Lonely Planet Writer

Thanks to an audio tour app, your next tour guide could possibly be a celebrity

An audio travel tour app that offers immersive walks in cities around the world has enlisted the services of a number of celebrities to its pool of local expert guides. Detour, which is headquartered in San Francisco, has just released Detour Everywhere, doubling its catalogue to 120 cinematic audio tours, and it counts a number of notable names among its narrators.

The Detour app provides guided tours voiced by celebrities. Image: Westend61
The Detour app provides guided tours voiced by celebrities. Image: Westend61

These experts include filmmaker Ken Burns, giving a guided tour of his neighbourhood in Brooklyn, and jazz musician Glen David Andrews, who shares the stories he grew up hearing from older musicians about the music in Storyville and the South Rampart neighbourhoods of New Orleans. Who better than actor Joel Grey to take you around Broadway, while comedian Jenny Zigrino takes visitors around Faneuil Hall in Boston, which is known as the cradle of liberty because it’s where the Founding Fathers rallied colonists to fight for independence.

Detour Everywhere is available in the most popular travel destinations in the US, Western Europe and Asia,and after the app launches in Tokyo and Seoul in partnership with Airbnb, it will offer 150 immersive tours. Each walk reveals something about what makes each city unique, covering history, culture, art, food, from narrators that know their city best.

An app called Derour sees celebrities giving tours of particular areas. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
An app called Derour sees celebrities giving tours of particular areas. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Detour uses the phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer to measure your position and adjusts the audio accordingly. If you’re with friends, the app syncs audio between your phones so that you hear the same thing. Its outdoor tours are linear trips along a set path, and most take about an hour.

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The app is free, as is the first ten minutes of any tour. If one piques your interest, the full tour can be downloaded for $5. See here for further information.