18th cruise – Southern Australia


The cruise 

  • 9 nights 1 - 10 Dec 2024
  • Ship: Celebrity Edge - learn more
  • From Sydney - visiting Hobart, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Melbourne


DAY 1 – Sun 1 Dec 2024 – SYDNEY depart 5pm

DAY 2 – Mon 2 Dec 2024 – at sea (conference day)

DAY 3 – Tue 3 Dec 2024 – HOBART 8am – 6pm (docked)

DAY 4 – Wed 4 Dec 2024 – at sea (conference day)

DAY 5 – Thu 5 Dec 2024 – KANGAROO ISLAND 9am – 7pm (tendered)

DAY 6 – Fri 6 Dec 2024 – ADELAIDE 8am – 8pm (docked)

DAY 7 – Sat 7 Dec 2024 – at sea (conference day)

DAY 8 – Sun 8 Dec 2024 – MELBOURNE 8am – 6pm (docked)

DAY 9 – Mon 9 Dec 2024 – at sea (conference day)

DAY 10 – Tue 10 Dec 2024 – SYDNEY arrive 6.30am

Click here for more on the itinerary

The conference

  • sessions are only held while at sea
  • 40-50 topics in a two theatres – our usual wide range
  • several special themes – Scottish and Irish research
  • plus Europe, Australia & New Zealand, DNA as well as a variety of general topic

Where two talks are listed for the same time they are in two separate theatres

DAY 1 – Sunday 1 December 2024 – depart Sydney 5pm

  • afternoon – boarding & registration (in conference centre)
  • time TBA – all aboard
  • time TBA – assembly drill
  • 5.00 pm – cruise departure
  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – meet & greet

DAY 2 – Monday 2 December 2024 – at sea

  • 9.00am – Discover Your Scottish Ancestors — C. Paton
  • 10.00am – break (30mins)
  • 10.30am – Timelines as a Genealogical Tool — H. Smith
  • 11.30am – Hunting through matches — M. Bennett
  • 12.30pm – break (90mins)
  • 2.00pm
    • Australian Genealogy Online — S. Hicks
    • Europeans in Early New Zealand — M. Patient
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm
    • Topic and speaker TBA
    • Schooling the Victorians — M. Gaffney
  • 4.30pm
    • Dating Photographs — M. Patient
    • Using signatures to identify a family — E. Kopittke
  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – British and Irish Newspapers — C. Paton

DAY 3 – Tuesday 3 December 2024 – Hobart 8am – 6pm

  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – What is Ireland? Understanding the Lay of the Land — C. Paton

DAY 4 – Wednesday 4 December 2024 – at sea

  • 9.00am – Using DNA to Support Family History Research — M. Bennett
  • 10.00am – break (30mins)
  • 10.30am
    • Finding the Irish in British Records — C. Paton
    • Discover your Family History: Beginning family history research — R. Kopittke
  • 11.30am
    • Visualising Family History Data — H. Smith
    • Accessing records – using Archion, Matricula and GenTeams — E. Kopittke
  • 12.30pm – break (90mins)
  • 2.00pm
    • Finding Ancestors with Scottish Censuses — C. Paton
    • Using school records to learn more about your families — R. Kopittke
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm
    • What did your family really get up to? — H. Blanford
    • Discover your Family History: Your family in Australia — H. Smith
  • 4.30pm – Scottish Research Resources before 1800 — C. Paton
  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Probate: Where there is a Will — M. Bennett

DAY 5 – Thursday 5 December 2024 – Kangaroo Island 9am – 7pm

  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – A Life at Home and at Sea — M. Bennett

DAY 6 – Friday 6 December 2024 – Adelaide 8am – 8pm

  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Secrets behind the Mysteries — M. Patient

