Tour
  • 2 Day / 1 Night Ultimate Kangaroo Island Tour, staying at Kingscote


Although you can’t be certain of your circumstances in 2024 and later, please respond to the survey questions assuming you are free to participate.

For those not familiar with our cruises, click here to see a list of our past cruises. Clicking on any cruise with a link will take you to further details of the cruise concerned.

Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past Cruises team.