- Who wouldn't love an undersea hotel or a submarine ride for three? Get caught in the ocean's net of wonder with one of 10 environment-friendly adventures.
Love the Ocean: Charter a SailboatIf Jacques-Yves Cousteau were alive, he’d be 100 years old. Pay tribute to the French filmmaker, scientist, ecologist and co-inventor of the Aqua Lung with an undersea or oversea adventure.
If you truly wish to get in touch with the rhythm of the ocean, charter a sailboat with The Moorings. Tie up to a mooring buoy in Canouan, in the Grenadines, for example, leave the hatch open, and you’ll wake up to the tradewinds tickling your face. You can jump off the boat for snorkeling and instantly behold a school of Caribbean reef squid, sea turtles or starfish. The Moorings offers skippered sailboat charters in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Bahamas, coastal Mexico, the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. No sailing experience is required. Skippered sailboat charters come with a professional captain, and sometimes a cook, too.
Love the Ocean: Cruise on a Small Ship
Small-ship cruises such as those offered by Zegrahm Expeditions take a different tack than the megaship cruises. Zegrahm aims to practice responsible tourism, using the cleanest-possible fuel on its ships, installing environmentally friendly engines in its Zodiacs, selecting sustainable seafood to serve in its dining rooms, and encouraging travelers to recycle. Small ships can get closer to nature, too, so you’re more likely to see those humpback whales in Alaska. Zegrahm offers small-ship expeditions to Antarctica, Europe, Indonesia, India, the Middle East, the Galapagos, South America, Africa, the Arctic and the South Pacific.
Love the Ocean: Sleep Over the South PacificJean-Michel Cousteau, Jacques Cousteau’s son, created the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, an environmentally friendly hotel on the island of Vanua Levu, Fiji. It was conceived as a model to prove to the business community the economic benefits of environmental concern and design. It boasts a full-time, on-site marine biologist, an organic garden, edible landscaping and a wastewater system that uses coconuts and recycled bottles to protect the lagoon waters.
Love the Ocean: Take the Plunge in the Caribbean
Love the Ocean: Paddle with the Nature ConservancyThe Nature Conservancy has customized nature travel tours, and some of them focus on loving the ocean. Consider a sea kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands of Washington state June 27–30. Participants camp one night on an island accessible only by boat and spend two other evenings at local bed-and-breakfasts. Paddlers in the San Juans can sometimes see resident orcas, harbor seals, Dall’s porpoises and bald eagles. The conservancy also has a trip in search of polar bears in Norway July 5–18. Nature lovers explore Norway’s coastline and the wildlife-rich island of Spitsbergen during a voyage aboard Zegrahm Expeditions’ Clipper Adventurer.
Love the Ocean: Travel With a Marine Biologist
Love the Ocean: Adopt a WhaleVisitors to the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands of Washington state will learn that the orca population off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Vancouver Island are endangered. Whale lovers can help by adopting an orca. Pick your favorite member of J, K or L pod and receive an adoption certificate, the whale’s personal biography, matrilineal genealogy charts of the southern resident orca population, stickers and more. (Actual whale not included.) If you head to Lime Kiln State Park’s designated whale-watching area on the west side of San Juan Island, however, you might actually catch a glimpse of your whale or, more likely, its pod members.
Love the Ocean: Sail or Swim with Aquarium Staff
Love the Ocean: Combine Sailing and Kayaking
Love the Ocean: Sleep UnderwaterWant to stay at Jules’ Undersea Lodge — the world’s only underwater hotel — in Key Largo, Fla.? You’ll need to take a scuba diving lesson. Guests must dive 21 feet below the sea and through a tropical mangrove habitat to get to their underwater rooms. Fortunately, the lodge itself offers scuba classes. Then, it’s off to your room to look through your porthole for grouper, nurse sharks, parrotfish and seahorses.
How do you make thrill out of the ocean ?