There's still some conjecture about exactly who got to the North pole first, but you can have a say in who goes there next. Swedish company OceanSky is selling a 30-hour travel package taking folk for a luxury picnic lunch at magnetic North, in the world's largest aircraft, the Airlander 10.
The trip starts out in Svalbard, Norway, and you'll spend most of the first night trying to get some sleep aboard the gigantic helium-lift "hybrid aircraft" you're traveling in, which we hope has been fitted out with the promised luxury tourism trim, and which we also hope has concluded the crashing, and breaking free of its moorings and deflating stages of its development.
The Airlander's passenger cabin is some 151 feet long (46 m), and since it'll be flying below between 1,000 and 6,000 feet for most of the trip, there'll be plenty of white to take in via the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows and glass floor ports as you sip drinks from the Skybar.
Come lunchtime, it's time to float this unique aircraft down onto the ice, no runway needed, where you can disembark straight onto a spot that would've taken you the best part of a year to get to back in the early 1900s when man first set foot up there – and that's if you were lucky enough to survive one of the harshest adventures known to man.
No frostbite, starvation, mad dashes over cracking ice or dog sleds for you, though. You'll tiptoe down a ramp with your mittens on and be right there ready to enjoy a security briefing, instruction session and "outdoor activities" as you wait for your lunch to be brought out and watch your compass go bananas trying to work out what the holy hell's going on.
Bellies full, it's back into the aircraft for an afternoon cruise back over the ice, taking time to spot wildlife if it's around. A fancy dinner, a cocktail party with an Arctic expedition lecture, and a few hours later you'll be back at Svalbard ready to tell the tale.
There's no mention of price on the OceanSky website, but put it this way, you're taking a remarkable, gigantic luxury aircrafp – the biggest aircraft in the world, no less – and sharing it with no more than 18 other passengers, plus crew and a chef, for about 30 hours. Even if these marvelous hybrid aircraft, which combine features from airships, helicopters and airplanes, only cost as much as a 747 to run, it ain't gonna be cheap.
But we're not talking about visiting the Jersey shore here, this is the storied North Pole we're talking about, where you can take photos of a whiteness even more vast and total than that of the audience at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert. Reservations are open now.
See a video of the Airlander aircraft below.
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