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Bargain Travel Europe guide to EuropeTravel on a budget for unusual destinations, cheap travel tips
and secret spots missed by travel tours.

Dr Grams Research and Travel Tours

The beginnings of my travel writing experience perhaps began in seeking out family roots in Germany. In the country on other business, I set out to track down ancestors that came to America from the German Rhineland in the 1700s, first tracing names to a research library in Kaiserslautern, then to a tiny village along the German wine road, where a medieval church still remained where relatives spent a part of their lives before setting out to a new world. Others of German ancestry may have come in later waves of emigration through the ports of Bremerhaven or Hamburg. If one has never been to Germany before, or even if one has, finding a guide or tour for the exploration might be more convenient than wandering haphazardly about looking for clues - unless you want to be a travel journalist and wander for a living.

Dr Wolfgang Grams Research and Travel started as a European research project in Migration Studies at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. Since 1997, the privately run institute headed by Dr. Grams has served clients in genealogical research and cultural tourism cooperates with the German National Tourism Office in New York and with many institutions, genealogical and historical societies in Germany and the US. They now organize tours for genealogical family history journeys. A number of set tours are available, most for 9 days covering a particular region of historical period of emigration.

Dr Grams Heritage Tours Examples

Rhineland, Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, Black Forest
This 9 Day trip will take a discovery journey through the Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, including Frankfurt and Heidelberg. It was from the Palatinate Rhineland and the old principalities of Baden and Wurttemberg that early emigration started from Germany to America, Mennonites or Hugenots in search of religious freedom, leading to the founding of the very first German settlement in America, Germantown in Pennsylvania in 1683, followed by Palatine colonists before the War of Independence, and the "Forty-Eighters" of the German Revolution in 1848. Following World War II, the Palatine Rhineland became home of the largest American communities outside the United States with the primary military bases in the country. This tour program follows 300 years of a shared history, featuring a stop at the Institute for Palatine History and Folk History in Kaiserslautern (see Wandering Emigrants), and includes an excursion into France. Cost per person is €1,520.

North Germany, Oldenburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven
Many of the 7 million Germans who immigrated to America from the Revolution onward originated from Oldenburg; Osnabrück, Westphalia; East-Frisia and the surroundings of the former Kingdom of Hanover. Your itinerary brings you to farms, former emigrant agencies in country side inns and to the Baroque gardens in these less traveled areas of Germany, where immigrants departed, sailing out of Bremerhaven. A farewell dinner in the “Last Bar before New York” will complete this route through some of Germany's most important areas of emigration. This tour is in April. Price per person is €1,520.

Bavaria to Berlin
In November, mix attractive destinations and detours to learn about the migration experience from Bavaria in southern Germany with highlights from Munich’s charming beer gardens to Berlin, Europe’s most exciting bustling city. The tour makes its way from the Bavarian capital of palaces (see Nymphenburg Palace) and churches (see Munich’s Baroque Churches) via Nuremberg, Dresden, Lutherstadt Wittenberg (see Martin Luther’s Church Doors), and Potsdam to Berlin. Price per person is €1,520.

These longer Heritage Tours have fixed departure dates for carefully designed itineraries, providing for a carefree opportunity to explore Germany’s history, culture and attractive highlights in a theme orientated tour for English speakers. They usually start and end in Frankfurt or Bremen and allow approx. 16–25 participants. All tours promise carefully selected 3 and 4 star hotels, a comfortable private tour bus, an expert tour director and guide, attractive local programs, and a full breakfast and one meal per day. Tours do not include airfare. Shorter 4 days tours are available which could be added to a longer vacation trip to Germany or elsewhere in Europe.

Short Tours Year Round

Bremen and Bremerhaven
This four days excursion is available all year round at any time for a minimum of 6 travelers. More than 7 million people emigrated through Bremen and Bremerhaven and made these the most important ports of embarkation next to Le Havre, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Liverpool (see Liverpool Emigration Museum) and other European cities. This itinerary follows historic emigration patterns and routes from the peasant farms to Bremen, then on to the Bremerhaven port of departure, with a visit to the German Emigration Center at Bremerhaven and a farewell dinner held in the steerage section of a historic sailing vessel completes this experience. Price per person is €660.

Hamburg and the Migration Experience
Hamburg was the most important port of embarkation for millions of emigrants from Eastern Europe and Germany. Beginning around 1900 the Hamburg America Line, was the biggest shipping company on the North Atlantic route, though beginning in 1889 the Hapag Line started its operations from the port of Cuxhaven. This 4 day tour starting and ending in Hamburg offers an unusual itinerary to discover the emigrant experience at these historic places. The tour covers the history of Hamburg, Cuxhaven and the Hamburg America Line. A visit to the Hamburg Emigration Museum Ballinstadt (see Hamburg Emigration Center) and a farewell dinner in the Hamburg harbor area (see Hamburg Harbor Tours) will complete this trip. Access to research facilities are included. Price per person is €660.

Dr Grams Research and Travel also offers family ancestry research services on an individual basis. Check their website for details.

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Dr Grams Travel Tours

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