Genealogy Tours of Scotland Announces a 2019 Celtic Genealogy Cruise

The following announcement was written by Genealogy Tours of Scotland:

Visit Your Ancestral Homeland by Sea
May 4 – 16, 2019
Aboard Crown Princess

Are you ready to learn more about your Celtic Ancestors? Join us for a Celtic Genealogy Cruise, where we combine genealogy travel with research opportunities, chances to consult with local genealogists who can assist you with your brick walls, and loads of fun ways to connect with your Celtic heritage.

The cruise starts and ends in Dublin, Ireland. Ports of call include:

A Brief Update from Beijing

As mentioned in an earlier article, I am now in Beijing, China. I arrived yesterday after what was a very long airplane ride. I am now in a hotel room and have caught up on a lot of missing sleep. This morning (Chinese time) I connected via the hotel’s wi-fi network to the Internet.

As I expected, the “Great Firewall of China” blocks a lot of web sites, including Google, Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, CNN, and many other sites. At first, I couldn’t even check my email for new messages. However, I then enabled a software VPN (virtual private network) that I always use, both at home and when traveling. Voila! Every web site I have tried since then has now worked normally, just as expected. I can check email and surf the web as I please.

Last Chance (?) to Sign Up for an 8-Night Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise

This may be your last opportunity to sign up for an 8-night genealogy cruise, hosted by Gary and Diana Smith. Other speakers will include Donna Moughty, and some guy named Dick Eastman who writes a genealogy newsletter. If you would like to join this fun group of genealogy cruisers, you might want to mark April 15-23, 2018, on your calendar. While 2018 sounds like a long time in the future, it is only 6 months from now. This is the time to be making cruise ship reservations!

The 2018 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise will be on board the Celebrity Equinox and will sail the Eastern Caribbean. It holds 2,850 passengers. The Equinox was voted the “Best Overall Cruise (Large Ship)” by the Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards in 2015. You can learn more about the Celebrity Equinox at

Go Ahead Tours, Ancestry Collaborate to Launch New Tour Portfolio

I mentioned this briefly in an article last week at Now Go Ahead Tours has released an announcement that contains many more details:

This unique portfolio of tours will offer experiences that will take travelers on a journey into their personal histories

September 11, 2017 (CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS) – Go Ahead Tours and Ancestry today announced a new portfolio of tours that will take travelers on a journey into their personal histories. These exciting trips combine Ancestry’s proprietary DNA technology and access to expert Genealogists with Go Ahead’s high-quality international travel experiences. The new portfolio of heritage trips will launch this fall with itineraries in 2018 to Ireland, Italy, and Germany. New tours featuring additional destinations will be announced in early 2018 with first departures in 2019.

“We are thrilled to team up with Ancestry to introduce this special way for travelers to experience a destination in a new light,” said David Henry, VP of Marketing at Go Ahead. “So many of our customers travel to connect with their heritage, and this was our inspiration to collaborate with the team at Ancestry. These trips will help our customers explore their family story with even greater insight and visit the places where their ancestors once walked.”

Genealogy Travel with Go Ahead Tours and AncestryProGenealogist

Genealogy cruises have become quite popular and several have been described in this newsletter in recent years. (See for some of my past articles about genealogy cruises.) Now a new player is has partnered with Go Ahead Tours to launch heritage-geared tour offerings, led by an expert genealogist and based on your own DNA test.

AncestryProGenealogists and Go AheadTours will offer tours of Ireland, Italy, and Germany in 2018 to start. AncestryProGenealogists’ experts will lead the personal history charge, which is based on an AncestryDNA kit travelers take before departure. Each tour’s genealogist will discuss travelers’ DNA results with them before the trip, and can assist in building a family tree to use on the tour. During this consultation, travelers will have the option to add on site or home visits to specific villages or towns their ancestry searches lead them to—for an added price.

You can read more about these DNA tours at

Announcing an October 2018 Genealogy Research Trip to Dublin or Belfast, Ireland

The following announcement was written by Donna Moughty:

Sarasota, FL — Donna Moughty, a professional genealogist and specialist in Irish research, will again be taking a group of researchers to Ireland in October of 2018. The Belfast Research Tour from Oct 7-13 will visit the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Historical Foundation, the Linen Hall Library and the Ulster American Folk Park and Mellon Library for Emigration Studies. The Dublin Research Tour from October 14-21 includes the National Library of Ireland, National Archives, General Register Office, Valuation Office and Registry of Deeds. In both cases, other repositories can be scheduled as needed.

Announcing the 14th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise (Alaska 2018)

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 17 May 2017 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 2018 cruise – an opportunity to discover more about your family history while in great company and visiting great destinations.

The Alaska cruise, 7-14 September 2018 on Royal Caribbean‘s Explorer of the Seas will leave from Seattle, visiting Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia over 7 days.

