Cunard and Ancestry.com have announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration that will allow cruisers to trace family history while sailing on the Queen Mary 2 across the Atlantic.
The two companies are joining forces to offer a unique seven-night transatlantic crossing in November during which travellers will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors and experience sailing across the Atlantic like countless immigrants did.
Four genealogists from Ancestry will be onboard for the cruise to assist guests with learning about their history and where they come from. The experts will provide guests with information about where their family originated and show them how to sift through census and military records, as well as how to determine their ethnic mix through AncestryDNA.
The new offering is particularly appropriate given Cunard’s significant contribution to the history of immigration in this country. During the late 1800s, one in five immigrants who came through Ellis Island arrived on a Cunard liner.
“Cunard has a deep history with immigration to the US,” Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America, said in a statement. “Cunard’s partnership with Ancestry.com for the November transatlantic crossing will be an extraordinary experience for our guests to learn about their ancestors as they retrace their passage to the US, sailing into New York on a Cunard liner.”
Among the Ancestry researchers to be onboard for the sailing will be Jennifer Utley, director of research for the genealogy site who also oversees research for the television shows Who Do You Think You Are? and also Long Lost Family.
Angie Bush, a genetic genealogist with expertise in DNA, unknown parentage, 20th Century and the Midwestern USA will also take part in the cruise.
Additional researchers will include Crystal Beutler, part of Ancestry ProGenealogists who specializes in US Southern and Mid-Atlantic research and lineage society research and Simon Pearce, also from Ancestry ProGenealogists, who specializes in researching military ancestors from the First and Second World Wars.
Cunard will also offer a two-night post-voyage tour of Ellis Island and New York’s Ancestral Trail, an experience that offers insight into the early history of New York in downtown Manhattan. The experience will include visiting historical landmarks such as Wall Street, the New York Exchange, Federal Hall and the Trinity Church.
The detailed 90-minute guided tour of Ellis Island will cover the immigration halls and immigrant hospital buildings.