As the Dalai Lama said, “Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before” – and a new era of tourism is adding more destinations to that list.
From space to the depths of the sea, tourism now reaches the ends of the Earth.
As researchers and explorers make groundbreaking discoveries in these regions every day, these mysterious realms of the universe are becoming more and more accessible to the average human.
Or, at least, the average human with tens of thousands of extra dollars.
Here’s what expeditions to the ends of the Earth (and beyond) cost:
Space travel: $50,000 to $55 million
Once opposed to space tourism, NASA is now in favor of it. “Low Earth orbit is now more accessible for more people to experience the wonders of space,” tweeted NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who was a member of Congress when he hitchhiked in a shuttle. space decades ago.
From the minds (and pockets) of billionaires, big companies offering seats to the public include Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Richard Brannon’s Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. But here are also other options available:
- World Vision: Balloon-powered flights are scheduled to begin in 2024, lasting six to 12 hours each. Tickets cost $50,000 per seat.
- perspective from space: These “luxury” flights should begin in 2024 in a patented SpaceBalloon. No takeoff here; drift gently and quietly into the upper atmosphere for $125,000 per seat.
- Galactic Virgo: Offering 90-minute flights starting in 2023, those ticket prices were bumped up to $450,000 after Branson successfully launched into space last summer.
- blue origin: Clients take 10-minute rides to the far reaches of space. Prices for a seat on the New Shepard are not advertised. The New York Times reported that Blue Origin’s sales were nearly $100 million, but it’s unclear how many ticket holders that includes.
- SpaceX: This mission offers you the experience of a real astronaut, with a one-week stay on board the International Space Station. The seats for the first mission cost $55 million.
Scuba Dives: $45,000 – $250,000
Although most of the ocean is unknown to man, one scene is instantly recognizable: the sinking of the Titanic.
OceanGate Expeditions is offering multiple trips to the ghostly remains site for $250,000.
The Washington company also offers expeditions to other pockets of the ocean.
Tickets to dive in the Hudson Canyon, one of the largest underwater canyons in the world, or to view marine life in the protected Great Bahama Bank will set you back $45,000.
It’s not all fun and games, though – you’re expected to do your part and help with the research.
Climb Everest: $30,000 – $160,000
From the depths of the world to the greatest height, Mount Everest stands 29,035 feet above sea level.
Even with all the money in the world, this trip is not for just anyone. Only hundreds of people successfully complete the grueling trek to the top each year. And an average of five people die every year trying.
For those willing to try, the cost of training and equipment alone could break anyone’s bank. The Manual, a men’s wellness and lifestyle site, reports that a trek will cost you between $30,000 and $160,000 in 2022, with the average being around $45,000.
Those not adept at conquering the mountains can still get a taste of Everest with expeditions to base camp, which sits just under 18,000 feet above sea level. Expedition companies popular ones such as Intrepid Travel and Nepal Hiking Team offer itineraries starting under $2,000.
North and South Pole Expeditions: $7,775 and up
Expeditions are readily available to the North Pole and Antarctica. These trips are also not for the faint-hearted.
Most Antarctica expeditions depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, and take you through the Drake Passage, known for having some of the most treacherous waters in the world. And, you are at sea for about three days before reaching the Antarctic Peninsula.
- intrepid journey is the most affordable option of the bunch, with itineraries starting at $7,775.
- Quark Expeditions offers a range of cruise durations and prices, ranging from $8,260 to $28,990.
- Viking Cruises also offers different routes, starting at $13,995 and capping out at $49,995.
Quark Expeditions also offers an expedition to the North Pole, departing from Helsinki, Finland, although this price is not listed. This trek is accompanied by an optional hot air balloon flight over the icy surface of the arctic landscape below; Santa sightings are not guaranteed.
Around the world cruise: $19,499 or more
Although this expedition will not take you to the ends of the Earth, it will show you the extreme vastness that is our planet.
This one also ranks lowest on the danger-adventure scale, but it will consume most of your time.
Here are some offers:
- Princess: An 111-day tour takes you round-trip from Los Angeles. Interior rooms start at $19,499.
- viking: This 138-day itinerary begins in Florida and ends in London. Prices start at $54,995, with shorter routes also available.
- Royal Caribbean: A 274-day itinerary starts at $59,999 per person, but itineraries can be broken down into continental segments for less.