Will I see the aurora borealis?
It depends on what time during the season you choose to join the expedition. You have a better chance to see Northern lights in the beginning and in the end of the summer season when it’s dark. Best time to see this natural phenomena during OceanSky’s summer season, would be September and October.
What is Svalbard? Where is it? How do I get there?
Svalbard is a group of islands, north of Norway. It is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Longyearbyen is the most northern settlement in the world with over 2000 inhabitants. You can fly to Longyearbyen airport from Oslo or Tromsö almost daily with SAS or Norwegian airlines. We work with the best companies in the Arctic. They can help you with these arrangements. OceanSky Cruises will offer Svalbard activity packages in a near future. It would be good if you plan with some extra nights before and after the North Pole Expedition, so you won’t be late for the flight and also because we might have to delay the flight due to weather sometimes. (There are a lot of fun things to do and see in Svalbard for your stay there as well). OceanSky Cruises works with the best and most experienced travel companies in Svalbard that arrange activities and packages and can even help you with flight bookings. Let us know and we can connect you.
Could the flight be delayed? Why?
How cold is it at the North Pole?
The average (mean) temperature at the North Pole is −40° C (which happens to also be −40° F) in the winter and in 0° C (32° F) in the summer. We only fly during the summer season because during the polar night it is very dark. You can see the actual weather and find the forecast for the North Pole with this link
How fast/high are we flying?
We will be cruising at airspeeds between 20kts (37km/h) and 60kts (110km/h), but the normal cruise speed is calculated to 50kts (91km/h). We will take it slow and easy, for a soft, quiet, and smooth flight.
We will be flying up to 6000 feet. We can go higher, up to 10,000ft, but we will be flying low and slow so our guests can enjoy the view better. The lower the better, maybe even as low as 300 feet. That’s similar to be on the 25th floor in a high-rise building.
How long is the flight?
The flight from Svalbard to the North Pole and then back to Svalbard will be 36 hours, plus 1 hour before departure for boarding and 1 hour after for debriefing.
On OceanSky Cruises' itinerary, there will be 2 nights on board for the flight from Svalbard to the North Pole and back to Svalbard. This might be altered on individual charters as agencies and private companies that charter departures may offer tailored itineraries.
When is the first flight?
The first flight to the North Pole is planned to be in 2024 or 2025. The season starts in March and ends in October.
How do I sign up to the North Pole expedition?
Is it safe?
Airship navigation is subject to the same regulations any commercial airplane would. The aviation industry is the safest and most regulated in the world. We will take off and land at approximately 20kts/37Km / 23 Miles, this is bicycle speed. The coating is made of a double layer of Kevlar, the same material bulletproof vests are made of. The lifting gas used is helium, which is not flammable and it’s not pressurized either. Because of its lifting gas, airships float in the air. They also have 4 independent engines. In case of an unlikely total engine failure, they would still float in the air. Airships can sustain flying under the same weather conditions any airplane would.
What is the average altitude and speed on an airship?
Airship cabins are not pressurized, allowing us to have big panoramic windows. We´ll be flying at altitudes as low as 300 feet / 90 meters and as high as 10.000 feet / 3.000 meters. Our cruising speed will vary between 20kts/37Km / 23 Miles per hour and 60kts/ 111km/ 69 Miles per hour.
What level of accommodation and service can I expect on board?
You can expect a similar level of space, comfort, and service you would have on a luxury yacht. You will have a private cabin with a suited bathroom, ample common areas, large panoramic windows, and an exquisite food experience on board.
For how long will I be at North Pole?
We will land on the North Pole 09:00 in the morning and we will take-off again 15:00, so it will be six hours on the North Pole
How many crew members are aboard?
We always fly with a double pilot crew plus flight attendants, a chef, and the expedition leader. A total of 7 members, 4 of which are pilots.
How many cabins does the airship have?
Similar to a luxury yacht, we have 8 double cabins on board, fully equipped with large panoramic windows, a private bathroom, and a small wardrobe. All cabins are 10m2 and similarly equipped.
When is the North Pole expedition going to take place?
Flights will start from March to October (2024 or 2025) once a week. Reaching the North Pole and returning to Svalbard will take 38 hours in total
What if I change my mind? Can I resell my ticket?
