The year 2007 has seen three major genealogy cruises departing from North American ports. I was fortunate enough to be a participant on all three and decided to write a bit about my experiences. If you are thinking about joining a future genealogy cruise, my experiences may help identify the best future cruise for you as well as for your traveling companions.
The recent shift in genealogy conferences and learning opportunities is fascinating. The traditional conferences held in various convention centers around the country seem to be dropping in attendance numbers in recent years. In contrast, the number of genealogists who take cruises is increasing rapidly. More than 550 genealogists participated in the three genealogy theme cruises this year, a larger number than the attendees of many state and regional conferences!
Genealogy seminars on the high seas are becoming as common as similar seminars held on land. The major advantages of the cruises include: better accommodations, better food, exotic ports of call, and more activities for family members who accompany the genealogists. Perhaps I should also mention the abundance of sunshine.
The downside of cruises includes a lack of exhibitors' halls and fewer research opportunities in the local area. (I will point out one exception: a lady on this year's cruises spent a day in the St. Thomas archives researching her grandfather, who lived on the island about 80 years ago. She reportedly had great success.)
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