DAY 7 – Saturday 7 December 2024 – at sea

  • 9.00am – Discover Ireland’s Vital Records — C. Paton
  • 10.00am – break (30mins)
  • 10.30am
    • Why Can’t I Find It?: searching tips & tricks you may not know — S. Hicks
    • Discover your Family History: Where did they come from? — E. Kopittke
  • 11.30am
    • Tracing property in England – from Domesday to present day — M. Gaffney
    • Celebrating Cousins — M. Patient
  • 12.30pm – break (90mins)
  • 2.00pm
    • Scottish Kirk Session Records — C. Paton
    • Discover your Family History: What you can do online — R. Kopittke
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm – Examples of using WATO and other tools to help analyse a set of matches — M. Bennett
  • 4.30pm
    • Convicts Galore or the Allenders – Awful or Amazing? — H. Blanford
    • Government Inquiries: A Treasure Trove for Genealogists — H. Smith
  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Irish Family History Resources Online — C. Paton

DAY 8 – Sunday 8 December – Melbourne 8am – 6pm

  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Sharing Your Family History Online — C. Paton

DAY 9 – Wednesday 9 December – at sea

  • 9.00am – The Faversham Union Workhouse (Kent, England): a study — H. Smith
  • 10.00am – break (30mins)
  • 10.30am – Australian Probate Records — S. Hicks
  • 11.30am
    • In Print: Here, There and Everywhere — M. Patient
    • Discover your Family History: DNA: is it really useful? — H. Smith
  • 12.30pm – break (90mins)
  • 2.00pm – Instantly Buckled for Life: Scottish Marriage Records — C. Paton
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm – Fake news and fearsome truths: what you’ll find in newspapers about your family — M. Gaffney
  • 4.30pm – Intelligent Clustering — M. Bennett
  • 6.00pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – WINDUP – More Than Just Doing Research! The Many Ways a Genealogist Can Work — C. Paton

DAY 10 – Tuesday 10 December – cruise ends 6.30am

Click here for a PDF version of the program.


Lead speaker - Chris Paton, Scottish and Irish expert

Other speakers -

  • Mia Bennett (England)
  • Hilary Blanford (England)
  • Maggie Gaffney (New Zealand)
  • Shauna Hicks (Queensland)
  • Eric Kopittke (Queensland)
  • Rosemary Kopittke (Queensland)
  • Michelle Patient (New Zealand)
  • Helen Smith (Queensland) 


Clean Cruising is our cruise travel agent.

CLICK HERE – or the image at the left to book or register your interest with them.

Or call Ciaran direct on 1800 007 987 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

You may book with your own travel agent, but you will need to book the conference direct with us (a higher rate than if you book with Clean Cruising).


  1. the cruise fare – varies depending on your choice of cabin and the fare at the time you book
  2. the conference – a fixed cost, but if booked with Clean Cruising our group travel agent, it is charged together with the final cruise payment nearer the cruise departure date. If booked with another agent payment is made direct to Unlock the Past Cruises.

Early bookings will give you the best choice of cabin location – and probably the best price

Booking the cruise

 – this will be at the rate of day. Check with Clean Cruising for the current rate, but as a general guide we will list and periodically update the published cruise rates here.

Rates on 11 June 2024 (per person twin share), but subject to change at any time.

  • inside – from AU$2145 (approx. NZ$2320, US$1420, £1120, CA$1950, 1320 €)
  • ocean view – from AU$2687 (approx. NZ$2900, US$1780, £1400, CA$2450, 1650 €)
  • balcony – from AU$2837 (approx. NZ$3060, US$1880, £1480, CA$2580, 1750 €)
  • concierge/aqua – AU$2828 (approx. NZ$3040, US$1870, £1470, CA$2570, 1730 €)

SINGLE OCCUPANCY – rates are approximately 90% above the twin share rates. To overcome this price premium you may wish to share with another person travelling solo. If you are open to this we can help match you with someone smilar. See Are you a solo cruiser.

