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A Living Classroom

The Ambassadors of the Environment program at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman grooms young explorers to become earth-conscious travelers.

When it comes to family-friendly vacations, The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman has always been a favorite in the Exclusive Resorts portfolio for its location on Seven Mile Beach, on-site waterpark, game room and award-winning Kids Club. Through the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program, Grand Cayman becomes a living classroom where both parents and kids learn to become responsible explorers.

Developed by legendary oceanographer and environmentalist, Jean-Michel Cousteau, the program offers both land and sea-based activities. Ocean adventures range from glass-bottom boat excursions to underwater photography classes, and favorite land offerings include Ambassadors in the Kitchen, where children learn about sustainable food practices and Talking Trash, which is centered around the global issue of waste created by humans. 

Activities are suited to wanna-be explorers of all ages, says Jordan Charles, Recreation Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. “For young children, Snorkeling 101—an introduction to snorkeling—couples the practical and potentially daunting elements of learning to snorkel with an overview of different fish species that the children might expect to see. It’s truly incredible to be a part of their first journey into the ocean environment,” he says. Ryan DeNoyer, one of the program’s Naturalists, takes teens and adults on night snorkels. “It’s by far my favorite activity,” he says. “First timers often join us a little nervous about being in the ocean at night, but quickly find how peaceful and beautiful the reefs are in the moonlight,” he says. “The reefs they’ve explored on so many vacations during daylight hours dramatically change as nocturnal life emerges and it truly becomes an entirely new experience.”

The combination of education and engagement leaves guests of all ages, particularly kids, with memories and lessons that stay with them for a lifetime. “At Ambassadors of the Environment, we really do believe that people will want to protect what they love, and helping kids fall in love with our oceans is an amazing first step on that path,” says Jordan.