Does it seem as though youve had virtually no fun this summer? No flights to exotic locales? No luxuriating aboard a cruise ship? Are you sick and tired of your own backyard?
Take heart. With an electronic device and a little imagination, you can take a virtual trip to almost anywhere in the world from the safety of your own home. Castles or cruise ships. Train rides or tigers at the zoo. The Great Wall or a glass art museum.
It may take some time to sort through the myriad choices available. In coming up with a few examples, I passed over videos with too much chatter, too much commercial promotion and some that just took too much time to get rolling.
A virtual trip to the Eiffel Tower spent minutes focusing on crowds and walking up to the tower. A trip to one European castle featured several minutes of the backsides of horses pulling a cart which, I assume, eventually arrived at the castle. A visit to the Louvre spent too much time on crowd shots, followed by silent glimpses of art. (Hmmm. I wonder what that is?) I almost included a kids photo safari in South Africa, until the final scene featured a spitting contest with (I sincerely hope) sterilized animal droppings. In short, before you view a virtual tour with others, you might want to preview it!
Of the options available, youll find varying quality and length. Some are elaborate with sweeping aerial shots and glorious interiors. Others are basic, requiring you to click or touch arrows to follow a path through a site. You may want to skip past ads from sponsors.
Ditto sites which include cookies or registration.
Here are a few selections to begin your virtual travels. To help locate the tours, you may need to add the words virtual tour when you search, and then compare the length of choices listed to the following:
The Great Wall of China.
There are numerous virtual tours for this famous site. China Tours The Great Wall of China (World Spree) on YouTube is a concise, three-minute overview, with a short history, aerial views and closeup shots. The Great Wall of China Walking Tour on YouTube is a 30-minute, up-close and personal walk which almost made me feel as though I was there.
The videographer says nothing, merely walks along showing what you would actually see on the Wall. You pass by other tourists, look out over the wall to surrounding hillsides, climb staircases and enter watchtowers. As the tour progresses, you can hear the more labored breathing of the videographer and I actually began to have the sense of, Oh no, not another staircase!
Cruise Ships and Ports.
Many cruise ship tours are blatant ads for cruise companies.
However, I did find one 16-minute tour that combines a look at liners from numerous companies, along with various Caribbean ports. Cruise From Home 6 Cruise Ships and 5 Ports (Talking Cruise) on YouTube wanders through ships from Royal Caribbean, Disney, Carnival, MSC and Princess lines.
Designed perhaps for a younger, trendier crowd, there are glimpses of elaborate onboard atria, stage shows, pools, water slides, putting greens and an occasional zip line plus one juggling bartender. No cabins, dining rooms or libraries in evidence. Onshore settings are primarily private islands owned by cruise companies, with a heavy emphasis on surf and sand.
Of the many castles of the world, Germanys Neuschwanstein is sometimes described as the most beautiful. This fairytale-like structure was reportedly the inspiration for Sleeping Beautys Castle at Disneyland. A nine-minute World Sites Guide.com Neuschwanstein Germany virtual tour includes historical commentary, with aerial and closeup outdoor shots, plus a few inside views. Another nine-and-a half-minute Schloss Neuschwanstein (Germany) Vacation Travel Video Guide also includes history, and exterior shots of the castle, plus extensive indoor shots of ornate gold detail, mosaics, wall paintings, wood carvings and angel images.
Inside shots tend to be dark. Yet another, three-and-a half-minute Neuschwanstein Castle GERMANY condensed virtual tour shows both sweeping aerial views and a few interiors. (Note: Tours may include a brief glimpse of mural figures in limited attire.)
The Orient Express.
Have you ever wondered what a ride on this famous train would be like? Two YouTube offerings offer very different perspectives.
Venice Simplon Orient Express Full Experience from Venice to London is a 30-minute tour, beginning with canal travel in Venice through boarding the train and travel on to England. You can view private compartments, white-linen table service in dining cars, grand piano music in a lounge, and then tea service on a Pullman train transfer from Calais. This offers a taste of what actual travel on the Orient Express would be like.
A more commercialized two-and-a-half minute YouTube summary, Luxury Trains The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, includes still photos of the interior of the train plus a few landscapes, all with a musical backdrop.
San Diego Zoo.
The whole family can enjoy the YouTube San Diego Zoo American Treasure Earth Day 2020. Here, youll have a quick, 10-minute glimpse of pink flamingos, a cute koala, hippos, peacock, monkeys, camel, giraffes, bears and big cats. You may want to mute the sound to eliminate crowd noise and comments, and just focus on the animals.
Chihuly Glass Art.
Want to travel in the Northwest instead? Take a virtual tour through some of glass artist Dale Chihulys latest designs. In YouTubes Chihuly Garden and Glass Seattle, Washington by David Ellis, viewers take a stroll past both indoor and outdoor glass creations, many with a botanical theme, all set under a backdrop of the Seattle Space Needle.
Pyramids of Giza.
