There are certain sights in the world that travellers hold up as being particularly prized. They can be iconic, like the Tower of London, or more broad and sweeping like the historic city center of Florence, Italy; Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; or the entire city of Valletta, Malta. Each has one thing in common: they’re all recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Ultra-luxury line Seabourn recently entered into a six-year, USD$1-million partnership with UNESCO that is aimed at promoting sustainable tourism and fostering protection and awareness for World Heritage. Currently, Seabourn sails to 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites worldwide.
“With this partnership, UNESCO and Seabourn truly demonstrate our shared commitment in safeguarding World Heritage by promoting sustainable tourism at these iconic destinations,” said Irina Bokova, Director-general of UNESCO. “The partnership enables us to reach the travelling public with our conservation message, which is universal in scope and so important to the dialogue and mutual understanding that are needed to nurture a culture of peace.”
“Seabourn is proud to be partnering with UNESCO to promote and support sustainable tourism,” said Seabourn President Richard D. Meadows. “Through this partnership we are committed to providing our guests with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the many World Heritage sites we visit around the world and the important work UNESCO is doing.”
With their new partnership, Seabourn will offer guests visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites enhanced information and awareness about each site, including behind-the-scenes information and exclusive enhanced content on World Heritage. Fares for UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited as part of Seabourn’s shore excursion programme will include a donation to UNESCO’s World Heritage Fund.
To commemorate this, Seabourn has developed two separate types of UNESCO World Heritage shore excursions, where applicable. Seabourn Discovery Tours offer exclusive tours designed to enhance the history of World Heritage sites visited, while Seabourn World Heritage Tours will denote tours that visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a particular port of call.
Examples of these excursions are as numerous and varied as the individual sites they represent. On the sun-splashed island of Mykonos, guests can journey to nearby Delos, recognized as the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. Now uninhabited, the ruins of Delos date back to the 3rd millennium BC and are considered as culturally important in Greece as the Acropolis in Athens.
Other UNESCO excursions can include a visit to jaw-dropping ancient city of Petra that was completely unknown to the Western world until its discovery in 1812, or a World Heritage Excursion in Mumbai, India.
As of this writing, there are more than 1,000 World Heritage Sites around the globe. These can range from buildings to entire town centers to areas of cultural or historical significance.
Which one will you visit first?