European Origins of the German Coast of Louisiana 2023
Germany, France, and Switzerland
10/25/23 - 11/13/23
from $4995 per person + air
Optional Single Supplement $1000
SPECIAL TOUR GUEST
President of the German-Acadian Coast Historical and Genealogical Society
The settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana in 1721. Early pioneering families of Colonial Louisiana were recruited from Alsace, Lorraine, the Rheinland, and Switzerland by John Law to settle in what is today St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. The community of settlers came from various regions of Europe. As the modern country of Germany did not unify until the 1870s, these ancestors were from different countries -- kingdoms, duchies, and principalities, but were united under the common Germanic languages, each with their own local dialects.
In Louisiana, the German language was soon replaced completely within 3 generations by the predominant French language of the time. By the 1800s these “Germans” had mostly Gallicized names. As their community grew and prospered their settlements soon extended upward to the Second German Coast and the establishment of a second church parish dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The populations would soon encompass both the west and east banks of the river. As the 19th century progressed 4th and 5th generation German coast families spread even further up the river into St. James, Ascension, Iberville, and even Pointe Coupée Parishes. Others traversed the swamplands and established along Bayous in what is today Lafourche & Terrebonne Parishes. And others even further west into the Attakapas region along the Bayous Teche and Vermilion and along the prairies of the Opelousas Post in the southwestern part of Louisiana. The majority of people in South Louisiana today can trace their ancestry to a German Coast settler, if not many of the original settlers. As genealogy became popular in the mid-20th Century up until it’s present boom in the 21st century, many scholars have traced the European origins of the settlers of “la côte des Allemands” and with this research, in mind, we intend to go back to these locals to enjoy the offerings of Europe and to visit the villages from which our ancestors hail.
The itinerary is designed with travelers in mind. Every attempt was made to minimize the change in hotels so we can enjoy more time visiting places than packing up each night. We have incorporated many of the main families in the itinerary below, but if you’re coming and we overlooked a family you descend from let us know and we can make every attempt to incorporate it into the itinerary. Likewise, if no one in the final group is descended from a particular family we’ll be eliminating those stops to maximize time elsewhere.
Cynthia Breaux Seitz owner of Heritages Tours by Seitz Travel is a genealogy buff and experienced tour director that has led many international “genealogy” oriented tours has partnered with Jay Schexnaydre, President of the German-Acadian Coast Historical & Genealogical Society to plan this trip in celebration of the Tricentennial of the German Coast of Louisiana!!
Jay Schexnaydre - President of the German-Acadian Coast Historical and Genealogical Society
The package includes:
A unique program focusing on the history and culture of our European ancestors in Germany, France, and Switzerland. This tour is custom curated for those whose ancestors settled the German Coast of Louisiana.
Bus transport to all destinations during your tour.
A visit to the area of Europe where our ancestors inhabited before they settled on Louisiana's German coast.
Local Tour Guides, your Louisiana tour director Cynthia Seitz, and your German Coast experts Al Robichaux and Jay Schexnaydre.
18-night accommodation at hotels in the city centers of Mainz, Germany, Strasbourg, France, and Zurich, Switzerland. (note that hotel rooms in Germany are smaller than North American rooms).
Entrance fees for attractions, activities, and guided tours as described in the program.
Don't miss out on this German Coast Heritage Tour!
Email Cynthia today!
2023 itinerary coming soon!
IMPORTANT: This is a preliminary itinerary and maybe
modified at any time before or during the tour due to
unforeseen events or to improve or better accommodate the
Day 0 - Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Your heritage tour begins with an overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany
Day 1 – Thursday, May 12, 2022
Arrival & Willkommen
Today you arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. Upon arrival at the airport, tour director, Cynthia Breaux Seitz will escort guests to the hotel near the airport. Once everyone settles in there will be a welcome orientation to prepare for the tour. We will use this day as a day to rest and recover from jetlag and be ready to start discovering the European origins of the settlers of the German Coast of Louisiana. (Overnight in Frankfurt, Germany)
No meals will be supplied today as the tour officially starts tomorrow.
