The Future is Near: Design Firm Ponders Floating Hotels

Now this is something frivolous, fantastic, and futuristic that I can really get behind. According to CNN, London-based design company, Seymourpowell, has proposed a project for floating hotels, called AirCruise. Essentially, the idea is to travel in the form of a futuristic airship/luxury hotel, designed to float from destination to destination rather than zoom at top speeds.

Nick Talbot of Seymourpowell explains some of the thinking behind the concept: “A more serene transport experience will appeal to people looking for a more reflective journey, where the experience of travel itself is more important than getting from A to B quickly.”

These concept luxury pods are part hotel, part ship, and have the capacity to accommodate about 100 guests. Travel would be slow, but enjoyable—a leisurely 100 to 150 km/hr, making the trip from London to New York in about 40 hours.

While currently only part of a “feasibility study”—and by and large considered a luxury form of flight—it is, nonetheless, quite appealing. I was just talking to someone recently, during one of my steampunk infused rants, how actually seeing the landscape would add tremendously to my in-flight experience. I’m the person who has to have a window seat and gripes about being on the wrong side of the airplane when we cross over the Grand Canyon (which always seems to happen). It used to be that, through train travel, you had a real sense of traveling large distances and watching the landscape change. With much of my family in California, I fly across the country a few times a year and usually find the experience jarring. Not to mention disappointing to miss so much landscape.

Of course, even though this is totally in the “what if” stage, chances are curious adventure-seekers like myself aren’t the target market. Judging by the language of the article, the company wants to target people with both money and time, neither of which I have to spare.

… hmm, there’s always the airship pirate route, right?

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5 Responses to The Future is Near: Design Firm Ponders Floating Hotels

  1. “It used to be that, through train travel, you had a real sense of traveling large distances and watching the landscape change.”

    Maybe that’s the case for TRAINS, which travel on land, across landscapes.

    You realise this is about the sea, right? There’s pretty much just water.

    If you’ve ever been on a ferry, you’ll know it’s not too exciting. Even the start and end aren’t that great, because it’s just industrial, smelly ports.

    It’s nothing but an expensive cruise, really, and those already exist. How is this a new invention again? It’s barely an innovation…

  2. I think that they could be land *and* water vessels after a time. Sure, over water is boring–but even moving over small amounts of land would be a totally different experience. I just think it’s a cool post-Victorian idea that would be fascinating to see! :)

  3. "It used to be that, through train travel, you had a real sense of traveling large distances and watching the landscape change."

    Maybe that's the case for TRAINS, which travel on land, across landscapes.

    You realise this is about the sea, right? There's pretty much just water.

    If you've ever been on a ferry, you'll know it's not too exciting. Even the start and end aren't that great, because it's just industrial, smelly ports.

    It's nothing but an expensive cruise, really, and those already exist. How is this a new invention again? It's barely an innovation…

  4. I think that they could be land *and* water vessels after a time. Sure, over water is boring–but even moving over small amounts of land would be a totally different experience. I just think it's a cool post-Victorian idea that would be fascinating to see! :)

  5. I find this new concept useless. First, because there are already cruising ships that can cover the same distances with far more people on board. And second because there are plenty of hotels one can stay in and can get a plane if they want to change places. For example, hotels in London have various services as picking you up from the airport and dropping you at the airport. They can arrange for flights, private jets, fast trains tickets and all sort of fast transportation. The whole distance to New York can be done in less than 10 hour leaving from London and ending in a new New York hotel lobby.