Space tourism will open to all soon enough. In the meantime, we non-astronauts will have to settle for overnighting at this Mars-ready habitat in upstate New York or spending a few days in an interplanetary simulation underground. For those looking for something even more adventurous and otherworldly, however, one company is planning a pop-up “hotel” at the top of the world.
In April 2020, North Pole Igloos will debut at Earth’s northernmost point. For one month only, guests will have the opportunity to overnight at the literal top of the world. The pop-up hotel will consist of 10 igloo-shaped domes atop the frozen Arctic Ocean. Weather permitting, the hotel will be set up at the geographic North Pole. Not surprising, however, conditions there are extreme. The website notes that the hotel may be repositioned elsewhere on the Arctic Glacier if things get too hairy.
The annual window to safely visit the North Pole is brief. Each year, it’s accessible only by helicopter for most of April, and by ship in June and July. Official numbers are hard to come by, but it’s estimated that less than 1,000 people visit the pole annually. Most pack their own equipment, including food, shelter, and survival gear, lugging it for miles across the frozen tundra on sleds.
In stark contrast, the North Pole Igloos will be a decidedly different affair. Luxury Action, the company behind the ambitious project, promises heated accommodations with all the trappings of a typical luxury hotel suite. Each individual pod will feature a full-sized bed, en suite bathroom, upscale cabinetry, and panoramic glass walls and ceiling. The latter virtually guarantees unparalleled views of the Northern Lights which are highly active at the pole each April. Outside the pods, guests will be accompanied by a dedicated camp manager, an Arctic wilderness guide, a camp chef, and even a security detail as part of the all-inclusive package. Who knew the North Pole was such a hotbed for criminal activity?
Company founder Janne Honkanen told CNN, “I wanted to create a more comfortable way to experience the North Pole as it is, by bringing cozy facilities to extreme conditions. We provide all of the equipment. But you definitely need to have the spirit of an explorer or scientist.”
The price tag for all that convenience? A whopping $100,000. That includes a two-night stay in Svalbard, followed by a two-hour helicopter flight to the igloo hotel’s location where guests will spend three nights. No word on the Wi-Fi situation, however, and if you can’t Instagram it, did it even really happen?
If you’re after a more adventurous and budget-friendly polar expedition, Ski Last Degree will get you to the South Pole. Just be prepared: It may be two-thirds of the price, but there’s nothing luxurious about it. You’ll need to trek nearly 70 miles lugging all your own gear to get there.
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