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Air-travel pioneer OceanSky Cruises will launch expeditions from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, to the North Pole in this stunning and futuristic airship.
The 329-foot-long hybrid aircraft is kept in the sky by combining buoyancy from helium with aerodynamic lift created by the shape of its hull. Four propellers make sure the airship moves forward. It can fly continuously for days.
The North Pole Expedition plans to operate during summer only (26 flights) with weekly departures from Svalbard from May through October. Estimated departure year is 2024 or 2025. It'll be the first time in history that an airship lands on the North Pole.
Winds turn clockwise when ascending on the Northern Hemisphere. By shifting altitude, the airship is able to fly in better wind conditions and directions, a feature usually used by hot air balloons. This way, the airship can increase efficiency and speed, minimizing fuel consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions.
Also, it doesn’t need to call on airports for take-off and landing, meaning passengers can disembark and board at remote locations during expeditions.
OceanSky Cruises’s airship is furnished like a luxury hotel. Cabins feature large panoramic windows. (The pictures are actually of Hybrid Air Vehicle’s Airlander airship, which might be supplied to OceanSky.)
The expedition starts on the arctic island of Svalbard. There are only 8 cabins on board, so quite an intimate and personalized experience.
Getting to the North Pole and back will take two nights, approximately 38 hours.
6PM Take-off, flying north, searching for wildlife spotting opportunities such as polar bears and whales
8PM Cocktails and dinner will be served
9AM Landing at the North Pole
Morning brief by expedition leaders
Spend the day exploring
Lunch served on the snow
Return flight to Svalbard
Dinner and night on board
6AM Landing in Svalbard
An experience like this doesn't come cheap. Currently, OceanSky Cruises are advertising this experience at 2,000,000 SEK / $210,000 USD (price per cabin/based on 2 people sharing).
Included in the price:
Transfer from your hotel in Svalbard to the airship and vice versa
One double cabin for up to 2 people
2 nights on board the airship, including all meals and drinks
Chef, crew, and hospitality staff onboard
How Long Will I Be at the North Pole For?
The airship will land at 9AM on the North Pole, and it'll take off again at 3PM, so you'll spend six hours on the North Pole.
Will I See the Aurora Borealis?
That depends on the season. This expedition only travels to the North Pole during the summer season. So, the best chance to see the Northern lights will be if you book a date in September and October on the airship.
How Cold Is the North Pole?
The average temperature at the North Pole is -40° F (-40° C) in the winter and 32° F (0° C) in the summer. The airship only travels in summer, since the polar nights in the winter are too dark.
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd and Design Q