When it comes to discovering your ancestral past, there's no time like the present.
Researching your family tree is nothing new. But modern resources, from DNA-testing kits like 23andMe to websites like ancestry.com, have prompted a growing interest in genealogy. And many tour operators are responding to this trend with heritage-themed trips.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection (nine-day sailings from $3,799) offers Jewish heritage excursions on its Remarkable Rhine itineraries. Passengers can tour Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum and, in Frankfurt, learn about the legacy of the Rothschilds, the wealthy banking family.
Some operators, like the Ireland-based Adams & Butler (genealogical consultations from $956) have genealogists on staff. Just provide your personal history and the researchers will incorporate a visit to your ancestral village (or even your actual home) into a larger, bespoke Ireland itinerary. Similarly, in Sicily, the high-end villa company Thinking Traveller (villas from $9,200 per week) has partnered with Palermo-based Passage to Sicily, a local operator that can take you to your hometown or, perhaps, connect you with distant relatives (inquiries from $60).
For more than 25 years, Spector Travel of Boston (nine-day trips from $2,599) has been curating African ancestry and culture tours across the continent, with a focus on Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. If none of its predetermined programs suit you, the staff can design a custom itinerary. In Senegal, for example, you can take an emotional walk through the Goree Island Slave House & Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site; Ghana trips might include tours of the coast and Elmina Castle.