Sunday 22 September 2013

Unlock the Past - British Isles discovery cruise 2014

Next February I will be taking part as a speaker on the 4th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise in Australia, having previously attended the 2nd cruise in November 2011. Genealogy cruises are essentially floating conferences at sea, but brilliant though the UTP cruises are, Oz is still half a world a way.

If only they could come to us...

Well, hold onto your hats, it's happening! Unlock the Cruise has now confirmed that its fifth genealogy cruise will be happening from 19th-29th July 2014 on board a vessel called the Marco Polo, set to sail the oceans blue around Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and France. A new page has gone live on the UTP cruises site at with details of the planned travel itinerary; speakers and talks details have as yet to be confirmed.

The Marco Polo

The proposed itinerary is as follows:

day 1 – depart Tilbury, London – 6pm (boarding from 12.30pm)
day 2 – at sea
day 3 – Invergordon, Scotland – 7.30am-10pm
day 4 – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – 7am-6pm
day 5 – Stornoway, Outer Hebrides – 7.30am-10pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 6 – Tobermory, Isle of Mull – 7.30am-4pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 7 – Dublin, Ireland – 8am-5.45pm
day 8 – St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly - 9am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 9 – St Peter Port, Guernsey - 7.30am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 10 – Honfleur, France – 9am-5pm
day 11 – arrive Tibury, London – 9am

It's still early days, but the company is advising that entry level pricing is expected to be under £1250. If interested, the best bet for now is to visit the website and to register that interest, and the team will keep you appraised of developments as they begin to firm up over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the fourth UTP genealogy cruise in Australia is already booking up fast, with well over 200 people signed up so far, and the latest addition confirmed from the UK in terms of speakers is Kirsty Gray of the Guild of One Name Studies. For more on that cruise, including the talks schedule, visit

And there's more...! Keep an eye out for news of the proposed 2015 UTP cruise around the Baltic, the 8th UTP genealogy cruise, setting off from the UK between May and September.

Time to start practising those sea shanties...! :)


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from (print) and (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see