Many people dream of following in their ancestors’ footsteps by visiting their ancestral homelands. They expect to learn something new about their family tree or uncover a piece of history. And because of this passion, family heritage tours are growing in popularity.
Some travel firms now provide ancestral tours, as well as genealogical services to assist you in planning a trip to your ancestor’s homeland.
Most ancestral tourism firms focus on Europe, but you may discover tours to practically any region where your ancestors resided.
So before packing bags, let’s first go through some of the greatest genealogy tour companies and provide some tools to help you get started organizing your ancestral tour.
What are you waiting for?
Check out these 14 businesses that will assist you in following in your forefathers’ footsteps in 2022.
What do the various phases of an ancestry journey entail?
Research is usually the first step in learning about your ancestors. Many websites provide DNA testing, which might help determine where your ancestors came from.
From here, you may use government-run databases to dig even deeper.
These keep track of national records such as church registrations, birth certificates, land ownership rights, and migration data.
Professional genealogists can even obtain documents through websites like Scotlands People.
Knowing their ancestors’ names and where they lived is enough for some people.
However, a growing number of people desire to visit historic locations in person, to share the same views, and walk on the same land as their forefathers. This is where almost all ancestry tours begin.
The tours described below give those “aha” moments that help put the tale into historical context.
Ancestral Tour Planning Resources
Are you not quite ready to join up for a tour yet? Make your vacation to the nations of your forefathers and mothers!
A few websites and non-profit organizations that can assist you in arranging a genealogical vacation are listed below:
- Road Scholar offers educational excursions across the United States with scholarships and grants. With getaways to the Allen County Library Genealogy Center in Michigan, Road Scholar encourages interested travelers to uncover their Family’s roots. With the help of experienced researchers and workshops, you can discover more.
- Cindi’s List is an excellent place to begin. The website includes information on tour companies, cruise options, and how to arrange your visit to the records offices.
- Travel possibilities are available through the New England Historic Genealogical Society to sites around the United States, Canada, and the British Isles.
- Japan National Tourism Organization offers information on where to look for ancestors and organizes vacations to Japan.
- Irish Ancestral Research Association has access to resources and travel possibilities.
- Expert-led Genealogy Tours: AncestryDNA is a kit that examines DNA and offers a breakdown of a person’s ethnic ancestry. During a pre-trip family history review, travelers can create their family tree and discuss their DNA findings with an expert from AncestryProGenealogists. Each excursion is conducted by a local Tour Director and expert genealogist who gives historical context and a personal viewpoint to each place.
Genealogy Travel in the United States
Ann-Mar Genealogy Trips
If you want to plan a journey to record repositories in the United States, here is a fantastic place to start.
This company provides a week-long trip to the Family Background Library in Utah, and Indiana, among other places.
Their in-house genealogists, C. Ann Staley and Margo Farriss Brewer, lead the excursions.
A basic trip for up to 20 persons in a group or a premium excursion for 2-6 individuals is available.
Outside of the excursions, the organization also provides research services.
Your Travel Services
This is a firm established in South Carolina that offers personalized tours. Its DNA Journey package includes:
- Genetic screening.
- Visits to important records offices.
- Tours to other locations where you may explore your family history and sightseeing at important destinations.
Domestic and international excursions are available, with rates starting at $129.
Ellis Island Tours
A visit to Ellis Island might be fruitful, as there is a wealth of material about immigration here. The Ellis Island Museum, New York Harbor, Castle Garden, and Ellis Island are part of this company’s trips.
You may also get up-to-date information about genealogy resources, exhibits, and associated events during the tour.
Heritage tours for families to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Western Europe
Europe Focus Tours
The organization organizes customized trips and advises local genealogists to study your family history.
It also offers genealogy research excursions throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and eastern France, Ireland, and England.
Because this firm only provides a few dozen excursions each year, you must apply ahead of time and pay a deposit to secure your dates.
My Ireland Heritage
This accredited genealogical tour business provides personalized guidance to investigating your ancestors.
It includes genealogy research assistance and a trip to Ireland to “follow in the footprints of your Irish forefathers.”
The firm provides one day, two days, and three days vacations, all of which include a fully bound book of your genealogical research.
With a journey to your family townland and hotel pick-up/drop-off with their in-house genealogist and tour guide.
The two-day and three-day tours include more amenities and attractions.
Ancestral Journeys of Scotland
Bob and Brenda Kucharzewski, a Scottish couple, started this traveling firm. Brenda is a licensed travel agent as well as a genealogist.
They plan customized vacations to Scotland for teams of 2-10 individuals to visit castles, battlefields, and other historical places.
