Mind-blowing holidays of the future – underwater hotels and weekends on the Moon

Holidaymakers are returning to ports and airports as travel restrictions are eased, and the travel business slowly returns to its old routes.

But tourists won’t always be satisfied with the same old destinations – where will the holidays of the future take us?

There are already hotels under the sea, there’s talk of nuclear-powered hotels that will cruise the skies 24/7 and maybe even one day a hotel on the Moon.

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Mark Smith, head of business development at Simplexity Travel, said: “As the world shrinks and long-haul travel experiences become the norm, holidaymakers are going to want more unusual experiences, with extreme tourism set to grow”.

There’s nothing more extreme than holidays in space, and the first space tourists have already undertaken brief orbital flights – and soon we could go further.

“Whether one day we will build a hotel off the moon, which is something that I’ve always dreamed of, or whether we’ll leave that to my children to do, we’ll have to see,” says Richard Branson.

The dream of a Moon hotel predates the first Moon landing.

In 1969, shortly before Neil Armstrong first set foot on the lunar surface, hotel entrepreneur Conrad Hilton said: “I firmly believe that we are going to have hotels in outer space, perhaps even soon enough for me to officiate at the formal opening of the first."

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Hotelier Robert Bigelow promised in 2017 that the would have an inflatable Moon hotel operational by 2022. We’re still waiting.

Patron Moon, a nuclear-powered lunar resort was announced in late 2019. At the time, the Russian corporation behind the project hoped to have its Moon hotel taking bookings within ten years.

Each trip – expected to last around three days – was set to cost between $10million and $30million.

The underground moon base has been delayed by the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine – but a dirty weekend in orbit might be a possibility in the near future.

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Orbital Assembly Corporation, a new construction company run by former pilot John Blincow, plans to open a luxury space hotel by 2027.

"We're trying to make the public realise that this golden age of space travel is just around the corner. It's coming. It's coming fast," Blincow told CNN.

China could also soon be a major player in space tourism.

While its primary purpose of the Tiangong space station is said to be scientific, the Chinese space agency is eyeing space tourism as a possible way to finance the project, with an announcement of plans to open Tiangong up to tourism within the decade.

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With Chinese industrial growth producing record numbers of new billionaires, there are plenty of potential customers for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tiangong, which translates to “Palace in the Sky”.

Holidays in space aren’t a realistic prospect for most people, though. Instead, for an "out of this world" experience you could consider a hotel under the sea.

The Hilton Muraka – a micro-hotel submerged 16 feet below the sea in the Maldives, offers spectacular floor-to-ceiling glass walls to take in the Indian Ocean's marine life.

The underwater suites at the Atlantis Palm in Dubai offer views of the legendary sunken city – with sharks and rays swimming idly among the mocked-up ruins.

But with each room costing around $7,000 (just under £6,000) for a single night, perhaps we’ll have to accept that we will have to make so with the same old holiday resorts for a few more years after all.

Meanwhile, a wildly ambitious design for a “flying hotel” that could carry 5,000 passengers in unparalleled luxury has been featured in a new video.

The AI-piloted Sky Cruise – which has 20 engines powered by nuclear fusion – is designed never to land.

Instead, conventional airliners would ferry passengers to and from the Sky Cruise and even all running repairs would be carried out in-flight.

Hashem Alghaili, who created the incredibly detailed mock-up of the monster aircraft, says the nuclear-powered sky cruise “could be the future of transport”.

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