Booking the conference

This is additional to the cruise fare

The base conference fee is:

  • AU$595 per person for bookings with Clean Cruising, our group travel agent
  • AU$695 for bookings direct with a non-partner travel agent (or Celebrity direct)

These will be reduced where:

  • you are a sole occupant of a cabin
  • both in a cabin are genealogists – see below
  • a genealogist in a cabin with a non-genealogy cabin partner – see next bullet item
  • a non-genealogy cabin partner participates in any of the conference sessions and receives some of the benefits “non-genealogy partner” – for AU$200 (approx NZ$220, US$140, £110, CA$190, 130 €)
  • you have a cruise discount prize voucher

booked with Clean Cruising

  • per cabin – two people
    • both genealogists – [$495 +AU$495] = AU$990
      (approx NZ$1070, US$660, £520, CA$890, 610 €)
    • one genealogist and one non-genealogy partner – AU[$495 +AU$200] = $695
      (approx NZ$750, US$460, £370, CA$640, 430 €)
    • one genealogist and one with no conference participation – AU$595
      (approx NZ$650, US$400, £310, CA$550, 370 €)
  • per cabin – single occupancy – AU$495 (approx NZ$540, US$330, £260, CA$450, 310 €)

booked with another travel agent or Celebrity direct

  • per cabin – two people
    • both genealogists – [$595 +AU$595] = AU$1190
      (approx NZ$1290, US$790, £620, CA$1090, 730 €) – book here
    • one genealogist and one non-genealogy partner – [$595 +AU$200] = AU$795
      (approx NZ$860, US$530, £420, CA$730, 490 €) – book AU$595 here  — book AU$200 here
    • one genealogist and one with no conference participation – AU$695
      (approx NZ$750, US$460, £370, CA$640, 430 €) – book here
  • per cabin – single occupancy – AU$595 (approx NZ$650, US$400, £310, CA$550, 370 €) – book here
  • contact for links to book the conference securely online

A comprehensive five talk beginners program – AU$95 per person
(approx NZ$110, US$70, £50, CA$90, 60 €)

-----CLEAN CRUISING – CLICK HERE – to book or register your interest – or call Ciaran on 1800 007 987 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

You may book with your own travel agent, but you will need to book the conference direct with us (a higher rate than if you book with Clean Cruising).

Booking notes

The conference fee is part of the final payment for the cruise if the cruise is booked with Clean Cruising

Twin share pricing is per adult based on twin (two people) occupancy

Single occupancy and triple or quad share cabins may be available – check availability and pricing with Clean Cruising

If single pricing is too high for you we recommend you ask a friend or relative to join you or contact your travel agent or Unlock the Past to help match you with someone else (same sex) seeking a cabin share partner to help with costs. See Are you a solo cruiser.

Price changes may occur by reason of matters outside our control which increase the cost of the product or service. Such factors include adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges and taxes. However these scenarios are also unlikely to occur.

The currency on board the Celebrity Edge will be US dollars

Reservations and payment – to confirm a reservation your travel agent will require each passenger’s first and surname as per their passport as well as their date of birth, current address and telephone number. A passport may not be mandatory for this cruise. Check with Clean Cruising and, if not, ask what other form of ID may be acceptable.

Name tag name – If the name you wish to be known by on your name tag it is different from the name you are booking as, please advise this when booking.

Deposit – $400 per person due shortly after your reservation. These are generally non-refundable unless you pay a higher fare which allows cancellation.

Final balance – due by 30 August 2024

Cancellations – In the unfortunate event that anyone should have to cancel their holiday, we must be notified in writing. The day that we receive this notice in writing will be considered the date the cancellation has been made. Certain cancellation fees apply if cancelled after a deposit or final payment has been made. The cancellation charges outlined below are from Royal Caribbean. Unlock the Past does not charge any additional cancellation fee. Cancellations made before the advertised date of departure will incur the following charges per person:

90 days or more – loss of deposit, unless you pay a higher fare which allows cancellation
89 – 75 days – 25% of cruise fare
74 – 61 days – 50% of cruise fare
60 – 31 days – 75% cruise fare
30 days or less – 100% of total cruise fare – no refund

More information

The notes below are what generally applies on cruises. A few need to be confirmed and, if need be, updated for this cruise.

The currency on board Celebrity Edge will be US dollars.

