Life is full of contradictions, some large and some small. If you happen to be someone who loves to travel but is also concerned about carbon emissions, you’re probably already familiar with the internal conflicts that can arise from such a mindset. Current methods of commercial air travel do, indeed, result in emissions — which has given rise to the “flight shaming” movement.
But what if there was another option available? In his speculative novel The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson suggests airships as a carbon-neutral alternative to the current system of jet airliners — and while that’s a work of science fiction, there are plenty of real-world efforts underway to bring back airship travel.
One such effort comes from OceanSky Cruises, who recently announced an ambitious plan to begin offering luxury cruises to the North Pole. A Bloomberg article offers details of the company’s initial fundraising plan, which involves offering an opportunity to buy shares in the company to those who reserve spaces on the airships’ initial voyages.
That said, booking air travel on those trips won’t come cheap. The initial cost to travel to the North Pole is 2,000,000 SEK — or a little over $177,000 at the current exchange rate. According to the company’s website, the voyage will take place in 2024 or 2025.
That’s not the only itinerary OceanSky is planning; the company’s website also features information on a trip over southern Africa. As Bloomberg‘s article points out, there are still a number of variables at play, including questions of whether a workable airship will exist by the planned launch date. But if they can pull it off, it could be a huge turning point for the world of air travel.