Luxury Learning Vacations 2022: From the Maldives to the North Pole

A luxury learning vacation: At these five-star resorts, scientists lead the outdoor excursions

Learning Vacation, Off Duty

1/22/2022 7:15:00 AM

A luxury learning vacation : At these five-star resorts, scientists lead the outdoor excursions

On a trip to the new Ritz-Carlton Maldives resort, a traveler combines her pampering R&R with hands-on lessons on marine ecology. Plus: Four other upscale retreats where guests can join scientists in the field (or underwater).

THE FIRST TIMEI took a biology class, I sat inside a drab, windowless lab room in my Phoenix high school. The last time, this past November, I was on a boat in the Indian Ocean as conservation biologist Sol Milne tried to convince me not to worry about swimming beside sharks.

Just as the mercury began plummeting in Chicago, where I live now, I’d traveled 9,000 miles and expended every possible Marriott Bonvoy point and air mile to meet a friend at the 100-villaRitz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islandsfor five days of sunshine and cerulean seas. What I hadn’t expected was a crash course in marine ecology. The resort, which opened last June on a man-made archipelago, is one of the hosts of the Ambassadors of the Environment program, developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and offered at a handful of Ritz-Carlton resorts. Activities vary by resort, with many geared to kids, but they all share an educational focus. At the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, the program includes complimentary lectures by Dr. Sol (as he’s called) about the sea life of the Indian Ocean, as well as outdoor excursions for additional cost. You can sign up for a snorkeling trip with Dr. Sol (for $150 a person) or a diving excursion with a naturalist and a “dive butler” (from about $130 a person). On some dive trips, guests strategically plant 3D-printed coral around the atoll in effort to seed a new reef.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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Jan. 21, 2022 8:00 am ET THE FIRST TIME I took a biology class, I sat inside a drab, windowless lab room in my Phoenix high school. The last time, this past November, I was on a boat in the Indian Ocean as conservation biologist Sol Milne tried to convince me not to worry about swimming beside sharks. Just as the mercury began plummeting in Chicago, where I live now, I’d traveled 9,000 miles and expended every possible Marriott Bonvoy point and air mile to meet a friend at the 100-villa Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands for five days of sunshine and cerulean seas. What I hadn’t expected was a crash course in marine ecology. The resort, which opened last June on a man-made archipelago, is one of the hosts of the Ambassadors of the Environment program, developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and offered at a handful of Ritz-Carlton resorts. Activities vary by resort, with many geared to kids, but they all share an educational focus. At the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, the program includes complimentary lectures by Dr. Sol (as he’s called) about the sea life of the Indian Ocean, as well as outdoor excursions for additional cost. You can sign up for a snorkeling trip with Dr. Sol (for $150 a person) or a diving excursion with a naturalist and a “dive butler” (from about $130 a person). On some dive trips, guests strategically plant 3D-printed coral around the atoll in effort to seed a new reef. To Read the Full Story