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Bulkhead to Head

From the proven elegance of a retro airliner, to submersible super yachts – the dream of alternative travel modes is very much alive

Douglas DC-6 of Cloudmaster Limited Image: Cloudmaster Limited

With global tourism on the up - and despite crises financial and otherwise around the world – 2015 saw a 4.5% rise in outbound trips for much of the year [according to ITB World Travel Trends report]. A buoyant market is capturing the imagination with some remarkable ventures in travel, some of which have a futuristic air of sci-fi about them, while others hark back to halcyon days. 

 

Take Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Hyperloop – the former landing re-usable rockets at sea, the latter positing 1,200kph tubal travel. These are at the vanguard of a myriad of concepts, both pipedreams and ground-breaking, as presented in the latest issue of Centurion Magazine, that gives us much to enthuse over.

 

A unique twist on a familiar format is Migaloo Private Submersible Yacht’s efforts to package the supreme comforts of a mega yacht within the sleek form of a submarine.


Image: Migaloo PSY

Capable of taking the traditional sun-soaked sybaris of a surface dwelling super yacht, before diving down to offer multiple split-level windows on the otherworldly elegance of the subaquatic, Migaloo’s bold range of predesigned craft are based on proven, existing technologies – the largest of its offerings taking cues from the US Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers. With the planned ability to submerge for weeks on end, the privacy possibilities are limitless.


Image: Migaloo PSY 

As is customary, the bespoke yachts would be finished to the customer’s exact wishes. The company claims to be negotiating with clients worldwide to realise the first of these ambitious ships.

 

From the bottom of the ocean to cruising the skies in style, Cloudmaster Limited is in the business of slowing down the high speed jet-set of modern air travel with its restoration of a Douglas DC-6 airliner.


Image: Cloudmaster Limited

Rose-tinted glasses may look favourably on the Golden Age of Flying, but the beauty of the often-chromed, propellor-driven aircraft and their forced, leisurely pace holds an unquestionable allure. The DC-6 stands tall both in dimension, towering over contemporary aircraft on the tarmac of today’s airports, and in stature as one of the last highly developed airliners of its type before the jet engine took prominence.

 

Having previously engineered the restoration of a DC-6 for a private client, the British venture acquired a DC-6 of its own and, once its 8-share model for the aircraft is fully secured, will embark on a 30-month restoration to bring the craft up to spec for shareholders’ private use and charter.


Image: Cloudmaster Limited

Reflecting it’s 1960s operational heritage, the planned interior design takes a modernised Mad Men via Sean Connery-era Bond flavour, courtesy of noted design firm Bannenberg & Rowell, previously responsible for the distinctive interior spaces of Feadship’s Moon Sand and Heesen’s Asya yachts, among others.

 

Whether these projects take off, or sink beneath the waves remains to be seen. Regardless, ambitious and reverential, both Migaloo and Cloudmaster are part of a travel revolution in a world clamouring for more.

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