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 the list.
From space to the depths of the sea, tourism now reaches the ends of the earth.
As scientists and explorers make groundbreaking discoveries in these areas every day, these mysterious worlds of the universe are becoming more and more accessible to the average person.
Or at least the average person 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
NASA was once opposed to space tourism, but now they are 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 on a space shuttle decades ago.
From the minds (and pockets) of billionaires, major 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 and last six to 12 hours each. The tickets cost 50,000 dollars each. seat.
- perspective from space: These “luxury” flights were to begin in 2024 in a patented SpaceBalloon. No start here; glide gently and quietly into the upper atmosphere for $125,000 per seat.
- Galactic Virgo: Offering 90-minute flights starting in 2023, those fares jumped to $450,000 after Branson successfully launched the space last summer.
- blue origin: Customers take 10-minute trips to the far space. Prices for a seat on New Shepard are not announced. 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 gives 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 offers multiple trips to the ghostly remains site for $250,000.
The Washington company also offers expeditions to other pockets of the sea.
Tickets to dive in the Hudson Canyon, one of the largest underwater canyons in the world, or to see the marine life in the protected shores of Great Bahama will set you back $45,000.
However, it’s not all fun and games – you are expected to do your part and help with the search.
Climb Everest: $30,000 – $160,000
From the world’s depths to its greatest height, Mount Everest stands 29,035 feet above sea level.
Even with all the money in the world, this journey is not for everyone. Only hundreds of people complete the grueling trek to the top each year. And on average, five people die each year trying.
For those willing to try, the cost of training and equipment alone can break anyone’s bank. The Manual, a men’s wellness and lifestyle website, reports that a trek will cost you between $30,000 and $160,000 in 2022, with the average around $45,000.
Those not adept at conquering the mountains can still get a taste of Everest with expeditions to base camp, which lies just below 18,000 feet above sea level. Popular expedition companies 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 tours are not for the faint of heart either.
Most Antarctic expeditions depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city, 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 you reach the Antarctic Peninsula.
- intrepid journey is the most affordable option of the bunch, with itineraries starting at $7,775.
- Quark Expeditions offers a variety of cruise durations and prices ranging from $8,260 to $28,990.
- Viking cruises also offers various routes starting at $13,995 and capping 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.
Round-the-world cruise: $19,499 or more
While 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: A 111-day trip 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 divided into continental segments for less.