Most non-native Americans can now find out their heritage to another part of the world, and the circumstances or story of that migration is what the United States is often a treasured part of the family lore. In my family, the first traceable line puts the earliest arrival in Virginia in the 1640s. Another hundred million Americans can detect the arrival of their family through Ellis Island, where one in five of those arrivals had disembarked from a ship controlled by Cunard, which has operated between Europe and North America since 1840.
In the early part of this year, Cunard unveiled a special ancestry cruise onboard a seven day transatlantic crossing in November. With it, passengers will be able to mark out their ancestors under the ever vigilant expert eyes of the genealogists as traveling on the North Atlantic, the very site of several large emigration waves over the last several centuries. It is possibly that Cunard has such a long history in migrant transportation, for founder Samuel Cunard was himself the son of a Loyalist who fled Pennsylvania for Nova Scotia following the Revolutionary War.
In the 21st Century “Heritage Tourism” is an emerging trend, as more and more travelers watch out to follow (often quite literally) the same paths trodden by their forebears.