The pandemic has been a boon in disguise as it has transformed the tourism industry by bringing the trend of virtual tours. These virtual tours allow us to travel to phenomenal and magnificent destinations around the world in real-time, from the comforts of our homes.
With these tours, you can virtually explore everything including exotic beaches, film festivals, wine tasting, national parks, bird watching, etc. No air tickets, visas, or long-distance flights are required. Only a mobile or laptop, and good wifi, and yes the urge to travel.
Top 10 Virtual Travel Experiences In 2021
1. Visit Amsterdam’s Canal District In A Unique Way
The tour covers many places and themes, like ghost hunting in Kyoto and African-American culture in Harlem. These trips are completely live-streamed.
This is a one-hour tour of Amsterdam is arranged every Sunday. The charges are £70, up to six screens.
Visit Tours By Local website for booking your tour.
2. An Icy Jump In Helsinki
Next is the virtual tour of Helsinki. The tour guide Kati Pankka takes you through a private sauna by the lake. On this trip, there is Live streaming of traditional Finnish spa rituals including ice baths, combined with saunas in winter, locals regard this as a mood booster with health benefits.
This trip is part of 15 interactive virtual experiences recently launched by Intrepid’s Urban Adventures team to help support its local team of tour guides during the pandemic.
These sessions are conducted live on Zoom, and many of them are conducted at the tour guide’s home. Other options include mandala art and meditation in Delhi, and making Polish dumplings with a Krakow chef.
Helsinki Experience (group tour option) starts from £19.84.
Visit urbanadventures.com for other details.
3. Birdwatching On The Paradise Coast, Florida
Peregrine falcons, pelican, and bald eagles can be found among more than 200 species of birds that inhabit Tigertail beach in southwest Florida. The tidal lagoon on Marco Island and its mudflats are also the main winter stop for hikers and are now open for exploration through the seasonal online bird-watching program.
It is a 90-minute educational virtual trip, wherein a variety of birds can be seen live, through virtual binoculars placed near the beach. Tours will be held monthly till April 2021, hosted by biologists Adam DiNuovo and Collette Lauzau.
The next event will be on 16 th January and this month you can combine a birdwatching tour with other online activities at Florida`s Festival of Birds.
Tours are priced at $10.
Visit rookerybay.org for other details.
4. Tour The Mary Rose, Portsmouth
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Visit Portsmouth has launched many virtual tours, and their latest project will surely attract budding young historians. The Mary Rose Museum’s new interactive photosphere rotates 360 degrees along the walkway between the ship’s wooden carcass and the artifacts that made up the 16th shipwreck.
This place is home to the world’s largest collection of Tudor artifacts. The photosphere displays all the important discoveries of Henry VIII’s favorite battleship through rotating clickable icons.
This is a free tour, visit maryrose.org.
5. Watching Movies At The Jewish Film Festival In New York
Many film festivals this year will be virtual, making global fringe movies more accessible than ever. The New York Jewish Film Festival, which opens this week, will show documentaries, short films, and feature films from Lincoln Center.
Highlights include “Here We Are” by Nir Bergman, a touching story about a father and his autistic son, and an inspirational documentary, Tells the life of Irmi Selver, a Jewish refugee who fled his hometown of Chemnitz in eastern Germany during the rise of Nazism.
An all-access pass with a virtual ticket of $12 or $125 is available. Visit virtual.filmlinc.org for details.
6. Strolling Through The Medieval Streets Of Transylvania
Romania Tour Guide: Vlad Blaj recorded virtual trips for his small tour company Romania Thrill, last summer. In the Mysteries of Medieval Braşov tour, participants can walk with Blaj through one of the most important cities in Saxony, accompanied by old photos, illustrations, and maps under a guided tour.
Although the tour has been prerecorded, the tour follows an interactive format that allows participants to choose different paths at different points of the recording, allowing them to focus on, for example, the history of the Black Church in Brasov, or you can taste the traditional Romanian chimney cake at street-side. A similar Sighișoara tour will begin later this month.
Virtual tour for £15 per download, visit romanianthrills.us.
7. Tasting Volcanic Wine In Lanzarote
After not working for six months in 2020, Wine Tours Lanzarote changed its Canaries-based enterprise in October to become a registered import/export business in the UK. It is the first company to bring Lanzarote’s volcanic wine to the UK, and it now offers virtual tours.
The interactive wine tasting session showcases up to five local wines, conducted by a guide approved by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and includes presentation slides, photos, and videos. The company also offers a free live broadcast of Lanzarote’s craft beer and brewing sessions on Instagram.
The next show will be held on January 15th. The virtual wine tour costs £90, with a maximum of three devices at £9 each, and each additional device at £9. Three bottles of wine for £57, including delivery.
Visit winehoplanzarote.com for other details.
8. Tour Of Menorca’s New Isla Del Rey Gallery
Hauser & Wirth Private Gallery has begun a virtual reality preview of their upcoming base on Menorca’s Isla del Rey. This grand art center will open later this year and will include eight galleries in and around a decommissioned 18th-century naval hospital in Mahón Harbour.
It has incorporated the conservation efforts and local planting plans and has begun exhibiting works by artists such as Glenn Ligon, Mark Bradford, and Louise Bourgeois, etc. The preview was created using architecture, construction, and video game technology to make the virtual journey more realistic.
This is a free tour, visit viphauserwirth.com.
9. Explore Australian Indigenous Culture In the Northern Territory
A travel agency in Far North’s Katherine region broadcasted their Australian indigenous cultural experience through live video. Top Didj’s 45-minute tour began in November and is available for download as a recording which makes it suitable for the UK. It is hosted by Australian indigenous artist and storyteller Manuel Pamkal.
The audience will also hear the childhood story of Manuel growing up in the jungle, and learn about hunter collecting, spear throwing, and music culture. Pamkal’s demonstration of using two sticks to ignite fire will definitely be welcomed by the children.
It is a now half-price tour, AU$10, visit topdidj.com for details.
10. Explore Untapped Corners Of London
The London Trail Virtual Tour series has been very popular since its launch in June last year. These group tours combine real-time video chat with photos taken during 2020 and PowerPoint compilations of historical data, rather than walking down the street with a camera.
One of the benefits found by the guide is that they can cover more ground and incorporate landmarks that are inaccessible to each other. The company is a cooperative run by a group of certified tour guides who have tours almost every day of the week. The themes include the abandoned London Underground station, the Art Deco theater land, and Dickens after dark.
Virtual tours £6, footprintsoflondon.com.
Therefore, virtual tourism has become more and more popular in the past year as a popular way to get rid of the blockade of life and get transported to another world, without actually going there.
At this point in time, when travel is restricted by the pandemic, it is definitely an amazing option to unwind and de-stress, and also satisfy our wanderlust. These virtual tours are entertaining, educational, and enjoyable. We really do need such a recreation, to dust off the boredom and sufferings caused by the pandemic. So, do book yourself one, for an extraordinary experience.
Do you want to take a real travel experience in the USA? Read our blog on Sturtevant Falls.