TOPtoTOP climate change expedition

January 15, 2017 — 2 comments

You know what they say: one picture is better than a thousand words. That’s why the above short video by Sabine Schwoerer provides a beautiful, fun and touching glimpse into the daily life, the incredible cohesion and the lived commitment to do their part for our planet by this modern-day Swiss Family Robinson called Schwoerer.

All five children were born on the 16-year TOPtoTOP Climate Expedition, lead by Dario and Sabine. (Editor’s update: the sixth and newest baby was just born in September of 2017 in Iceland.) The family covered over 100,000 nautical miles in their 50 ft. wind- and solar powered boat, Pachamama (meaning mother earth in Inka language). Their floating home carried them across the seven seas to all the continents where they climbed the highest summits, walked the deepest valleys, and criss-crossed the planet from deserts to jungles, from arctic to the tropics. All the while connecting with close to 100,000 students around the globe, tirelessly educating and working together with them on clean-up and other environmental service action plans for the planet, and to connect and inspire youth to get further engaged in response to climate change.

With humbleness of mind, sincerity of heart and simplicity of lifestyle, this is the labour of love, deep commitment and Herculean achievement of Dario and Sabine Schwoerer and family. Watch the above short video clip, it will inspire you!

TOPtoTOP Climate Change Expedition

Dario Schwoerer is a certified Swiss mountaineering guide. Witnessing first-hand the waning of his beloved Swiss glaciers, he studied to become a climatologist. With wife and partner Sabine, a Swiss nurse, he started the TOPtoTOP climate expedition. In his level and reflective way, Dario sums up their mission:

“The key to sustain our planet is to educate and connect our youth – our future – about climate change. To strengthen their relationship with nature and to build understanding and solidarity.”

He elaborates: “After 16 years I am certain that the key to solve our global challenges is education, and the best anyone can do – and we will intensify this in our expedition – is to generate and connect a network of solidarity and understanding throughout the world.”

“Climate change provides us with two huge opportunities. As a global fact and global challenge it really brings people together and probably builds peace. We really have to come together to face this challenge. That’s the good part of climate change. The other good thing is connection. It’s really been in the last two years that the internet has penetrated even in the deepest of Africa.”

“In building this world-wide network of solidarity, the most important is understanding. As soon as someone down south really understands – e.g. the challenges the Inuit Peoples are facing with global warming in the Arctic – we can build friendship and solidarity. Understanding is key. Understanding not only means education, it also means connecting people, especially young people, who are so powerful. They have their whole life in front of them, the future is important to them, and that I really see is much more powerful than any administration in any country.”

TOPtoTOP Global Climate ExpeditionNorth-West Passage

Their latest journey took them through the North-West Passage via the Fury & Hecla Strait. The route is a first, opening a shorter seaway from Pacific to Atlantic. It was only possible due to global warming, demonstrating an alarming loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

At the time of this writing, their plans to sail to Haiti has been curtailed because of a Zika virus outbreak in the region. The family will currently remain in the eastern seaboard area around New York educating in area schools and are scheduled to do some much needed maintenance work on Pachamama. This summer, the boat will take course to return to the Arctic. Dario and family will study the impact of climate change on the Inuit, polar bears and belugas. Sea ice allows Inuit and polar bears to travel over the ice to catch seals in their air holes. With the rapid disappearance of the sea ice, the livelihood of the Inuit is already severely endangered.

On a personal level, the family is looking to find a teacher who will volunteer to home-school their children. Please connect with Dario or Sabine if you’re interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of sharing education and knowledge to a small, but highly motivated classroom in exchange for unparalleled enrichment, friendship and warmth of social cohesion with the family and the unbelievably welcoming and warm Inuit culture!

Over the years, many scientists, volunteers and even famous personalities have come on board and sailed with the Schwoerers for awhile or for a year. All of them left as friends and ardent supporters. In year ten of their expedition, Pachamama sailed wind-powered to South Africa for the 2011 World Climate Conference in Durban where Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard came on board and joined the family on the sail to the UN Rio20+ conference in Brazil. If you wish to support this families’ single handed commitment and effective work for the betterment of our planet and our children’s future, you can check the Schwoerer’s up-to-date sailing schedule, upcoming activities and blog, or learn how to volunteer on or off board with them, or to donate, go to .

Share  your thoughts about the family Schwörer, their expedition or the video and leave a comment below. Thank you!

About Silvia and Swiss Wanderlust


Switzerland travel enthusiast. Cat lover, bicyclist and classical music fan. I prefer walking over running and enjoy a good Swiss card game of Jass with friends.  More about Silvia and Swiss Wanderlust »

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Additional Information

TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition2
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition3
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition


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  1. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    This amazing family came to visit our school Southern California, and impresses everyone with their enthusiasm, joy, and sense of adventure. I was lucky to meet them again a year later, and have to say the whole family, and especially Sabine, are some of the most inspiring people I have ever met. What passion and determination! I truly wish I could travel with them at some point. Safe journey!

    • Silvia
      Silvia says:

      Hi Claudia – so glad to hear you met them personally! Was that maybe in 2015? That was the first time I interviewed Dario and the family was in California at the time, biking from school-to-school with all his children in tow. The day before, they had been to Google H.Q., speaking to all employees there and via large size overhead projectors to about 75,000 more around the world. They are an amazing family. You did read in this article that they’re looking for a teacher to come aboard?! Best wishes to California! – Silvia


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