Day 2 - Friday, May 13, 2022
Day Trip to Neunkirchen
Your day will begin in the morning with a nice breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, we will visit the village of Neunkirchen home of the HAYDEL family, and have lunch at a family-owned restaurant and biergarten which has been in business since 1688. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a guided tour of Frankfurt. (Overnight in Frankfurt, Germany)
[HAYDEL – Neunkirchen]
Day 3 – Saturday, May 14, 2022
Start your day off with breakfast before heading to Rudesheim, Germany for a river cruise on the Rhein River - the German “father” of all rivers, where you will see many medieval castles, lovely vineyards of spring foliage, and the famous rock formation, Lorelei. Other historic sites you will visit while in Rudesheim include Niederwald Monument, Drosselgasse Street, and a charming bell tower. (Overnight in Frankfurt, Germany)
Day 4 - Sunday, May 15, 2022
Today you will depart Frankfurt for Metz. Along the way, you will make a stop at Ramstein, Germany for a museum visit, and Saarlouis, Germany for a guided tour of the city where some of our ancestors were jailed. Upon arriving in Metz, we will enjoy a guided tour of Metz, the Capital of France’s Grand-Est Region. Visit the Metz Cathedral known as La Lanterne du Bon-Dieu (The Lord’s Lantern) because it has the most stained glass of any cathedral in the world and is one of Europe’s tallest. (Overnight in Metz, France)
[TASSIN - Thionville] [FOLSE – Ramstein]
Day 5 - Monday, May 16, 2022
A Day of History – The Great World Wars
Today you will take a step back into the historic wars that shaped the modern history of Alsace and Lorraine. Our day starts with a visit to Verdun, France where the longest battle of WWI took place. The battle lasted from February 21-December 18, 1916, and had the most casualties of both WWI and WWII. While there we will visit the Verdun Museum. Next, you will head to Belgium to the Bastogne War Museum which has a monument celebrating the Americans who fought in Belgium to help bring the Allied forces to victory there. (overnight in Metz, France)
Day 6 - Tuesday, May 17, 2022
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Today you will visit the country of Luxembourg, the ONLY remaining duchy in the world. Famous for a strong economy which they attribute to their role in the industrial revolution of the early 1840s and its primary product: steel! A city tour will highlight this unique city and will include a visit to the impressive Vianden Castle built in the Romanesque style dating back to the 10th century. You will also make a stop at the American Military Cemetery with over 5,000 US WWII soldier graves including the tomb of General Patton. (Overnight in Metz, France)
Day 7 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Today you will journey from Metz, France to Strasbourg, France stopping at many ancestral villages along the way. You will stop at Lichtenberg, Ingwiller, Menchoffen, Schillersdorf, Bouxwiller, Kirrwiller, Hochfelden, and Wingersheim.
[TROXLER, TROSCLAIR, TROXCLAIR - Lichtenberg] [JACOB - Ingwiller & Menchoffen] [BERENHARDT, HESSINE & MEHL - Schillersdorf] [MEEL & SCHERLE - Bouxwiller][JACOB & SCHERLE - Kirrwiller] [CLAUS & STEIN - Hochfelden] [DEBES & FREDERIC - Wingersheim]
Day 9 - Thursday, May 19, 2022
Splendors of Strasbourg
A day in Strasbourg - Capital of Alsace!! Enjoy a guided tour of Strasbourg and a visit to the Astronomical clock. Today you will take a riverboat ride on the Ill River and a visit to the Palais de Rohan. (Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
[BISCHOFF/PICHOFF, KLEINPETER, KNOBLOCH, TRICHE - Strasbourg]
Day 10 - Friday, May 20, 2022
This morning you will tour the villages of your ancestors in Lauterbourg, Schœnenbourg, Keffenach, Lembach, Trulben, Benheim, Fort-Louis before Lunch. In the afternoon you will enjoy a walking tour of charming town of Haguenau and free time on your own to explore the city.