Gratuities – these are included in the cruise fare

Internet – Premium Wi-Fi US$32.99 per day

Travel Insurance – this is not included as part of the cruise pricing however is required. You travel agent can provide insurance if you don’t have your own. This will cover for unforeseen cancellation and lost deposits, overseas medical, hospital and emergency expenses, luggage, accidental death and legal liability – the policy also has no excess. This policy does not automatically provide cover for existing health disorders. If coverage for existing health disorders is required and is accepted by the insurance company then an additional premium per applicant may apply.

Passport – a passport is normally used for ID. If you don’t have one, you may use a drivers licrnce instead.

Cruise tickets and documents – travel documents from your travel agent will be available at least 21 days prior to departure (providing full payment has been received).

Name changes – if you need to make a change, one name must remain as original booking. The second passenger can be changed at a fee of AU$75.00

Ship & itinerary changes
Celebrity do everything they reasonably can to make sure everything goes according to plan. However, sometimes changes can happen that may affect your cruise experience. These can include weather, mechanical difficulties, civil unrest or any other unforeseen circumstances. In addition, they may charter all or part of the ship or remove the ship from service where this becomes necessary. They may change the itinerary, ship or cancel the cruise due to operational or commercial requirements. They will notify you of these changes as soon as they can. Where they cancel a cruise or make a significant change to the ports in your itinerary prior to departure, you will have the choice of:

  1. A new itinerary
  2. An alternative cruise of comparable standard, if available
  3. Cancelling the cruise for a full refund of your fare

If they are required to change the itinerary or cancel the cruise due to safety, maritime law, severe weather or to protect human life or health, they are not required to provide any compensation. With this in mind, please do not make any important arrangements or meetings based on your proposed itinerary.

An Unlock the Past evening dining group – there are two seatings for evening dining in the main restaurant – 6.00pm and 8.30pm. You choose 6pm when you book your cruise to allow you to attend any our 8pm evening conference sessions – or the evening entertainment program. This only applies to the main dining room. It is not an issue if you choose the casual dining room or specialty dining room, which you are quite free to do.

Cruise bonuses

Bookings for the full conference as a genealogist or participating non-genealogy partner

  • entry into the AU$3000+ value prize draw
  • 20% discount on Unlock the Past publications on the cruise

Bookings for the full conference as a genealogist

  • Genealogy ebooks – AU$100 discount coupon (approx US$75) – any one order during/after the cruise
  • Unlock the Past publications – 50% discount coupon – any one order after the cruise
  • Gould Genealogy – 10% discount coupon – any one order after the cruise
  • Archive Digital Books 50% discount coupon on any one special data collection – value (depending on product used on) up to AU$300 (approx US$225) – on/after the cruise

What is included in the price

  • Conference fee – access to all presentations and one-on-one or small group help with experts
  • Accommodation as booked
  • All main meals on-board – specialty dining is extra
  • Open/anytime or traditional/set time & multi-venue dining. We have requested 6pm dining for our group in the main dining room, though the option remains for individuals to use the casual or specialty dining rooms)
  • Alternative specialty dining (Suites)
  • In-cabin dining at no charge
  • Use of ship facilities – indoor & outdoor
  • Entertainment – live music and/or shows, movies
  • Activities – organised & individual
  • Specialty lectures, workshops, classes & programs
  • Bridge director on select cruises
  • Infant crèche, kids clubs & teen programs
  • Cruise Director & all English speaking staff
  • Butler & valet services (select cabins)
  • Priority dis/embarkation (selected suites)
  • Special needs requests & service animals

What is not included in the price

  • Airfares, accommodation & transfers not specified
  • Shore & land excursions and meals not specified
  • Alternate specialty dining venues (unless specified)
  • Casino gaming, bar expenses
  • Passport & visa fees
  • Insurances of all kinds
  • Increases in third party charges or taxes
  • Customary land tour gratuities are welcome
  • Service charge 15% added to beverage bills.
  • Items & services of a personal nature
  • Medical services, vaccination costs
  • Laundry and/or valet charges
  • Wi-Fi, Internet, satellite/mobile phone & fax charges
  • Childcare night services (3-12 yrs, 10pm-1am)
  • Costs and expenses, including the return to your home, if you leave the cruise of your own volition, or due to illness, or as a consequence of official action by the government.

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