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German Heritage Tour:...

German Heritage Tour: Family Emigration & Origins

12 days
Group size1428 travelers
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ

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Trace your heritage and uncover Germany, from north to south.

Set out from Hanseatic Hamburg to see the highlights of this dynamic country. Soak up culture in Cologne and Munich, cruise along the Rhine River, and wander through Bavaria’s charming cities, visiting museums that bring the past to life as you go. On this adventure through Germany, created in collaboration with Ancestry®, you’ll gain new insight into your family’s genealogy.

Your tour package includes

  • AncestryDNA® kit
  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 5 dinners with beer or wine
  • 9 sightseeing tours
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Included highlights

  • Special AncestryProGenealogists® sessions
  • BallinStadt Emigration Museum
  • German Emigration Center Bremerhaven
  • Cologne Cathedral
  • Rhine River Cruise
Read more
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Hamburg today.

Hamburg2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Germany
Included meal: Dinner

Welcome to Hamburg! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in, then get an introduction to German genealogy and the ways you will be tracing your heritage with your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists®. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your Tour Director and fellow travelers this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Hamburg
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, join a local expert on a guided tour of Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and a historic port on the Elbe River.

• Pass by the neo-Renaissance Rathaus, the city hall

• Admire St. Michaelis Church, the largest Baroque church in northern Germany

• Explore the Speicherstadt, the city’s historic harbor district

• Take a scenic cruise on the Alster River and lakes

• Enter the BallinStadt Emigration Museum, where you’ll take a guided tour and learn about German genealogy at the family research center

Cologne2 nights
Day 4: Cologne via Bremen
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Make your way to Cologne today, traveling through Lower Saxony. 

• Enter the German Emigration Center in the port city of Bremerhaven to discover exhibitions that detail the history of German migration over the past three  hundred years

• Stop in Hanseatic Bremen to enjoy free time for lunch, perhaps paying a visit  to the Ratskeller, the city's traditional wine cellar

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Cologne
Included meal: Breakfast

Today, you’ll join a local expert to discover the highlights of Cologne on a guided tour. 

• Travel through the waterfront Rheinauhafen district

• Walk through the city’s charming Old Town, passing the historic City Hall,  Great St. Martin Church, and Alter Markt, a central square

• Enter Cologne Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage site

Frankfurt2 nights
Day 6: Rhine River Cruise & Hessenpark Open Air Museum
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel south through Rhineland and Westphalia to explore the region on a series of visits today. 

• Soak in the spectacular sights of the Rhine River Valley on a scenic cruise, passing castles from the Middle Ages 

(Please note: From mid-October through March you will enjoy a German wine tasting instead of the cruise)

• Take a guided tour of the traditional buildings in the Hessenpark Open Air Museum, located in the state of Hesse, and experience what German village life was like throughout the past five centuries

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel to Heidelberg, the historic capital of the Palatinate, and get to know its romantic cityscapes and Baroque architecture on a guided tour.

• Wander through Heidelberg’s elegant Market Square in the city’s Old Town

• Explore the grounds of Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany

• Take a funicular ride to the city’s rose-colored hilltop castle for panoramic views of the Old Bridge and the Rhine River below

• Explore the art and archaeological collections of the Museum of the Palatinate

Nuremberg2 nights
Day 8: Nuremberg via Würzburg
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into the state of Bavaria, stopping to visit Würzburg en route to Nuremberg.

• Enter the historic Würzburg Cathedral, built in the Romanesque style 

• Enjoy free time to visit the Catholic archives or explore the city on your own

Day 9: Ansbach & Rothenburg
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, follow a local guide through the Ansbach Residence, a palace and seat of the administration of the Middle Franconia region. Then, take a walking tour through the well-preserved cobblestone streets of Rothenburg.

• Explore the romantic alleyways and picturesque squares of the historic Old Town

• View Market Square and the 13th-century Town Hall Tower

• Take in views of charming half-timbered houses in the Plönlein area, which is framed by the Siebers Tower and Kobolzell Gate

Munich2 nights
Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Nuremberg
Included meal: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of Nuremberg today before continuing on to Munich.

• Enter the Memorium Nuremberg Trials Museum

• Walk through the Old Town, passing St. Sebaldus Church, St. Lorenz Church, and the Rathaus, the city hall

• Enjoy free time to explore on your own before continuing on to Munich

Tonight, your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® shares a summary of all you’ve learned about German heritage.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Munich
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour. 

• Make your way to the city center to explore the Marienplatz, Munich’s medieval heart, and see the chiming of the famed Glockenspiel 

• Pass by Munich Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, and the Old and New Town Halls

• Enter the Residenz, once home to the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria, and then explore the manicured Hofgarten and the Odeonsplatz

• Travel past the Englischer Garten  and the fashionable Schwabing district

Spend a free afternoon in Munich or add an excursion.  