The trips include a genealogy study with local genealogists, personalized excursions with a personal tour guide, airport pick-ups/drop-offs, lodging, daily transport, and other costs.
Tours start at $2,945 per person for a six-night, seven-day trip, but they may be tailored to your specific needs.
This England-based tour company specializes in historical tours in Europe to take visitors to their family houses in the same manner that the celebrities on the program “Who Do You Think You Are” do.
Ancestral Footsteps do genealogical research based on the information you supply before the trip and then transports you to your ancestor’s country for a tailored tour.
For England, Scotland, and Wales, the firm provides vacation packages ranging from a 2-day excursion to week-long tours starting at £8,000.
Cunard has teamed up with ancestry for the Queen Mary 2’s Journey of Genealogy cruise.
This journey includes discussions from ancestry specialists and the opportunity for travelers to explore their family lines over the years.
Ancestry Tours to Eastern Europe
This firm specializes in Eastern European genealogical research and family heritage excursions.
Founded by a team of Polish genealogists, it began by assisting people in tracing their ancestors in Poland and has now expanded to include ancestral journeys throughout Eastern Europe.
You can choose a personalized trip or join a group of up to 100 people on guided excursions to Belarus, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Russia.
The trips will accompany you to local record archives for research, with a professional genealogist accompanying you.
This genealogical travel business will also look for living relatives and plan a reunion for you.
Prague Private Genealogy Guide
This firm offers day trips in Prague and the surrounding areas to archives, cemeteries, and other locations of genealogical significance.
A local day-trip, which starts at $286 (depending on the size of the group) and includes transportation and a local tour guide, is a more reasonable choice if you are already in Europe.
Jewish Polin Guide
This travel firm specializes in Jewish touring and genealogy services in Poland. Still, it also provides general genealogical research in Poland and escorted tours to Eastern and Central European sights.
This trip focuses on Holocaust education and is designed for anyone looking for relatives who lived during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
They also provide research, document translations, itinerary consulting, and picture documentation, among other services.
Family Tree Tours
Those with ancestors from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, England, or Ireland who want to learn more about their family history can join any of the tour options:
- Guided private trip.
- Group heritage trip.
- Independent tour.
EF Go Ahead Tours
EF offers one-of-a-kind genealogical excursions. The EF Go Ahead Tours are organized in collaboration with ancestry.
An AncestryDNA kit, a post-family background analysis, and an AncestryProGenealogist guide accompany each tour.
Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Scotland are all popular vacation locations.
Travel to Discover Your Roots in Asia
My China Roots
This tour organization provides genealogical research services and vacations that take you to your ancestors’ village in China.
They do genealogical research before your journey and then design your schedule to link you to your family network or ancestral village.
Bilingual tour guides and mementos are provided on the trips, including trips to museums and other sights.
Japan Deluxe Tours
This travel operator offers Nikkei Japanese Ancestry Tours, which run excursions from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Tours take you to Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
You may learn about Japan’s history and Japanese Americans and find out where your ancestors lived.
The Nikkei Tours cost roughly $3,000 per person for nine to ten days.
Noble House Tours (India)
People may visit their forefathers’ villages and travel across modern India with their ‘Discover Your Roots Tour Package.’
All persons of Indian ancestry residing in Mauritius, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji, and other countries are targeted by this travel package.
Heritage Travel in Africa
African genealogy tourism is on the increase, with local governments in developing countries making an effort to boost heritage tourism by exposing public resources to visitors and constructing museums — making ancestral tours in the nation more accessible.
Visitors may follow the vestiges of the historical slave trade routes and get a glimpse of African culture with this U.S.-based company’s Roots and Culture Tours.
The tour visits numerous nations in West Africa.
Participants can discover more about their ancestors by visiting local museums and cultural institutions throughout their journey.
Flights, hotel accommodations, an experienced guide, and more are all included in the excursions.
Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Reunion, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia are among the countries where the company offers customized heritage trips.
Henderson Travel Service
This well-known travel agency, which offers excursions to Africa and other destinations, was formed in 1955. It arranged for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his entourage to fly to Oslo to collect the Nobel Peace Prize when African-American travel was restricted.
It also carried the first party of American visitors to Ghana before commercial flights to West Africa were available.
Customized tours are also available via the travel agency. An 8-day “Back to Roots” vacation to Senegal and Gambia costs $2,600-$3,150.
As DNA testing kits become more popular and accessible, an increasing number of people are visiting their ancestral homelands.
These and other genealogy travel firms provide specialized ancestry research and unique itineraries to the nations, cities, and villages where your ancestors formerly resided.
However, we have not personally utilized any of these businesses.
We cannot vouch for their safety or quality of service, so please conduct your research before choosing the best travel choice.
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