An enlightening add-on to your river cruise experience with AmaWaterways and Ancestry®

Have you ever wondered what your ancestors’ lives were like in Europe at the turn of the century? Or imagined how it would feel to follow in their footsteps, walking the same paths they did in your ancestral village? Now you can experience a deeply meaningful connection with your personal heritage while enjoying the enriching and exclusive experiences only a river cruise with AmaWaterways provides. As part of a history-making partnership, Ancestry® and AmaWaterways are combining our shared passions for family, heritage and travel to offer you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to uncover their family history while cruising along Europe’s legendary rivers.

Heritage on the River

Our first-ever Heritage on the River: Your Personalized Ancestry Journey itinerary embarks July 30, 2022 – and with the add-on Ancestry® package, you have the opportunity to consult with AncestryProGenealogists® both prior to this special Rhine River cruise and on board during your journey. You can learn more about your family tree as it pertains to the cities and countries we sail through, or simply enjoy cruising along the fairytale Rhine River while learning more details about your family history as it unfolded in another part of the world.

Go “Home” to Your Ancestral Village 

Guests who already have traced their family tree back to the Netherlands, Germany, France’s Alsace region or Switzerland may also have the chance to enhance their Heritage on the River journey by adding an Ancestral Home Visit during the sailing for a nominal fee.* In fact, Ancestry’s DNA Expert, Angie Bush, had the opportunity to visit her ancestors’ hometown during one of our Rhine River cruises in August 2021. Her story below will give you a glimpse into the type of experience you may be able to have should you have the opportunity to add an Ancestral Home Visit to your river cruise. 

Angie’s Story  

I knew my ancestors came from Oberstedten, Germany and that it wasn’t too far from the Rhine River port of Rüdesheim. When we arrived on my personalized Ancestral Home Visit excursion, looking around the town and seeing how green and pretty it was there was incredible. I stood there thinking about how my ancestors walked away from that beauty because they wanted a better life in America. What struck me most was the contrast in our experiences: how easy it was for me to make that journey in modern times, but how difficult it must have been for my family to have packed up everything they owned and travel by horse and buggy, by rail and by steam ship. I realized the opportunities in America had to really be worth that incredible effort and long journey that they undertook to emigrate and that definitely made an impact on me. 


An Unexpected Invitation 

One of my ancestors had built a mill in Oberstedten. While his 14 children all emigrated to the US, he stayed behind in Germany with his spouse and later sold the mill. During my Ancestral Home Visit, something incredibly fortuitous happened. Not only did I get to see the church my ancestors attended and the historic mill where my family member worked, but I was invited inside by the current owner of the property. I was able to see the old millstone and the workings of the mill and really get a sense of that history – my own family’s history.  

Personalize Your Own Heritage Journey 

Angie’s might not have been a typical Ancestral Home Visit since invitations by owners into their properties are not common or guaranteed. However, your experience might include a visit to the school or church your family attended, the cemetery where they are buried, the house where they lived, the building in which they worked and more. Discover more details on this option by contacting your travel advisor today. 

*Your personalized experience is dependent upon itinerary and proximity to the ship  

Learn more about our partnership with Ancestry as well as what is included in your Heritage on the River journey and contact your travel advisor to customize your personalized experience today! 


AmaInsider Tip: If you have not already done any family history research prior to your river cruise, AmaWaterways is happy to offer an AncestryDNA® at no additional cost. This will enable your genealogist to provide you with even more details on your heritage and make suggestions for further exploration you can do on your own!

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