The conference program will feature 40–45 talks in three streams from an international team of 12–15 speakers. No talks will occur when in port or during scenic cruising. An optional full day extra seminar is being considered the day before the cruise to offer additional value to the many who will travel from a distance. This will feature leading North American speakers and a different program.

The featured presenters on the cruise are:

On the Road Again

By the time you read these words, I should be either en route to or have arrived in Massachusetts. I will be attending the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium’s conference in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The event is sponsored by a long, long  list of participating genealogy societies. You can see the list at: Past NERGC conferences have attracted 800 or more attendees. I suspect this year’s event will be at least as popular.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show at the NEC in Birmingham, England Next Month

One of the largest genealogy events in the world will be held in a few weeks in Birmingham, England. I believe it is the largest genealogy conference in the UK and is the second-largest in the world. (RootsTech in Salt Lake City appears to be the largest.) This show typically attracts about 13,000 family historians and others with an interest in history and in researching their family trees.

You can see my report from last year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event at

Who Do You Think You are? Live! will be returning to Birmingham’s NEC from Thursday April 6 to Saturday April 8, 2017, and budding genealogists as well as experienced family historians are invited to attend. They will have the chance to discuss their family history research with a range of genealogy experts and industry leaders.

The event will also see more than 130 of the top exhibitors and local family history societies descend on the NEC from all over the world to share their expertise and provide access to their billions of genealogy records.

Winter Genealogy Cruise is a Success

Diana and Gary Smith annually organize one of the more interesting genealogy cruises of the year. While a bit smaller than some of the other genealogy cruises, it is noted as being one of the friendliest. The camaraderie amongst the “cruisers” needs to be seen to be appreciated. Luckily, I was one of the genealogists on board and had a chance to talk with most everyone while at sea. This year’s cruise ended last week and the genealogists on board all seemed to be wearing smiles when they departed the Celebrity Silhouette.

Photo courtesy of Harry Benson.
Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

Announcing the Unlock the Past Holy Land Tour and Genealogy Conference

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 8 March 2017 – Unlock the Past announces another innovative event – a Holy Land tour and associated genealogy conference (Israel).

10-day Holy Land tour – 23 October – 1 November 2017

This is organised in partnership with the Israel Travel Centre. It is a general Holy Land tour timed around, and taking in, the 31 October centenary commemoration of the Charge of the ANZAC Light Horse on Beersheba on 31 October 1917.

The general tour will visit many places of Christian/biblical interest, as well as later Christian and general history – Caesarea built by Herod the Great, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem (2 days and 2 nights), the Dead Sea, Masada (the last stronghold of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans) and Abrahams Well and Visitor Center, Beersheba … and more.

Legacy Genealogy Cruise 2017 announced: Pacific Coast – September 22-29, 2017

Genealogy cruises are some of the most enjoyable trips I have ever taken. Now the long-time cruise experts who produce Legacy Family Tree software have announced they will hold a cruise September 22-29, 2017 along the Pacific coast:

legacy-genealogy-cruise-2017The 14th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise, to be held September 22-29, 2017, departs from Seattle, Washington aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas ship and will feature top genealogy speakers including members of the Legacy Family Tree staff. We will cruise the Pacific Coast and visit the following ports:

  • Seattle, WA
  • Astoria, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Victoria, British Columbia

Genealogy Classes at Sea
While at sea attend classes taught by some of genealogy’s finest educators, Legacy Family Tree webinar speakers, and Legacy developers. In addition to the classes, you will benefit from the small-group sessions and lots of time to learn from each other.

Online Map Guides You On an Epic Tour of Nearly 50,000 U.S. Historic Sites

If you ever wanted to visit every interesting historical site in the U.S., a map created by University of Waterloo professor William Cook and his team of researchers, will guide you on a tour to each one using the mathematically shortest route possible.


It uses Google Maps to figure out the shortest route to see every single site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It may take you a while to visit each site, however. The shortest possible route covers 217,605 miles—or somewhere between eight and nine laps around the equator.

Check it out at

2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special has been Extended

I wrote earlier (at and at about Gary and Diana Smith’s 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean on February 26 to March 5, 2017. I will be on that cruise and certainly am looking forward to it. I have been on the Celebrity Silhouette before and loved it.

The earlier article mentioned the cruise line’s Early Booking Special for anyone who signs up for the cruise before August 31. The special stated that an early sign-up special was available until August 31st. That has now changed. The special has been extended to October 31, 2016.

You can read a flyer describing the cruise by clicking here.

Take a Genealogy Cruise to Alaska with HB Genealogy Cruises

hbgenealogycruisesGenealogy cruises are very popular and for good reasons. They are educational, they are fun, and they also provide a great experience for family members who are not interested in genealogy. Unlike a genealogy conference in a major city’s conference center, I have never heard a complaint about a cruise from non-interested family members who accompany a family member on one of these family history conferences on the seas.

