Our Travel Philosophy

Established in 1969, Oceanic Society is America’s oldest 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean conservation. Throughout our history we have seen how conscientious nature travel can drive conservation and connect people to nature in meaningful ways. Our expeditions have been a core component of how we pursue our mission for 50 years (learn more about our history).

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Each of our expeditions is designed with the intention to positively impact the natural areas and human communities we visit while also delivering transformative nature experiences for our travelers that deepen their connections to nature and promote the adoption of ocean-friendly “Blue Habits.” Moreover, any profits we earn are invested directly into our ocean research and conservation programs worldwide. 

By participating in an Oceanic Society expedition, you are more than just another traveler. You are an active participant in our global effort to build a healthy future for the oceans. 

Expedition Impact Fund

In 2019, we created the Expedition Impact Fund (EIF) to provide additional support to the ocean conservation partners that we interact with during our expeditions. The fund is seeded by contributions from Oceanic Society and our travelers and provides fast-tracked grants to our partners for their important ocean conservation work. It offers an added opportunity for our travelers to contribute to the conservation efforts they see and learn about on our trips, beyond the contributions made through the trips themselves.

The EIF is an important component of our commitment to promoting sustainable tourism and supporting ocean conservation in the places that we visit. Click here for information about our past EIF grants.

Why Travel with Oceanic Society

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As a non-profit conservation organization with decades of global experience, our extensive network of staff and partners gives us access to special opportunities and perspectives that are not available through other travel operators. Our trips are guided by working field biologists, naturalists, and conservationists who are knowledgeable and passionate, and we partner with local residents to enrich their lives as well as yours.

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We aim to do more than take you on an amazing trip. We want your travel experience to positively impact your life and inspire you to become an active participant in building a healthy future for the oceans. We select, design, and lead our expeditions around this bold idea, and empower our travelers with the tools and knowledge they need to become part of the growing "oceanic society."

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As lifelong students of nature, we believe that appreciation of the natural world is enhanced through knowledge. Our trip leaders are trained to interpret nature in engaging ways and to provide information that enhances your experience by explaining the science behind the species and habitats you will observe. And we team up with local experts whenever possible to give you opportunities to learn from the latest field research.

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Travelers with Oceanic Society can rest assured that their travel dollars are well spent. We take great care to partner with travel operators, non-profit organizations, and individuals who share our commitment to preserving the natural world and supporting local community well-being. Moreover, your program fees help support Oceanic Society's global research, conservation, and outreach programs.

Ready for a New Experience?

We have earned many awards and recognitions for our travel programs over our 50 year history, including:


National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime (2015): Florida Manatees and Ecosystems

National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime (2014): Kenya, From Hyenas to Humpbacks

National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime (2010): Snorkeling in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The International Ecotourism Society: 2010 Innovation Award (Finalist)

National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime (2009): Tonga Humpback Whales

Outside Magazine Trip of the Year (2007): Palau Shark Week

National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime (2007): Belize Family Week

National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime (2007): Ulithi, Yap, and Palau

Conde Nast Traveler Nominee: Best Ecotourism Operator of the Year for 2003

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council member

Turneffe Islands Coastal Advisory Committee member

Official commendation from the California State Senate for "exemplary service to the cause of conservation" through "educational travel programs and wildlife excursions [...] which heighten public awareness of marine mammals and attract personally committed conservationists." 

Nat Geo Award
TIES Innovation Award 2010
Outside Award

Other Resources

Access other helpful resources in the links below.