Virtually there: Travel from the comfort of your home
Dreaming of watching the opera at The Met, of taking a luxury safari through Africa or of touring the world’s greatest galleries? Thanks to VR apps, webcams and Google Earth, you can still do all these things – and more – from the comfort of your home. Read on for all the inspiration you need to start travelling again – soon – writes Natasha Dragun.
Tour St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum
One of the world’s biggest – not mention most impressive – galleries, the State Hermitage Museum is so immense that it can take visitors days to explore. You can get a taster on the museum’s five-hour, 19-minute, 28-second cinematic journey, taking you through 48 galleries and highlighting 588 masterpieces, with live dance performances and haunting music along the way.
Gasp at special-edition Cirque du Soleil shows
Canadian acrobatic troupe Cirque du Sol has released a series of special live-streamed shows to entertain couch-bound crowds around the globe. The latest 60-minute special features awe-inspiring moments from iconic shows over the years, while the inaugural performance in the series dazzles with twists and turns from KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, “O” and LUZIA.
Go whale watching in Oregon
It’s whale season in Oregon, and the US State’s park service is streaming daily videos of all the action in the ocean. The waters here are known for their immense numbers of gray whales, but during April all the commotion also draws large pods of orcas.
Find Zen at Nihi Sumba
Luxury Indonesian resort Nihi Sumba doesn’t want you to miss out on moments of Zen just because you’re at home. Every day, the retreat live streams a different wellness session, whether that’s Monday’s healing singing bowl and guided meditation class, or a tarot reading held every Thursday. The mantra here? Relax, revive, repeat.
Get back to nature in Chile
At the moment, there’s nothing quite as luxurious as being amid nature. And you’re instantly transported to some of South America’s most jaw-dropping, soul-reviving wilderness sites via the free Chile 360 app. Take in the soaring glaciers of Patagonia, marvel at the vast, open spaces of the Atacama Desert or ponder the origins of the moai on Easter Island – this is the ultimate way to plan for your next vay-cay.
Wander through Washington’s cherry blossoms
Smell the flowers – virtually – when you switch over to Washington National Mall’s Bloom Cam. Thanks to the 24/7 EarthCam (with readjusting cameras to give different views) this initiative gives you a live look in at DC’s fabled cherry blossoms; they’re in full bloom in the coming months, with the annual festival normally held from 20 March to 12 April.
Witness the Northern Lights in Canada
Is there anything more mesmerising than the Aurora Borealis? If you can’t see it in person, cosy up at home and watch a live stream courtesy of the Northern Studies Center in Churchill, Manitoba. This is Canada’s only Northern Lights webcam that captures live video, rather than images. And when the show begins, you won’t be able to look away.
Channel your inner royal in Austria
For decades, Vienna’s 1,441-room Rocco Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. Lavish architecture aside, it’s laced with manicured gardens that you could lose yourself in for days. Until then, take a virtual stroll through the residential suite of rooms once occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph, stopping for a moment of reflection in the magnificent Mirrors Room.
Get wild with Singita Sabi Sand
Feeling the lure of the wild? A number of luxury African lodges are now bringing the roar of safari to your sofa. Among them is South Africa’s Singita Sabi Sand, which takes you on daily (sometimes twice-daily), interactive game drives to spot lions, rhino and elephants with the lodge’s experienced researchers, photographers and naturalists.
Catch a Broadway show
The show goes on in New York, where Broadway World is streaming daily Living Room Concerts in collaboration with some of America’s most incredible Broadway performers. Expect upcoming shows from singers headlining in the likes of Hello Dolly, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls and Pretty Woman, among others.
Sing your heart out
Not into musicals? New York’s Met Opera is also delivering thrilling, thought-provoking and uplifting tunes to your living room thanks to an ongoing series of free nightly streams. Settle-in for toe-tingling nights watching Verdi’s Falstaff, Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Wagner’s Parsifal, among other operas.