To the North Pole in a Blimp!


An adventure that sounds as if it were scripted by Jules Verne will see sixteen passengers with money for the richest digs sail serenely over the Arctic in a giant airship, land at the North Pole for lunch and a stroll, and then return in their luxury cabins to Norway.

Of course, technically the Airlander 10 is not a blimp, though it looks like two of them sewn together (giving it a UK nickname of 'the flying bum'). It's the world's longest aircraft, by the way, dwarfing jetliner lengths at 92 metres, even the Antonov 225.

OceanSky, a Swedish company, is selling tickets for a 2023 trip that will take 36 hours from Norway's Svalbard archipelago and back. That's 15 hours each way, with six hours on the ground where the excursion will be led by a climate expert. Two-bed cabins go for about $90,000.

The Airlander itself is built by a company called Hybrid Air Vehicles, which says it has tentative orders for ten of the ships, but needs $242 million cash investment to actually go into production. The original prototype, which has been repaired after a 'hard landing' in 2016, was funded by the U.S. military.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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What happens if there's a "hard landing" at the North Pole?  I think I'll wait until they offer a lunch excursion with palm trees.

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