You have two options then. Either you sell your ticket to someone else or the second option is that you terminate your ticket.
The termination fee is equivalent to the total amount of deposit paid.
OSC will confirm specific expedition dates 12 months before departure. In the unlikely event that OS does not perform an expedition in the period up to December 31st, 2026, the client has the right to claim the paid deposit. Upon the client’s written request, OSC will transfer the refund within a time period of 14 days.
Is there any risk to the money I put in deposit?
All deposits made by travelers on OceanSky Cruises' itineraries are covered by a travel guarantee by Swedish authority Kammarkollegiet. In fact, all money collected by OceanSky is escrowed into Kammarkollegiet’s own account and is never used by OceanSky Cruises.
If OceanSky Cruises becomes insolvent, traveler’s deposits are claimed and paid out directly from Kammarkollegiet’s website through a simple web form.
Deposits can be claimed if OceanSky Cruises does not deliver travel latest end of 2026.
That said, travelers do not take any financial risk of losing their deposits. The only risk of losing money is if a traveler decides to cancel his or her journey after paid a deposit.
Everyone who sells or markets travel arrangements or travel packages must have a travel guarantee if the trips are subject to guarantees under the Travel Guarantee Act. The purpose of this Act is to protect travelers in the event of the travel agent becoming insolvent.
▪ Terms for deposited funds
The following terms apply when depositing funds with the Legal, Financial, and Administrative Services Agency for travel guarantees.
The funds for the guarantee must be deposited in Swedish Kronor (SEK).
The money will then be put in an interest-bearing account with the Swedish National Debt Office in accordance with the Deposit Money in Escrow Act (1927:56). The Legal, Financial, and Administrative Services Agency will call on funds to compensate for negative interest.
Negative and positive interest will be reported semi-annually or annually. Where applicable, we will provide information to the Swedish Tax Agency.
We are entitled to immediately use funds in accordance with Sections 6 and 7 of the Travel Guarantee Act (2018:1218).
By depositing funds with us, you agree to these terms.
Under the following link, you may search in the "free text search" field for registered companies with travel guarantees under the Kammarkollegiet: https://www.kammarkollegiet.se/engelska/start/all-services/search-travel-guarantees
Just type in OceanSky and it should show you the result with a respective registration number.
The contact details for Kammarkollegiet can be found here: https://www.kammarkollegiet.se/engelska/start/contact
And for claims, you may click on this link: https://www.kammarkollegiet.se/vara-tjanster/resegaranti/ansok-om-ersattning-ur-resegarantin
Since there is currently no English version of the reimbursement form available we just contacted Kammarkollegiet directly via Email email@example.com and shortly after a nice lady replied the following:
I recommend you to ask travelers who have questions to contact us via email or phone. For valid forms for applying for reimbursement, travelers are not required to use them. They can write on their own form and if any information is missing, we will ask them to supplement it.
Where do I find the booking conditions?
When you place a booking request, we will send you the full Terms & Conditions together with a deposit invoice.
The detailed information also gives you the short version of the conditions here under password. Don’t have a password? Please contact us.
How many cabins/people will be on board?
There are 8 cabins on board, each for 2 guests therefore, there will be a maximum of 16 guests on board.
There are 7 crew members on board, and could be one extra expedition leader/translator for certain charter flights. 4 of the 7 are pilots.
How big is the Airlander 10 and the cabin? How many guests can stay in one cabin?
The overall size of the Airlander 10 is 91 m (298 ft 7 in) in length 34 m (111 ft 7 in) in width. The private Horizon Cabin overall area measures approximately 10m2, of which includes a shower and bathroom and a small wardrobe.
One cabin is for maximum of 2 guests.
Where will I stay on board the hybrid airship?
The great hull you see in the pictures and videos are where the containment of the helium is. More than 90% of the volume of an airship is used for containing the lifting gas. The passenger gondola is below the big round hull. The gondola is around 250m2 and holds the cockpit, living space and all the Horizon Cabins, which we call the private suites you as a passenger will be sleeping in.
Regarding safety please refer to: Are airships safe?
What about winds and bad weather?
Like any other commercial aircraft, Airlander will be type certified and capable of flying in a wide range of weather conditions. The Airlander can safely take off and land in wind conditions similar to commercial airplanes but unlike other large airplanes, Airlander is not restricted by cross-wind, as it can simply turn into the wind and take off in any direction due to the non-dependency of runway direction. The North Pole is not a very windy or gusty place.
