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Travel is on the Horizon: Looking Forward to Trips in 2021

By Wayne Sentman

Our March-April expedition to Baja California is running as planned. © Slater Moore

Here at Oceanic Society, our collective passports are as dusty as they have ever been. We’ve been coping with virtual trips, ocean films, webinars, and eagerly monitoring a variety of trusted sources to stay updated on COVID information in the United States and abroad.

With the development and distribution of COVID vaccines ramping up, the Oceanic Society team has begun locating our luggage, shaking cobwebs from our snorkels, and preparing for takeoff. If you are ready to travel in 2021, here is what we have planned for the months ahead. You can also see a list of upcoming trips by destination further below.

Upcoming Trips by Departure Date

APRIL 2021
If you are lucky to be among the first people to be vaccinated or are comfortable traveling while vaccines continue to be distributed, we still have a few spaces on our very popular Baja: Whale Sharks and Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez trip (March 30 - April 6), which is set to go as planned.

MAY 2021
By this time of year, we are hopeful that many of you will be fully immunized for COVID. In May we have both our Panama: Snorkeling Marine Parks of the Pacific and Caribbean expedition and Trinidad: Land of the Leatherbacks volunteer program available. We also hope to be able to lead our first snorkeling trip to Palau since February 2020.

Join a volunteer vacation to Trinidad studying leatherback turtles in May. © Brian Hutchinson

SUMMER 2021
One way to travel safely over the coming months will be to organize private expeditions with family or friends that you have been quarantining with. This may be especially important for families with children, as they are likely to be among the last to get vaccinated. Our safaris to Borneo and Kenya are both ideal for private group departures, and the summer is an optimal time in both locations. We are also looking at adding a liveaboard trip to Komodo in early August – please get in touch if you might be interested.

Our Borneo expeditions can easily be run for families and small groups. © Charles Ryan

FALL AND WINTER 2021-2022
We are optimistic that many people will be vaccinated both at home and abroad by October 2021. We anticipate that our trips to Raja Ampat, Indonesia in October 2021 and Jan 2022 will be very popular, as usual. Now would be a good time to reserve your space before they fill up! Additionally, our regular snorkel trips to Belize, Palau, and Honduras will all be available in November 2021 and January / February 2022.

Trips to Raja Ampat, Indonesia are likely to resume in the fall.

Upcoming Trips by Destination

In case you prefer to browse our upcoming travel opportunities by location, here you can see our 2021 and early 2022 travel opportunities by destination.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Mexico
- Baja: Whale Sharks and Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez (March-April 2021)

Ecuador
- Galapagos Islands Cruise (Multiple dates)

Palau
- Palau: Snorkeling the Rock Islands (May & November 2021)

Panama
- Panama: Snorkeling Marine Parks of the Pacific and Caribbean (May 2021)

Belize
- Belize: Snorkeling and Coral Reef Ecology (November 2021)

Honduras
- Honduras: Bay Islands Snorkeling (November 2021)

Indonesia
- Raja Ampat Archipelago by Liveaboard (October 2021)
- Komodo Island Liveaboard (August 2021 - contact us for details)

Trinidad
- Trinidad: Land of the Leatherbacks (May 2021)

Kenya
- Kenya Safari: Twin Migrations, Wildebeests, and Whales (July/August 2021)

Malaysia
- Borneo can be done as a private expedition for 4 or more (July/August/September 2021)

DOMESTIC TRAVEL

California:
- San Francisco - Golden Gate Sailing Cruise (early 2021, on pause due to COVID regulations (as of January 2021)
- San Francisco Bay Area: Coastal Wildlife Tours (custom dates)
- Farallon Islands Wildlife Expedition (Seasonal: Resumes April 2021)

North Carolina:
- New trip coming soon - planned for summer 2021!

Custom Destinations and Private Groups

Don’t see dates that work? Looking for a destination not listed? We can organize private expeditions with your family or friends to many destinations worldwide. Private groups give you greater control over your COVID exposure risks while traveling during this time. Reach out to Wayne or Pei (expeditions@oceanicsociety.org) for questions or more information.

Book Soon for Late 2021 and 2022

And it’s not too early to start planning for travel in 2022. The travel industry is expecting a major surge in demand in late 2021 and 2022 as people worldwide emerge from quarantine and travel restrictions are reduced or removed. We expect trips to sell out further in advance than normal, and that our most popular trips (like Raja Ampat, Baja, and Palau) will be in very high demand. Now would be a good time to reserve your space before they fill up!

A few things to note and to give you peace of mind with your COVID-cautious planning:

  • For all of our trips through September 2021, after you pay the initial registration deposit no further payment will be due until a decision is made to run the trip. Typically, that is about 60 days from departure.
  • Operation of all of our programs is subject to international travel restrictions and COVID precautions and protocols.
  • If our expeditions cannot go as planned they will be rescheduled. In such instances, your fees paid retain their full value if you transfer to the new dates or switch to any of our other expeditions. If you require a refund there will be a small administrative fee plus any credit card fees we are unable to recover.
  • We post periodic COVID and expedition related updates on our blog that provide more detailed information about contingencies related to COVID.

Wishing you safe and happy travels in 2021 and beyond!

Author

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1998. He is an experienced guide with a diverse background in marine mammal, seabird, and marine debris research. Wayne also co-teaches undergraduate field programs in Kenya on human-wildlife conflict and on the use of social media and art to raise public participation in conservation. He recently received a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard University.

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