For more information about the benefits of genealogy cruises, see my earlier article, Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers, at

HB Genealogy Cruises, sponsored by Heritage Books, has been in the cruise business for several years under the guidance of Craig Scott. The company is now offering its 4th Annual Genealogy Conference & Cruise, this time from Seattle, Washington, to British Columbia, to several ports in Alaska, and back again. The cruise will take place on September 17 — 24, 2017, roughly one year from now. I will suggest now is the time to start planning!

A Journey of Genealogy on Board the Queen Mary 2

Genealogy cruises are very popular but now there is a new player in the the game: Cunard.

qm2_in_nyA bit more than two years from now, on 4 Nov – 11 Nov 2018, the newly Remastered Queen Mary 2 will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom to New York City. For the first time ever, Cunard has collaborated with, the largest online family history resource in the world, to offer guests the opportunity to trace their family trees while on the remastered Queen Mary 2.

Ancestry’s experts will demonstrate how data drawn from the largest online collection of family history records can help trace your family’s past. Find out how AncestryDNA can introduce you to living relatives you never knew existed and reveal your ethnic mix across 1,000 years.

2017 and 2018 Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruises Announced

If you have never been on a genealogy cruise, you have missed a lot of fun. (See my earlier article at describing the advantages of cruises.) I believe Unlock the Past Cruises is the most active organizer of genealogy cruises. Based in Australia, Unlock the Past Cruises sponsors cruises in nearly all parts of the world, attracting genealogists from many different nations.

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past Cruises:

utplogoSignificant international genealogy conferences at sea

Adelaide, South Australia, 2 September 2016 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its latest cruise schedule for the next two years.

2017 cruise (now booking) – Papua New Guinea (13th cruise)
This exciting 10 night cruise out of Brisbane to Papua New Guinea and its islands opened for bookings earlier this year. It is a completely different kind of itinerary to one of the emerging and exciting new cruise destinations. It offers a great balance of conference (during the 4 days at sea) and places to visit during the 5 days in ports and/or around islands – great sightseeing and fascinating shore excursions.

It will feature a special WWII Pacific war stream within our usual wide ranging conference program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Pacific war coming to Australia and New Guinea in 1942. The war in this region was very much part of the greater Pacific war. American ships were sunk in Australian waters. Almost 1 million American and Canadian service personnel, including 100,000 African-Americans, passed through Australia from 1941 to 1945.The conference program will be headed by Dr Tom Lewis, one of Australia’s foremost Pacific war historians and authors, supported by other recognised experts.

For details see the PNG cruise at

2018 cruise (provisional) – Alaska (14th cruise) NEW

British Airways and are Offering Sweepstakes Travel to London

Want to travel to do some genealogy research? If you have British ancestry, a new offer from British Airways and Ancestry may be just what you need.


British Airways and are teaming up to offer a sweepstakes to London. British Airways launched the advertising campaign about the joys and importance of air travel. To celebrate the way families are reconnected on a daily basis thanks to aviation, the airline has partnered with to give away a pair of business-class tickets, a year-long membership to the website, and four nights at the Sheraton Grand Luxury London Park Lane hotel, now showing the newest incarnation of the Sheraton brand. Sheraton is investing big bucks in hotels around the world, and this is one of the showpieces. Enter the contest between now and Aug. 26, along with two more opportunities in September.

UPDATE: Click here and scroll down the next page to find the entry form. It is well hidden otherwise.

Barbados Considers ‘Roots Tourism’

I wonder if more governments should think about this. Promoting genealogy tourism can add millions of dollars/pounds/Euros/ or other local currency to local businesses’ income:

Barbados Today:-Local officials have identified genealogy tourism as a niche area on which they will seek to capitalize.

Manager of Innovation and strategy at the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) Terry Vanterpool-Fox said Barbadians locally and abroad had a keen interest in learning about their family history.

2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special

I wrote earlier (at about Gary and Diana Smith’s 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean on February 26 to March 5, 2017. I will be on that cruise and certainly am looking forward to it. I have been on the Celebrity Silhouette before and loved it. Now the cruise line has announced an Early Booking Special for anyone who signs up for the cruise before August 31.

The option for unlimited Internet access is unusual. Internet access from cruise ships is usually very expensive. I will be signing up for that option!

Here is the announcement:

Celebrity Solstice - Aerial at Sea Miami ShorelineEARLY BOOKING SPECIAL
Genealogy Cruise

7-Night Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette
February 26 to March 5, 2017

Reserve: Oceanview, Balcony, Concierge, or Aqua Class Stateroom* by August 31, 2016 and receive your choice of two (2) of the following amenities: