With many of international borders still closed, travel bans in place, and many of us still stuck in our homes indefinitely, travelling this year looks a little bleak and is more of a distant thought by now.
That’s when tourist attractions globally resorted to curating online experiences for their visitors during this time of isolation and distancing. In turn, this has given many people a chance to virtually visit some of the favourite destinations on their wish list.
Here a few online experiences that can take you around the world in the comfort of your own homes.
Virtual Museum and Art Exhibitions
Museums are definitely one of the most visited attractions when tourists plan their travels. However, with COVID-19, there’s no telling when we’ll be able to physically visit these museums. As soon as major cities around the world begun their respective lockdowns in the early part of the year, museums were quick on their feet and launched various virtual tours of their spaces and exhibitions.
Endless activities such as online exhibits and interactive experiences have been introduced in the digital space for art enthusiasts to satisfy their craving for art. Visit the Louvre in Paris to catch sight of Europe’s finest collection of regal art, or head to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to gain exclusive access to Dorothea Lange’s powerful photographs and revolutionary sculptures by Donald Judd. If you’re more of a Van Gogh or Picasso fan, you’ll love Guggenheim’s extensive online collection available on their website.
Wildlife Live Streams
From marine creatures to mammals in the wild, say hello to your favourite animals through live streams aired by various zoos across the globe. The world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium in California features 10 different live cams for viewers to choose from. Whether you want to catch a glimpse of majestic sharks or waddling penguins, you’ll definitely find the ideal live stream for you. If you’re looking for something closer to home, our very own Singapore Zoo is offering Virtual Programmes From The Wild to enhance e-learning in schools and even at home.
Not only will this digital experience save you the hassle of waiting in line, but it will also give you a more intimate look at the day-to-day lives of these amazing creatures.
Visit the World’s Most Famous National Parks
This one is for all the nature lovers out there. Google Earth is offering 3D virtual tours of over 30 National Parks worldwide including Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion National Park.
Google Arts & Culture also partnered with the US National Park Service to showcase 5 Parks through an immersive 360-degree experience. This project is an interactive documentary showcasing five breathtaking national parks in the United States — the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and Dry Tortugas in Florida.
Outer Space Tour with NASA
If you’re looking for something more out of this world, head to outer space with NASA’s wide range of virtual tours that will take you into another dimension. For starters, space explorers can take a 360-degree tour of the Space Telescope Operations Control Center (STOCC), which is the home of the Hubble Space Telescope. The tour includes activities such as learning about the spacecraft, visiting the lobby, and even getting a deeper look at the tools used by astronauts to repair the observatory.
Of course, what’s a virtual tour by NASA without including the International Space Station. Headed by NASA astronaut Suni Williams, take a step outside of the earth’s atmosphere and watch Williams float around space and show you the ropes of what it takes to live in the ISS.
Skip the lines at your favourite theme parks
Ever had to wait in extremely long lines on your favourite ride at a theme park? With these virtual theme park tours, there’s no such thing. Disney Parks launched its first-ever 360-degree panoramic views on Google street view to give people a sweeping view of the park from all angles as if they were really there.
Universal Studios Orlando also launched The Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience virtually, where you can walk through Diagon Alley. You can also try out the 360-degree videos of some of their most iconic rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Krakatau Coaster, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.