Making Travel Dreams Come True – German Ancestral Tour

jannI help clients’ travel dreams come true. How cool is that?!

Here’s an example of the Virtuoso difference in delivering upon clients’ travel dreams!

I had a request from a client to do an ancestral visit of Germany. My client had arranged with me to take her mom on a river cruise through Germany, and as a special (and last minute) surprise at the beginning of the holiday, my client thought it would be really neat to take her mom to where her grandparents had lived in Geseke.

I love a challenge. So, I rolled up my sleeves to see what we could do to help.

At first, I had some difficulty in finding anything that would assist in such a special and last minute tour. The town of Geseke was a smaller one, and my regular Virtuoso network contacts had no immediate resources to assist. But, I persevered in the search. I hit a goldmine with a new Virtuoso onsite (a feet-on-the-ground destination specialist) in Germany.  Alpha Travel Consultants came to our rescue!

And – that’s the Virtuoso difference. As a Virtuoso travel advisor, I have access to resources that my clients do not on their own. And, I am able to harness the power of those relationships to help my clients do things that they cannot do on their own.

Here’s an example of that power! In less than than 24 hours of my initial query to them, my partners at Alpha had contacted the archives in the city of Geseke, and was sending me back pictures of the street where my clients’ grandparents used to live. In addition, Caroline Pöge at Alpha had dug up copies of the ancestors’ death certificates. She also found details on the bakery that my clients’ grandparents had owned. While the initial bakery itself had been sold, and the building demolished, Caroline found details on the new building that was now on the site.

But my partners at Alpha weren’t done. When Caroline couldn’t find someone to tour the mom and adult daughter around Geseke, she somehow got the mayor of Geseke,  Dr. Remco van der Velden, to take the the 2 ladies around the town. The mayor agreed to do this free of charge, and only invited my clients to leave a donation at the town’s museum.

To say my client was thrilled with the tour the mayor of Geske had personally done for her mom was an understatement. And, the neat thing was, the mayor seemed to have really enjoyed it too!  The mayor invited a reporter to come along his tour with the ladies, and it resulted in a local newspaper article about my client and her mom.

Thanks to my client, Jann, for giving me your ok to include your email and article here.

Let me know if I can help you make your travel dreams come true!

Sheila Gallant-Halloran


[email protected]


The Geseke town mayor brought along a reporter and attached is the article they ran on our visit. How sweet.

The article talks about how my Mom’s grandmother always missed her homeland but left with her young family before WWI started.
The cruise pace is exactly what my mom wants.