Sail your way through the world in a sustainable manner!

TEXT: ALYWIN CHEW
PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCK

St Vincent and the Grenadines (7 days)

Tucked away in the southern reaches of the Caribbean, St Vincent and the Grenadines islands boast pristine marine reserves with crystal clear waters and a vibrant coral reef ecosystem. CetoSea offers an educational week-long catamaran trip across these islands, allowing you to learn how to trawl for microplastic samples, visit towns and jungles, and snorkel alongside turtles in the Tobago Cays Marine Park. cetosea.com

Belize (8 days)

Organised by the Oceanic Society, this volunteer programme is geared towards those looking for more action in ocean sustainability than leisurely pursuits. During the trip, you’ll get to help marine scientists monitor the coral reefs as well as collect data on creatures such as manatees, sea turtles (above) and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins through boat trips. There will also be workshops teaching about local conservation efforts. oceanicsociety.org

Palau (9 days)

Comprising over 500 islands, the enigmatic archipelago of Palau (top left) in Micronesia has one of the highest densities of aquatic species for an area its size. Accompanying you on this trip by the Oceanic Society is a naturalist who can provide information on marine life and its coral reef ecosystem. This expedition also features day trips to the lush jungles of the Rock Islands and tours of cultural sites. oceanicsociety.org

Raja Ampat (10 days)

Helmed by American marine biologist Joe Mueller, this sailing expedition takes you through the picturesque Raja Ampat (above right) archipelago in West Papua, Indonesia. Besides getting to learn about the diverse marine life in this part of the world, you will also get to explore caves in Tomolol Bay, trek through a forest on the island of Batanta, and observe pearl farmers at work in Aljui Bay. seatrekbali.com

Timor-Leste (3-12 weeks)

As a volunteer on this Blue Ventures expedition, you will get to help a team of marine scientists collect vital data in uncharted waters and conduct surveys on the condition of the coral reefs surrounding Timor-Leste. One of the highlights of the trip would be getting to explore the famous Coral Triangle, which has the highest coral diversity on this planet. Expect to see many species of turtles, sharks, whales and dolphins. blueventures.org

From Tortola to Amsterdam (45 days)

Looking to go on a sabbatical that you’ll remember for a lifetime? Jump on this expedition with Windseeker where you’ll learn to sail, cook, fish, perform ecological research meet new friends from around the world. The Expedition Horizon 2 trip takes you from Tortola of the British Virgin Island to Jamaica, Cuba and Amsterdam aboard a traditional sailing vessel where all meals are prepared by a professional chef. windseeker.org