[TREGRE & HAUSER - Lauterbourg][CHAUFFE/SCHOFF/SCHAAF - Schœnenbourg & Keffenach] [ELFER - Lembach] [LAICHE/LECHE - Trulben][ABWENDEN, ACKERMANN, GOTZ - Beinheim] [CRETZMANN, REIBEL - Fort-Louis][MATHERNE - Haguenau]
Day 11 - Saturday, May 21, 2022
Trip to the Franche-Comté
Today you will visit the ancestral villages of Belfort, Thiancourt, and Mulhouse in the morning. You will have lunch in Mulhouse and a walking tour of the city. You will also have some free time to enjoy and explore on your own the lovely city of Mulhouse, France. In the evening you will discover the village of Schwobsheim - home of the Waguespacks (Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
[KATTERLÉ, SERRE – Belfort] [JUDICE – Thiancourt] [EDELMAYER, LEMAIRE – Mulhouse][WAGUESPACK – Schwobsheim][LUTZELHOUSE – Ory]
Day 12 - Sunday, May 22, 2022
Rheinland-Pfalz (Palatinate) & Baden-Württemberg Villages
Take a ride back in time to the small towns and villages of Eppingen, Stebbach, Kirchardt, Reihen, and Rothenberg your ancestral hometowns in the Rheinland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg You will also be visiting the city of Heidelberg Germany with a walking tour before heading back to the hotel in Strasbourg. (Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
[TOUPS, BARTHE, EDINGER - Eppingen] [MARKS, HAUSER, EDINGER - Sinsheim][EDELMAYER, HIRTZEL, LAUTERMILCH, SCHNEIDER, STEINER - Reihen][ALTOFER, GEISSER, MULLER, ROMMEL / ROME, SCHNEIDER, STEIGER, WEIDLER, ZIRCKEL - Kirchardt] [WESELE, WICHE - Stebbach] [FREDERIC – Rothenberg]
Day 13 - Monday, May 23, 2022
Venture into the Black Forest
Visit the Mummelsee is a 17-meter-deep lake at the western mountains of the Hornisgrinde in the Northern Black Forest of Germany. It is very popular with tourists traveling along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße. According to legends, the lake is inhabited by a Nix and the King of the Mummelsee. At the Mummelsee you will have some famous Black Forest cake and maybe spot a Nix or even the king. On this day you will visit the beautiful Black Forest and the Black Forest Museum (Schwarzwald Museum) along with waterfall watching and shopping along the main street shops. (Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
[PRESTENBACH - Hügelsheim]
Day 14 - Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Haut-Rhin & Baden-Baden
We will visit the beautiful city of Colmar for a walking tour and a relaxing gondola ride in the city known as “Little Venice”. After lunch you will enjoy a tour of the ancient Roman “bath” city of Baden-Baden, Germany (Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
Day 15 - Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Today you will leave beautiful Strasbourg and head towards the lovely Zürich. In the morning we will stop and Huningue, France which borders both Germany and Switzerland. We will have lunch and a walking tour of Huningue before we make our way to Zürich taking stops in Basel, Aesch and Kloten, Switzerland. (Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland.)
[ZERINGUE - Huningue] [ALTORFER – Kloten] [TOUPS – Aesch]
Day 16 - Thursday, May 26, 2022
A Day in Zürich
Enjoy the Swiss city of Zürich. Today, you will experience a morning at the Lindt Chocolate Factory! Take a boat ride on the Limmat River as well as visit the Swiss National Museum. (Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland)
[LOUP – Zürich]
Day 17 – Friday, May 27, 2022
A Day in Lovely Luzern
Today, we will visit the lovely city of Luzern in the morning. After lunch we will make our way back to Zürich and stop at ancestral villages of Affoltern-am-Albis, Rickenbach and Hausen-am-Albis along the way. (Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland)
[HUBER/OUBRE - Hausen-am-Albis] [SCHNEWLI – Rickenbach] [TOUPS, KLEINER, STEIGER - Affoltern-am-Albis]
Day 18 - Saturday, May 28, 2022
Bern: A Capital City!
Today you will visit the Old City of Bern on a walking tour, a UNESCO heritage site. You will enjoy a lovely lunch before heading back to Zürich. On the return trip, we will visit the ancestral towns of Bätterkinden & Solothurn along the way. (Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland)
[STEINER - Bätterkinden] [BURAS & HIRTZEL - Solothurn]
Day 19 - Sunday, May 29, 2022
Trans-Atlantic Flight Home
Return Home - Flights depart from Zürich back to the USA