Many travellers still have to put their globetrotting plans adjourned because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The mainstream travel industry has been forced to rethink how they can market tourist attractions and tourism experiences behind a screen. Therefore, more adventure seekers are being introduced to alternative ways of travelling, and one of the crowd-favourites is Virtual Reality- travelling overseas from the comfort of their own homes through VR, technology and 360-degree videography.
There has been a recent surge of Virtual Reality companies contending to create unique experiences for consumers. We analysed 10 of the best virtual travel tours and online travel experiences currently that can be enjoyed equipped only with a VR headset. For VR, the newly launched Oculus Quest 2 seems to garner traction in the market primarily for affordability and not requiring cords or a computer. It is the next addition after the popular Oculus Go.
- National Geographic Explore VR
The National Geographic, an established world-leading society in geography, cartography and exploration, partnered up to create this exquisite VR experience that lets you discover two of the most iconic locations on planet earth. Initially launched in the last spring with a singular destination, Antarctica, the platform was further updated to introduce a second exotic location: the 15th Incan citadel Machu Picchu ruins. You will be thrilled to hop aboard a kayak for an exhilarating icy expedition as an assigned task National Geographic photographer. The tour available on Machu Picchu lets you access Incan life without visiting the Peruvian "Lost City”.
- The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Like the aforementioned franchise, it is based on The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a lesson in survival tactics set against a world of deaths, enemies, and bloodshed. In this game, visceral combat combines with freedom of choice to provide players with a thrilling experience to survive a world of horror. When playing the game from Skydance Interactive, as you’re slowly wandering the seemingly desolate streets and ruins of New Orleans, you know you’re in for a dive into gore.
World Wildlife Fund, in partnership with PHORIA, an Australian-based technology studio, Facebook's Oculus and Silverback Films, created a joint venture to launch an immersive virtual reality (VR) video series highlighting the operational locations of WWF and highlighting the people working to protect those places. Narrated by award-winning actress Anna Friel, this trail-blazing Virtual Reality explores some of the planet’s wildest environments through its three-part series. Ecosphere navigates you on a journey that traverses through the wild savannahs of Kenya (Africa), the coral reefs of Raja Ampat (Indonesia) and the green rain forests of Borneo (Malaysia), three of the most breathtakingly magnificent natural destinations in the world.
Alcove is the first family-oriented virtual reality app that hands you a virtual home filled with endless experiences to discover and explore with your family and friends. It is designed to join global travel adventures with your loved ones or relax and practice meditation. This was designed for when you can’t physically be in the same room. Still, the value of this concept has amplified in the context of social distancing and isolation.
- Rome Reborn: The Pantheon
Flyover Zone, an American company working with virtual travel applications centred on the world’s most important cultural heritage sites and monuments, created Rome Reborn: The Pantheon, one of five applications that present different ancient areas Rome. The Pantheon is a round temple with an enormous dome built-in Hadrian's reign and one of the best-preserved Roman temples today. The Rome Reborn team has restored the complex architecture, appearance and uses in the year AD 320 and lets you take a virtual tour guided by the distinguished art historians, Steven Zucker and Beth Harris of Smarthistory.
- The Great Pyramids of Egypt
Great Pyramid is the oldest and the last surviving monument of the original 7 Ancient wonders of the World- the Great Pyramids, Egypt. One of the Escape Now seven-part virtual travel series, the Virtual Reality experience of the Great Pyramids of Egypt is a 3D walk through of the ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo. Award-winning Tarik Mohamed filmed and hosted this tour to combine educational applications with VR technology in studying and preserving cultural heritage.
Australian-based start-up Lithodomos VR has painstakingly recreated the Olympic Stadium, Temple of Zeus, The Temple of Hera, as well as many other monuments and buildings, allowing you to embark on a self-guided tour of ancient Olympia, Greece and explore these cultural icons in all of their original splendour and glory. This VR experience is engaging, contains factual content of historical significance. It is perfect especially for students learning about ancient Greek history, the Olympic Games or Archaeology because you gain a unique perspective from this historically iconic site.
Patagonia, known for dramatic mountain peaks, abundant glaciers and unique wildlife, spans across Argentina and Chile. It is home to Mount Fitz Roy range. Monte Fitzroy is Argentina’s most famous mountain landmark, and at the foot of the mountain is a beautiful remote glacial lake Laguna Sucia.
Patagonia VR rewards you a sense of meditative stillness and extraordinary proximity to otherwise too-hard-to-access trails to this untouched natural amphitheatre by utilizing Provision, a 3D technology that integrates computational photography, 360 Video, and gaming.
Created in partnership with multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley, Crater Lake VR experience lets you explore the beautiful and serene Crater Lake originally in Oregon, USA. Engaging and immersive virtual reality, with 18 images and an interactive map, it lets you jump to different locations and cinematic scenes depicting the calamitous eruption of Mount Mazama, which resulted in the creation of the caldera we see today.
Through Gala 360 – Travel & Relax you can access any of the 300 tours of the most interesting places in the world. It features professional 6K resolution 360-degree photos and 5K 360 videos that takes you on breath-taking virtual adventures across the globe. A selection of extraordinarily talented photographers converted their globe-trotting trips into different VR programs. Even if VR cannot compare to a real-life experience, technology is still allowing us to get closer to the world’s greatest wonders. Because of VR today everywhere is right here.