Take a virtual walk through the sands of Egypt to visit thegreat pyramids on the YouTube Pyramids of Giza Walking Tour (Prowalk Tours). This is a no-frills walk, complete with the sound of crunching sand, that lets you know what such a walk would really be like (minus the heat and sore muscles).
Although the entire video runs about an hour and a half, you can jump in on the parts that interest you most, selecting a certain pyramid, for example. A companion piece, The Sphinx at 8 a.m. Walking Tour (Prowalk Tours), only lasts about 23 minutes and offers a much better view of the sphinx.
This eclectic assortment barely scratches the surface of possibilities. So, where in the world would you like to go?
- TCS World Travel Announces Dates for Its First All-Inclusive Luxury Expeditions On Ground-Breaking New Airbus A321neo Private Jet - Business Wire - October 14th, 2020
- Hacienda Tres Ros is a Strong Candidate in Three 2020 World Travel Awards Categories - PR Web - October 14th, 2020
- Peru, Bahamas and Puerto Rico Added to WTTC's Safe Travels List - TravelPulse - October 14th, 2020
- Maldives bags 8 nominations at World Travel Awards - The Edition - October 14th, 2020
- Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) And World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) Announce They Will Bring the Industry Together in Hamburg... - October 14th, 2020
- WTTC has a plan to save the travel sector - Travel Weekly - October 14th, 2020
- Short's Travel Signs with Deem to Offer An Additional Travel Booking Solution for Clients - GlobeNewswire - October 14th, 2020
- Travel insurance proposition enhanced by Zurich - ITIJ - October 14th, 2020
- The world's busiest airports -- and how far they've fallen - CNN - October 14th, 2020
- This is why travel will be better post-pandemic - Traveller - October 14th, 2020
- Is cow hugging the world's new wellness trend? - BBC News - October 14th, 2020
- Disney World attendance to stay capped; Disneyland reopening 'not much of a negotiation,' CEO says - USA TODAY - October 14th, 2020
- Author and World Traveler Illustrates Exploration of Europe and the Challenges he Faced in New Book - GlobeNewswire - October 14th, 2020
- Travel Alert: Covid-19 Cases Are Back To July Levels, And Rising Fast - Forbes - October 14th, 2020
- The traveler who spent a month working as a porter on Mount Everest - CNN - October 14th, 2020
- Expedia Modernized Operations on One of the World's Fastest-Moving IT Stacks - GlobeNewswire - October 14th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid-19 on Experiential Travels Market 2020 Industry Challenges, Business Overview and Forecast Research Study 2026 - PRnews Leader - October 14th, 2020
- How One Travel Advisor Gets Creative to Stay Engaged with Clients - Travel Market Report - October 14th, 2020
- New York City named one of world's top ten best walking cities - Travel Daily - October 14th, 2020
- Lonely Planet's new Ultimate Travel List reveals the world's unmissable travel experiences - Lonely Planet Travel News - October 8th, 2020
- President Trump positive is a red alert for World Travel and Tourism - eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News - October 8th, 2020
- 4 Travelers on Life Around the World: Women Who Travel Podcast - Cond Nast Traveler - October 8th, 2020
- The world's 10 coolest neighborhoods, according to Time Out - CNN - October 8th, 2020
- After six months, Germany eases world travel restrictions - The Tribune India - October 8th, 2020
- Travel agents wait for the world to reopen from COVID shutdowns; heres how theyre staying afloat with trave - MassLive.com - October 8th, 2020
- The world of travel is (slowly) reopening | Opinion - ECM Publishers - October 8th, 2020
- Amazon Prime's Global Child "Travel with Purpose" & Netflix's Down to Earth with Zac Efron bring hope to audiences through a new breed... - October 8th, 2020
- This hotel was named the best in Boston and among the top in the world - Boston.com - October 8th, 2020
- Is One of the Most Overtouristed Cities in the World Better Off Without Them? - Fodor's Travel - October 8th, 2020
- New Zealand passport is now the most powerful in the world; India secures 58th position - Happytrips - October 8th, 2020
- Big plans from Small Luxury Hotels of the World - Travel Weekly - October 3rd, 2020
- Trending News: Customized travel Market Overview and Forecast Report 2020-2026 Top players: TCS World Travel, DuVine Cycling & Adventure Co,... - October 3rd, 2020
- Australia-New Zealand travel bubble to partially open within two weeks - The Guardian - October 3rd, 2020
- Ski, Party, Seed a Pandemic: The Travel Rules That Let Covid-19 Take Flight - The New York Times - October 3rd, 2020
- Which Countries Did Worse In The Deadly Summer Of Tourism? - Forbes - October 3rd, 2020
- New WTTC Campaign Highlights Social Benefits of Travel & Tourism - Hotel Business - October 3rd, 2020
- Worlds Best Islands: Why Portugals Terceira Belongs On Your Travel Wish List - Forbes - October 3rd, 2020