Then, say goodbye to your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.


From $45 per person

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Overall rating 4.9 out of 5
Based on 10 authentic traveler reviews
Sort by
    07/08/22 by 1st-time traveler Keith
    Great Delve into German Genealogy
    07/08/22 by 1st-time traveler Kandice

    I had wanted to take this tour for several years so was so excited when it became available for booking last summer. We flew to Germany two days early to visit the home towns of my ancestors, which was amazing! The tour included a stop in Bremerhaven, where the museum gave us more information abou...

    Read more +
    A great trip
    07/12/19 by 1st-time traveler William

    I greatly enjoyed the trip, seeing a lot of different places. The trip was well organized with a good balance of touring as well as private relaxation time. Hotels were fine, food was good.

    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Crowne Plaza Hamburg - City Alster
    Crowne Plaza Hamburg - City Alster

    This contemporary hotel is located in the Hohenfelde neighborhood in Hamburg, Germany's city center. Guests enjoy a fitness center, restaurant and lou...

    Read more +
    Cologne Marriott Hotel
    Cologne Marriott Hotel

    This modern hotel is located near the Rhine River. Guests enjoy a fitness center, bar, and restaurant. Nearby you’ll find the Old Market, Museum Ludwi...

    Read more +
    NH Collection City Frankfurt
    NH Collection City Frankfurt

    This contemporary hotel is located in Frankfurt’s Innenstadt district. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a fitness studio, and a restaurant and bar. Nearby, yo...

    Read more +
    Novotel Nürnberg Centre Ville Hotel
    Novotel Nürnberg Centre Ville Hotel

    This contemporary hotel is located in the Marienvorstadt neighborhood. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and spa. Nearby you’ll find the DB Museum, Neue...

    Read more +
    Holiday Inn Westpark
    Holiday Inn Westpark

    This contemporary hotel is located in Munich’s Sendling neighborhood. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and bar, and a sauna. Nearby, you’ll find ...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights

    Local weather

    Cologne, Germany
    Weather averages
    High 65 °FLow 54 °F
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Weather averages
    High 62 °FLow 53 °F
    Munich, Germany
    Weather averages
    High 59 °FLow 48 °F
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Weather averages
    High 67 °FLow 53 °F
    Hamburg, Germany
    Weather averages
    High 55 °FLow 52 °F
    Nuremberg, Germany
    Weather averages
    High 53 °FLow 48 °F


    Print FAQ
    About your Heritage Tour
    • This tour was created in collaboration with Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry® harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives.
    • As part of your tour package, you’ll receive an AncestryDNA® kit within one month of booking your trip. Please complete the simple test as soon as possible to receive your DNA results.
    • Prior to your tour, we will contact you to schedule your 5-hour pre-trip family history review with AncestryProGenealogists®.
    • A genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® specializing in German research will accompany your group and provide unique genealogical and heritage insight throughout the entire trip.
    • Ancestry® offers customized ancestral home visits during and after the main trip for an additional cost. With these, one of the AncestryProGenealogists® staff will accompany you to the exact town, village, or parish in Germany where your own specific ancestors lived. If you’re interested in an ancestral home visit, ask about organizing one during your pre-trip family history review.
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    Passport & visa requirements
    • In order to enter Germany, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
    • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
    • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
    • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
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    Tour pace
    • On this guided tour, you’ll walk for about 1.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills.
    • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
    • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
    • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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    Transportation & arrival information
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Hamburg and depart from Munich. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
    • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers withGo Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
    • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
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    Baggage allowance
    • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
    • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
    • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
    • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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    Clothing & packing tips
    • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, and a light jacket or rainwear.
    • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
    • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
    • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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    • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Germany.
    • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at (https://www.cdc.gov/).
    • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
    • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
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    • German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are dumpling stews, sauerkraut, sausages, smoked cheeses, and dark breads. Bavaria produces some of the world’s purest beers, and white German wines are exceptionally good.
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    Electricity & air conditioning
    • Germany operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C or F plugs with two small, round pins.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
    • Your hotel may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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    • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
    • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
    • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges and purchasing an international data plan.
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    Time zones
    • Germany is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (EST).
    • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
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    • You will use the euro on this tour.
    • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
    • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
    • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
    • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
    • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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    • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
    • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
    • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
    • Tips can only be paid in cash.
    • Your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® will not be expecting a tip.
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    Purchasing excursions on tour
    • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
    • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
    • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
    • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
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