Travelweek: Is there a typical duration for ancestry tours, and are tours privately guided or are clients on their own? 

Susinski: “Most of our trips range from 10 to 14 days, but as they are all privately guided and customized to the client’s interests and timeframe, they can be any duration according to how long they are looking to spend.”


Travelweek: Ancestry tours are of course unique to each traveller based on their genealogy, but can you give us the highlights from a sample itinerary from an ancestry travel client? 

Susinski: “We developed all the sample itineraries on our website to have a general and cultural appeal, combined with more historical elements, tied together with a story of emigration.

“For example, our Germany Family Heritage Journey starts in the often-overlooked city of Frankfurt to peel back the layers of history in the Old Town before heading out to the surrounding area to visit the 13th century Heidelburg Castle and, going back even further, the UNESCO-listed 11th century cathedral in Speyer. We start to make our way north by way of Cologne, including a visit to an ethnographic museum for a fun look into what life was like over 400 years ago, with original buildings from the region. Cologne itself is a city dating back 2,000 years, and a tour here will seamlessly blend in several historical eras right up to WWII. From here we head to Bremerhaven on the North Sea coast or a visit to the German Emigration Center – Europe’s largest museum focused on emigration. If anyone has ancestors who came from Germany between 1830 and 1974, there’s a good chance they departed from Bremerhaven, and the museum is located on the exact dock ships would have departed from. Finally, we end in the architecturally stunning, canal city of Hamburg, home to the Ballinstadt Emigration Museum, another gateway for millions of emigrants from all over Europe.

“As with all our trips, any or all of these locales and experiences can be customized, as can the hotels, length of stay in each locale, and types of touring. We can add an on-site genealogist to any of the days, and include any sites or locales that are relevant to anyone’s family story.”


Travelweek: What’s one of the more interesting ancestry travel stories that you’ve come across? 

Susinski: “There are so many of them, but we did one for a family from Poland. The grandmother had been in one of the camps during the Holocaust and had not been back since. As part of this trip, we arranged for her to return with her family, making for a very poignant experience.

“But we have also done some incredible trips to other countries including Ireland and Italy, which are two of the most popular destinations for Personal Heritage Journeys. To that point, Italy has proclaimed 2024 as the Year of the Italian Roots in the World to encourage Italian descendants to come visit and fully appreciate the beauty, culture and historical traditions of the small villages that their ancestors left.”


Travelweek: How big is this niche for Kensington Tours these days? 

Susinski: “These trips remain very popular, which is why we’ve continued to expand the locations where we do these trips in collaboration with

“We have several thought-starter itineraries to places from Ireland, Germany and Italy to Japan, Ghana and New York but can curate a trip to just about anywhere. Of course, a big part of it comes down to the record-keeping in each country as some countries are better than others.”


Travelweek: What’s your best advice for agents interested in this niche? It seems like it could appeal to so many clients, since everyone has a family history! 

Susinski: “With the demand for multi-gen/family travel continuing to remain high, this is such a meaningful and memorable experience for families to share together.

“We work with advisors quite frequently on these types of trips as we have the connections and infrastructure through our partnership with Ancestry to do the necessary research while also creating a fully customized itinerary that incorporates all of the other elements for a memorable trip.”

Kensington Tours’ Personal Heritage Journeys include customized Italy tours (credit Getty Images)

For more information see To read part 1 of Travelweek’s Ancestry Travel series, click here.

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