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During this time of social isolation, it feels like we can only dream of visiting faraway destinations, national parks, museums, and natural wonders. Thankfully, many of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences are now available from the comfort of your home. Enjoy the virtual tours, interactive experiences, and live broadcasts that will make you feel as if you are truly there. So get your computer or virtual reality device ready and let’s go on an adventure!
#1 Hidden Worlds of National Parks
#2 The Louvre
#6 Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum
#8 Scuba Diving in the Red Sea
#11 Whistler Ice Caves, Canada
#13 Waitomo Glowworm Cave in New Zealand
#15 Travel Seminars
Google Arts & Culture is bringing the USA’s most amazing national parks directly to your living room with their Hidden Worlds of the National Parks project. Currently, they are featuring 5 stunning national parks – Kenai Fjods (Alaska), Hawai’i Volcanoes (Hawai’i), Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico), Bryce Canyon (Utah) and Dry Tortugas (Florida). The videos take you on a virtual tour with a park ranger and explore the most breathtaking panoramic views around the park. The interactive videos are expertly implemented and will give you the same wow feeling as if you were really there.
Wander through the most famous museum in the world with the Louvre’s online tour experiences and see your favorite paintings up-close and personal. The Louvre virtual tour will let you enjoy the museum at your own pace without the lines. You can also step inside the Louvre museum with virtual reality for a completely immersive experience.
Yosemite National Park in the USA is a very picturesque place on its own. The US Public Broadcasting Service channel invites users to view the park from a bird's eye view. When viewed in virtual reality, the sensation of flying can cause dizziness. Check out live webcams of remarkable views like Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and El Capitan.
The Met is hosting Nightly Opera Streams to bring the beloved performances directly to your living room. Enjoy the live performances every evening at 7:30pm EDT. They will remain accessible online until 6:30 pm the following day. Check out the full schedule on The Met Opera’s website.
The Keukenhof in The Netherlands is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. The garden is home to over 7 million vibrant tulips. Enjoy a 360° video of a short virtual tour around the Keukenhof gardens. Click and move your mouse around the video to get different perspectives.
The Sistine Chapel does not usually allow photography or video inside. However, now you can step inside and take a full 360° tour of Michaelangelo’s masterpiece and zoom in close to the exquisite artwork. Many of the other rooms inside the Vatican Museum are available for virtual tours, as well.
Who hasn't dreamed of climbing Everest mountain? Thanks to virtual reality and the Discovery channel, this is partially possible. You can watch the tour directly on the Discovery VR website. There you can find applications for iOS, Android, Oculus and HTC Vive. It’s a truly breathtaking look at one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The Red Sea is one of the most popular diving sites in the world. Go on a scuba diving virtual experience with 360 Labs and plunge into the sea without leaving your home. This experience is incredible using a VR headset. You will feel like you are in the ocean with amazing views of the wildlife, shipwrecks, and coral reefs. If you don’t have virtual reality, you can use your computer and click around in the video to swivel your view.
Perhaps high technology attracts you more than landscapes. In this case, go to the border of Switzerland and France and take part in a three-dimensional virtual tour of the Large Hadron Collider, which was prepared by BBC. The Large Collider is the “world’s largest and highest energy particle collider” and it is located 160 – 575 feet (50-175 meters) underground. If you find the video fascinating, then you can schedule a tour once the Coronavirus lockdown is lifted. The collider is usually shut down just before Christmas and they schedule tours of the underground facilities. Call or email in advance to make sure it will be possible to visit on your travel dates.
Another short three-dimensional virtual journey from National Geographic sends the user to cold Antarctica. Just what you need in the summer heat. Click around in the 360° video to find the best panoramic views.
The video, shot by Destination British Columbia, allows you to go to giant ice caves near the Canadian city of Whistler. Travel through the caves and learn about their history with a helicopter ice cave tour. The caves melt all the time due to climatic changes, so soon this beauty may not leave a trace.
Visit one of the most prestigious museums in the world right from your laptop. The Rijksmuseum interactive experience allows visitors to feel like they are truly exploring inside the museum. The entire museum is available just as if you were walking through it (think Google Street View). You can scroll in to get even closer to the paintings than you would if you were at the museum.
Most people associate New Zealand with the picturesque hills we saw in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. However, the underworld of this country is no less surprising. The main attraction of the south of the country is Waitomo Glowworm Cave. The ceiling and walls of the cave are covered with luminous insects. This picture resembles a fantastic starry sky. Go on a short tour of Waitomo Glowworm on the National Geographic YouTube channel.
The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil is the largest in the world with the greatest variety of species. The virtual journey from Jaunt VR is designed to immerse the user in this amazing ecosystem. You can view the tour in a browser on the Jaunt VR website, or through the application for any of the existing virtual reality platforms.
Tour operators are really hurting during this time as tourism is at a standstill. Context Travel decided to get creative and bring the tours to you through expert-led live seminars on popular tourist destinations. Get immersed in the history and culture of the Uffizi Gallery, Holland’s Tulip Gardens, New York City, and so much more.
This is a collaborative piece by Taylor Randolph and Melisa Marzett, a freelance writer who is currently writing articles for many online resources including www.findwritingservice.com.
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We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.