Atomic superyacht to offer $3M eco-tours
A nuclear-powered ship is being developed by entrepreneur Aaron Olivera, which he envisages will sail round the world with scientists, activists and billionaires onboard, examining the state of the oceans.
According to Bloomberg, the ship, called Earth 300, has been designed by superyacht specialist Ivan Salas Jefferson. Almost 300 metres long and 60 metres high, it’s said to be able to accommodate 425 people. A handful of wealthy tourists, housed in luxury suites, will pay $3 million each for a 10-day journey—helping to make the venture profitable. Olivera foresees inviting artists, explorers and students to spend time on the ship, ‘hobnobbing’ with billionaires, but paying a lower fee or even traveling for free.
At a recent launch dinner in Singapore, Olivera talked enthusiastically about his dream, reports Bloomberg. He wants Earth 300 to be a global architectural icon that encourages people to think more seriously about the climate.
The modernist design, cantilevered observation deck and 13-story glass ‘science sphere’ are meant to spark awe. “We wanted the sphere to inspire whoever looks at it to save the planet,” says Olivera. “Imagine if we could build an object that would galvanize people around the planet.”
However, beyond the hype there is still a long way to make the boat a reality. It has reportedly taken six years and $5 million to get to this point, where the design is advanced enough to take to shipyards for construction quotes, with shipyards in Europe and South Korea being considered. According to Bloomberg, Earth 300 executives estimate the total cost would come to between $500 million and $700 million.
Part of this high price tag will be a zero-emission atomic power plant from UK based Core Power, which is developing a ship-borne molten-salt reactor, a technology led by the Bill Gates-founded U.S. nuclear company TerraPower.
With the ship scheduled to launch in 2025 and certification for the reactor not expected for another five to seven years, the vessel is likely to initially run on synthetic green fuels.
The ship will be designed to operate for 300 days a year, generating around $100 million from wealthy eco-tourists, with additional revenue from hosting events or movie sets, says Olivera.
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