Hybrid Airships are heavier than air and are quite sturdy, the Airlander was moored to the mast in 50knots in New Jersey in 2012 without any issues.
The top speed of modern large-scale airships is about 65 knots so a steady strong wind will slow us down but not stop us.
Upon landing the problem arises with gusty winds, not so much with steady and even strong steady winds. The North Pole is not gusty since there is no terrain at all.
The Airlander will also be capable of withstanding lightning strikes and icing conditions, similar to all types of certified commercial aircraft.
What about safety?
The most critical phase of flight in aviation is take-off and landing. Imagine landing in 20kts instead of 120kts. Lower speed means improved safety. Furthermore, the Airlander is designed and manufactured to the same standards of safety as every other aircraft. Airlander will have an EASA type certificate, and the OEM is approved by EASA to design and build aircraft. Equally, in operations, OceanSky Cruises is subject to the same regulations as any other airline operating under the European commercial aviation framework. Aviation is regarded as having the most advanced safety culture of all transport modal industries.
More on safety under "Are Airships safe?"
Why is flying with Airlander 10 more sustainable (better for the environment) compared to flying with a normal airplane?
At OceanSky we believe we need to change the equipment for aviation to become sustainable. A hybrid aircraft is a combination of airship, airplane, and helicopter; it’s a combination where we get the best of all worlds.
The lifting gas offsets the weight of the aircraft meaning that less energy is required to keep it aloft. Like an airship, this means that it can carry a great payload, burn very little fuel and fly for a long time.
The use of aerodynamic lift means that Airlander can generate more or less lift as required. This means that, unlike an airship, it is heavier than air. It can therefore stay on the ground while it is loaded, unloaded, fuelled, and maintained, meaning that it requires little or none expensive, fixed infrastructure.
In this way, a hybrid aircraft combines the efficiency, capability, and sustainable potential of an airship with the practicality of a normal airplane. Hybrid aircraft minimize the need for expensive ground infrastructure to operate in remote places while enabling safe, quiet, efficient, and capable flight. Its low operational cost, low environmental impact, and unique flight and land capabilities enable OceanSky Cruises to reach the unreachable.
So, for example, OceanSky Cruises could fly Stockholm – London with an Airlander with the benefit of having a sleeping cabin for guests on-board. The flight would take 12h instead of 2,5h but it would be quiet and comfortable, and we can fly through the night to bring you there well-rested in the morning. We could also take off and land on a small field that could be very central.
What makes a Hybrid Aircraft different from conventional airplanes?
OceanSky Cruises’ vision is to make aviation sustainable. Airplanes don’t constitute a viable option for environmentally sustainable operations, even if we could run them on biofuel and batteries. It’s just not enough and simply not the answer for aviation - more on this under
What makes a Hybrid Aircraft fly?
OceanSky Cruises’ first experience will be performed in the Airlander 10, which is a hybrid aircraft. A hybrid aircraft derives its lift from a combination of aerodynamic lift (like an airplane), lifting gases (like an airship), and vectored thrust (similar to a helicopter). Airlander generates up to 40% of its lift from aerodynamics by the passage of air over the hull and the remainder from a buoyant lift from the helium. At lower speed and closer to the ground, vectoring engine power is used to provide additional lift and maneuverability for take-off, landing, and ground handling.
So, in other words, the Airlander is a combination between an airship, an airplane, and a helicopter. What makes Airlander so efficient is that it uses the lifting gas helium to offset its weight, meaning the Airlander becomes very light compared to a conventional airplane. Its lightness makes it efficient.
What makes Lighter-Than-Air technology sustainable?
Utilizing lighter-than-air technology, Airlander burns much less fuel in flight than conventional aircraft. The buoyant lift of helium offsets the weight of the aircraft, therefore requiring much less thrust (and therefore much less fuel) to generate lift.
This immense potential to save fossil fuel can put aviation in a direction of non-dependency on oil. Because if we only need a fraction of the energy, we can also use non-fossil alternatives.
Hybrid Air Vehicles, the Airlander OEM, is on the path to developing electric engines for Airlander 10. Read more about Project E-HAV1: