The Future Of Cruises Could Be In The Sky

A sky cruise plane concept shows what it's like to take a vacation while floating above clouds, but will it be the future of high-class tourism or is it a pipe dream? Futuristic hotels aren't just found in science-fiction, some, like Japan's first cutting-edge robot hotel, actually became a reality. While it's challenging enough to build fantastic hotels on terra firma, doing it in the clouds may seem impossible. However, a YouTube video animated by Hashem Al-Ghaili explores the possibility of reinventing future cruise vacations by way of a hypothetical nuclear-powered sky cruise plane capable of staying airborne for years.

All maintenance is said to be done in the sky, with guests entering and exiting the aircraft through private planes stationed above it. Apart from accommodating more than 5,000 guests, the sky hotel also boasts a myriad of recreational facilities such as gyms, shopping malls, cinemas, and even swimming pools. Multiple observation decks provide breathtaking views not found on any conventional cruise, including an up-close look at the northern lights. The idea of swimming onboard a floating palace might seem like a dream come true, but just because it sounds good doesn't mean it's ideal.

Is this sky cruise plane the future?

Being in the sky presents the same inconveniences that plague every airplane: turbulence. Fortunately, this plane would utilize a "state of the art" command deck, with AI that predicts turbulence minutes before they happen, according to the YouTube video. When it does, it's capable of negating vibrations akin to how active noise-cancellation blocks noise. Sure, it all might seem cool but the idea of a nuclear-powered plane alone already sound like a floating nightmare instead of the "epitome of luxury." Although nuclear energy gives off zero-emissions, it does require frequent disposal of hazardous radioactive waste (via EIA). The process is problematic enough on the ground, let alone from higher altitudes.

Past nuclear mishaps, like the Chernobyl incident, have forced thousands out of their homes, and given that the sky cruise plane is both mobile and airborne, it has the potential to posea deadly disaster. Another problem would be getting such an enormous flying hotel off the ground in the first place. Of course, bear in mind that this plane's origin is rooted in fantasy more than reality. In fact, the nuclear-powered sky hotel's design came from an illustration by Swedish artist Tony Holmsten. Based on the entry on deviantart, the design was apparently from a concept art for the 2013 hack-and-slash game "Killer is Dead." Sky cruise might be another surreal concept only possible through fantasy and 3D renderings, or is it?

The sky (hotel) is not the limit

With companies already thinking about bringing hotels to space, some might assume that putting superstructures in our skies will be a breeze. The thing is, making massive cruise ships float is a lot harder when taking gravity into consideration. If that's the case, then does that mean the future of cruises won't be in the sky after all? Well, perhaps thinking smaller can make such an ambitious project more feasible. That's exactly what design firm HOK proposed in 2016 with its award-winning flying hotel concept (via Forbes). Instead of an outlandish sky hotel, this concept utilizes more manageable modular rooms atop autonomous drones called "Driftcrafts."

These rooms would connect to a larger module that might house a lounge and restaurant. The idea isn't too far-fetched either, as it only requires modifying technology that already exists. This includes the various electric urban aerial vehicles in development, such as the CityHawk, Ehang AAV, and the CityAirbus — to name a few. It may not be as grandiose as a flying hotel, but big things often start out small. For now, it's better to take the sky cruise plane concept with a grain of salt until smaller-scale projects like Driftcrafts actually come to fruition, that is.