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FGS goes North to Alaska!

Think for a moment about the excitement of a genealogy conference: a range of speakers offering guidance on a range of topics we need to know about for our research.

cruise-shipThen think about the pleasures of cruising: every minute catered for by ship crew and staff, gourmet meals, and fascinating ports of call.

Put the two together and what have you got?

Genealogy cruising… with the Federation of Genealogical Societies, setting sail on 28 August 2015 from Seattle through the Alaska Inside Passage and back.

And this cruise couldn’t get much better.

First off, the genealogy. There will be four speakers on the cruise:

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

Even setting aside that legal type person there, this is one of the strongest line-ups you’ll ever see. Elizabeth Shown Mills is one of genealogy’s shining lights — an expert on methodology who leads us all gently to be the best we can be. David Rencher’s command of Irish and British records and research methods can’t be beat. Josh Taylor is both a first-rate genealogist and understands the needs of societies and their leaders better than anyone around. And I suppose The Legal Genealogist must add something to the mix… at least entertainment value!

From DNA testing to eastern origins of western families and everything in between, the conference program is stellar. You can read more about the speakers here, get a look at the sessions here, and the overall schedule is set out here.

And if that’s not enough, there will be two special shore excursions to genealogically-relevant sites — one each on the port days in Juneau and Skagway. Plus, of course, opportunities to go off and do your own thing every time the ship — the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas — is in port.

And then there’s the cruising part. Just reading the descriptions is enough to make you drool:

Alaska Inside Passage
Millions of years ago, southbound glaciers carved out the Inside Passage, leaving majestic fjords, islands and bays in their wake. Alaska’s Inside Passage is awash with pristine water mountain views. From the lush greenery of Tongass National Forest—the world’s largest and northernmost temperate coastal rainforest—to the brilliant blue glaciers, you’ll see jaw-dropping beauty everywhere you look. A cruise among the fjords and islands takes you into prime habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, and whales. The Inside Passage is home to the totem poles of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Indians, and Russian setters, as well as prospectors, lumberjacks, and fishermen. All have added to the tapestry of this area’s history.

Tracy Arm Fjord
Nestled between 3,000-foot high granite walls, the narrow, twisting slice of ocean called Tracy Arm Fjord weaves through the Tongass National Forest for roughly 35 miles. The shoreline is spotted with waterfalls created by melting snowcaps and trees sprouting at odd angles from rocky outcroppings. Tracy Arm, a classic fjord, has it all: snow-capped peaks, shear rock palisades, rainbows and tidewater glaciers. Drift among icebergs and waterfalls that cascade thousands of feet for the most close-up view of Sawyer Glacier. You’ll see incredible mountains and emerald green water, and be able to watch for whales, bear, eagles and mountain goats, and seals.

Add to that Seattle as the beginning and end point — a gorgeous city in its own right, Victoria in British Columbia with world-famous gardens and its walkable inner-city streets, and Juneau and Skagway and…

Well, it sure sounds like a winner in every possible way.

Especially since we all have a year to save up our pennies to pay for everything we want to do!

Ready to book? Reservations information can be found here and both conference registration and cruise reservations are officially open now, and balcony cabins are already almost sold out — so book soon!

Genealogy from the best… in the best possible way… in one of the world’s best locations.

I can’t wait.

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