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Ancestry Journeys: Sail Into Family History

by Elyse Glickman

Nov 5, 2017

Cunard

Cruising

Celebrities and public figures appearing on NBC’s Who do You Think You Are and PBS’ Finding Your Roots have proven time travel is real … at least when it comes to tracing the new ways individuals can use modern technology to track down their familial and genetic roots, encountering all kinds of surprises along the way. However, time travel is not restricted to the rich and famous. With websites and organizations like Ancestry.com and 23 and Me, it’s never been easier to dig back into time to uncover hidden gems of family history, and seeing where your forefathers fit into their origins’ vast historic canvas.

QM2 -M842 - A Journey of Genealogy - Laconia deck

Photo: Cunard in Partnership with Ancestry.com

 

Cunard recently announced it joined forces with Ancestry.com and some noted genealogists to take individuals and families on a literal trip of a lifetime that extends into the lifetimes of those who came before them. “A Journey of Genealogy,” setting sail aboard the Queen Mary 2 Nov. 4–11, 2018, will lead guests on a trans-Atlantic journey to learn about family history, sift through records and discover their ethnic origins with AncestryDNA.

 

It is interesting to note one out of five immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island traveled on Cunard, and anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota and historian Suzannah Lipscomb will be on hand to help guests discover how archaeology, anthropology and history factor into their roots.

Queen Mary 2 Exterior (1)

Queen Mary 2. Photo: Cunard

Closer to home, Australian tour company Unlock the Past partnered with U.S. travel agency Cruise Planner/O’Connell Travel to include curious Americans on the 2018 edition of its popular Alaska genealogy cruise aboard Royal Caribbean‘s Explorer of the Seas. The week-long (Sept. 7–14) sojourn departs from Seattle, and covers Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia.

 

The conference program onboard between destinations encompasses 40–45 talks by such noted ancestry experts as Scotland’s Chris Paton, author of nine Unlock the Past books, Dick Eastman of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, Dr. Janet Few and Caroline Gurney from England, Jan Gow from New Zealand, Shauna Hicks, Eric and Rosemary Kopittke, Mike Murray and Helen Smith from Australia, and Cyndi Ingle from the United States.

People waiting on line for the Anne Frank House museum

People waiting on line for the Anne Frank House museum. Photo: Lornet | Dreamstime

 

AmaWaterways, Tauck Worldwide and Uniworld all offer Jewish Heritage Connections cruises through Europe that not only include a visit to the essential sites like the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, but also monuments, museums and other discoveries in towns and cities along the Rhine and other major rivers. Uniworld’s newest themed river cruise showcases the Jewish history and culture of historic Germany along with the rebirth of Jewish communities in the 21st century. Tauck’s Jewish cruise concentrates on the ashkenaz Jewish communities of Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna and Prague, on their two-week journeys in 2018. Armenian Heritage Cruises, meanwhile, coordinated with Royal Caribbean for a Jan. 20–28, 2018, cruise through the Caribbean.

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