- When Star Wars Rebels brought back Mortis and introduced time travel [Jabba the Pod 3.13] - SYFY WIRE - October 3rd, 2020
- Dream Vacations Lift and Shifts National Conference Aboard Celebrity Apex to 2021; This Years Conference will be Virtual - Franchising.com - October 3rd, 2020
- Tratok and Hotel Data Cloud Sign Agreement to Restart Travel Industry Through Blockchain Powered Technology and Artificial Intelligence Enabled... - October 3rd, 2020
- How You Can Help Animal Shelters Around the World During COVID - Fodor's Travel - October 3rd, 2020
- Panama is reopening to tourists from all countries in October - Lonely Planet Travel News - October 3rd, 2020
- Travel-Awards.Org to Host the Virtual Conference World Travel Summit 2020, Under the Theme "Travel - In The New Normal" - PRNewswire - September 4th, 2020
- Phillys Four Seasons Spa Was Just Named One of the Best in the World - Philadelphia magazine - September 4th, 2020
- Attend a Live, Interactive Virtual Oktoberfest Celebration This Year - TravelPulse - September 4th, 2020
- So you had a terrible vacation. Whose fault is that: The airline's? The hotel's? Or yours? - USA TODAY - September 4th, 2020
- It's a new world of travel in MLS for the Galaxy and LAFC - Los Angeles Times - September 4th, 2020
- Staycationers are saving hotels and Airbnb from covid-19 - The Economist - September 4th, 2020
- Cerabino: In world of COVID-19 precautions, it's Florida, not Canada, that should be advocating solo sex - Palm Beach Post - September 4th, 2020
- LCCs the right model for post-Covid world; recovery is not near, but out of creative destruction may emerge new entities - Web In Travel - September 4th, 2020
- Thailand managed 101 days without local coronavirus cases. Will it open borders soon? - CNN - September 4th, 2020
- Travel The World From Your Living Room With The New Technogym Bike - Forbes - September 4th, 2020
- Africa Travel Week focuses on creating opportunities for the industry this Tourism Month - Travel Daily News International - September 4th, 2020
- Villas of Distinction offers white-label partnerships to Travel Agencies - Travel Daily News International - September 4th, 2020
- Cruise Ships Are the Cleanest Travel Environments - TravelPulse - September 4th, 2020
- World Travel Awards 2020: The Best New Luxury Hotels And Resorts In Europe - Forbes - September 2nd, 2020
- Move Over, Sustainable Travel. Regenerative Travel Has Arrived. - The New York Times - September 2nd, 2020
- Travel COVID Safe Accreditation Group Launches The Most Rigorous Three-Point Inspection Health Certification For The Travel And Tourism Industry - PR... - September 2nd, 2020
- Louis Vuitton Parfums Explores Out of This World Travel With New "Mtore" Fragrance - HYPEBEAST - September 2nd, 2020
- Letters to the editor Sept. 2, 2020 | Letters To Editor - goskagit.com - September 2nd, 2020
- 6 numbers to know about the greatest short courses in the world - Golf.com - September 2nd, 2020
- Mike Fox introduces a travel book narrating his wife's treatment for Parkinson's disease in Italy - GlobeNewswire - September 2nd, 2020
- Column: Reflections of columns and world travel - Current in Carmel - August 24th, 2020
- Aretha Franklin memorialized with section of Lodge Freeway - The Detroit News - August 24th, 2020
- Roaming Through Lanzarotes Otherworldly Vineyards - The New York Times - August 24th, 2020
- Shares in Accor and IHG rise on merger speculation a combination would create the worlds biggest hotel group - MarketWatch - August 24th, 2020
- Japan to open world's second 'Making of Harry Potter' attraction - CNN - August 24th, 2020
- The Japanese village that cooks in a hot spring - BBC News - August 24th, 2020
- Bulgaria: Wild majesty in one of Europe's oldest countries - CNN - August 24th, 2020
- Ernest White II launched a travel show during the pandemic. He says its message is more relevant now than ever - San Francisco Chronicle - August 24th, 2020
- Travel - Why are the Dutch so tall? - BBC News - August 24th, 2020
- How COVID-19 could affect business travel and the aviation industry - World Economic Forum - August 24th, 2020
- Tourism in 2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Signs of Recovery Within the Domestic Tourism Sector - PRNewswire - August 24th, 2020
- In China, Where the Coronavirus Pandemic Began, Life Is Starting to Look Normal - The New York Times - August 24th, 2020
- Here are the Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 Mid-Atlantic Finalists - WashingtonExec - August 24th, 2020
- Opinion/McCord: Reflections of a privileged white traveler - Seacoastonline.com - August 24th, 2020
- Fans crowd into an indoor concert in experiment on how to return to normality - CNN - August 24th, 2020
- Covid robs tourism by the billion - TTR Weekly - August 24th, 2020
- WebBeds world's top bed bank post-COVID? That's the Webjet plan - Travel Trends - August 24th, 2020
- Germany issues travel warning for Paris and Cote d'Azur as it happened - The Guardian - August 24th, 2020