That’s 963 million opportunities for the travel industry to act as a positive force, driving transformative change. To be more specific, it represents 963 million chances to enhance awareness about the harsh realities of the climate crisis in vivid and unforgettable ways, igniting a commitment to safeguard our planet and champion climate action.
However, when you search online for travel experiences specifically designed to educate about climate change, you’ll find disappointingly limited information and options. Yet, a handful of forward-thinking travel companies and tour operators are already creating itineraries that integrate first-hand education or exposure to the global environmental challenges brought about by rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns.
These journeys might take travelers to Iceland to witness firsthand the rapid retreat of glaciers due to warming temperatures, or engage them in citizen science projects focused on research and data collection related to our changing planet. Some itineraries even include the opportunity to travel alongside educators, scientists, and individuals with Ph.D.s, shedding light on the pressing challenges facing our world, with the hope of inspiring action.
- Earth Watch, Climate Change in the Mackenzie Mountains
Earthwatch offers a range of thoughtfully crafted tours that delve deep into the climate crisis. Notable options include the “Climate Change at the Arctic’s Edge” tour, the “Climate Change: Sea to Trees at Acadia National Park” trip, and “Climate Change in the MacKenzie Mountains.” These options provide various ways to engage in meaningful travel experiences alongside scientists and Ph.D.s to learn more about our planet’s current state. The company also offers tours focused on ocean health, wildlife, and ecosystems.
One standout is the 11-day Mackenzie Mountains tour, which takes travelers to the majestic mountain range forming the border between Canada’s Northwest Territories and the Yukon. This region is on the front line of climate change, and participants use advanced equipment to gather data about permafrost and soil, helping to unveil global warming-related impacts in the area. Activities also include monitoring the tree line’s status and recording data on native plant species and local wildlife. All this information aids researchers in understanding the region’s fragile environment and contributes to its protection.
- Global Family Travels, Immerse in Iceland’s Dynamic Geology: A Transformative Adventure to Inspire Climate Change Action
Global Family Travels is a trailblazer in crafting trips that shed light on the challenges unfolding around the world. Their nine-night trip in Iceland offers an immersive experience, allowing travelers to learn about climate change’s impacts on the country’s geography and how warming ocean temperatures threaten local wildlife. Participants also witness the heartbreaking retreat of glaciers, a clear sign of climate change.
This trip is designed to educate participants about our changing climate, inspiring them to advocate for protecting our planet. By the end of the journey, travelers leave Iceland with a deep understanding of climate change impacts, knowledge of sustainable environmental practices, and ideas for minimizing their impact and mitigating climate change.
- Intrepid Travel, Citizen Science Program, Antarctica
Intrepid Travel believes that informed individuals make better choices, especially regarding climate change. During their small-group Antarctica journeys, which span from 11 to 23 days, travelers are invited to participate in a unique Citizen Science program. This program allows participants to assist researchers and science coordinators in collecting data and making observations, particularly in remote and isolated destinations like Antarctica.
Partnering with organizations such as NASA, Oxford University, and Happy Whale, Intrepid’s Antarctica tours offer opportunities to track animal migrations, observe weather patterns, and measure phytoplankton health—critical for the ocean’s food chain. Antarctica serves as a bellwether for climate change, making this data crucial for informing future policies.
- Natural Habitat Adventures, Climate Change & Our Wild World
Natural Habitat Adventures recognizes the urgent need to address the warming of our planet, a reality affecting ecosystems, habitats, wildlife, and people. They’ve launched a special trip series called “Climate Change & Our Wild World” to bring travelers face-to-face with climate change impacts, inspiring hope and action on behalf of our planet.
These trips explore regions like the Amazon, East Greenland, and polar bear habitats in Canada, all of which have been significantly affected by climate change. Travelers journey alongside World Wildlife Fund (WWF) experts who provide information about climate change impacts. This approach is rooted in the idea that experiencing these places firsthand is a powerful way to motivate individuals to advocate for the issues they are personally invested in.