Arctic Adventure: On this Sustainable Airship Trip to the North Pole, You Can Picnic on an Ice Cap - Lifestyle Asia

The 36-hour return journey costs $232,845 for a two-person cabin.

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Traveling to the North Pole for leisure will soon be possible.

OceanSky Cruises, a start-up travel company that specializes in luxury aviation, has developed an airship that can take passengers to the most remote parts of the Arctic.

Called Airlander 10, the 98-meter long vessel can fly as high as 2,000 meters above sea level for up to three days. It is powered by the Lighter-Than-Air technology, which uses lifting gas to displace the force of gravity pulling an object to the ground.

The airship is reminiscent of the steerable balloons used in the early 1900s for the Hindenburg and the Zeppelin, but much of it is unlike its predecessors.

On board

Set to lead the expedition is Robert Swan, an Arctic explorer and the first person that travelled to the North and South Pole by foot.

Unlike Swan, though, the 16 passengers who can occupy the eight double cabins can experience the Arctic in total comfort. There’s an infinity lounge that allows passengers to enjoy horizon-to-horizon views.

The airship will depart from the Arctic town of Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago. It will carry a crew of seven, including pilots who will choose a route based on optimal wind directions and notable locations with polar bears, whales, and icebergs, as well as a chef who will be responsible for the in-flight fine dining. Drinks will also be available at the bar.

The highlight is a six-hour layover right at the North Pole, where passengers can descend from the airship and enjoy a picnic on the ice cap.

Sustainability

More than offering a one-of-a-kind luxurious experience of the Arctic and North Pole, Ocean Sky wants to show that sustainable air travel is possible.

Airlander 10 is the result of years of research and development funded by Sweden’s Energy Agency and Traffic specifically to develop innovative technology for sustainable transportation.

It currently uses four combustion engines and releases 75 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions unlike conventional aircraft that use fossil fuels. By 2030, however, the airship’s engines will be fully electric and will release zero emissions. 

“The expedition will show that travel and transport by air can be sustainable,” OceanSky says on their website. “Lighter-than-air technology can supply humanity with ultra-efficient means of mobility, and operate in areas without infrastructure and civilization.”

The company also plans to be carbon positive, which means producing even more than the required energy for the airship and feeding it back to the grid.

“Through our cooperation with ChooseNow, [we] become climate positive. The money paid for carbon credits goes to UN-certified clean energy projects in developing countries,” the company adds. “Carbon offsetting is not an all-in-one solution but an important part of [our] actions to reduce carbon footprint and fight climate change.”

For more information, visit OceanSkyCruises.com.

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