(This is a guest post, by CCUK)
Richard Branson has dominated the news in recent years with his Virgin space voyage, but why just go to the moon and back when there are so many galaxies to explore? The release of Star Wars: Rogue One has got us thinking: what’s the future of travel when we have the technology to open up not just the Milky Way, but entire galaxies of possibilities?
Using years of experience as cruise and travel experts — and adding a liberal amount of geekiness — we’ve concocted itineraries that will take you from the frozen desolation of Hoth to the towering skyscrapers of Coruscant, and from the sun, sand and suffering of Frogstar to the tantalising delights of Eroticon VI. Pour yourself a pan-galactic gargle blaster and get ready to have your imagination blown right open, as we hypothesise a whole new travel experience.
What’s the Itinerary?
Naturally, when thinking about travel, the first question is: where would you go? The wonderful thing about cruises is that you don’t just have to pick one destination; you can cruise to many. An intergalactic cruise would be no different. Unfortunately, due to our limited technology at this present time, the easiest way to plan a hypothetical itinerary is to use the ideas that the media have already given us. You probably won’t be able to cruise to the Death Star a hundred years from now, but with infinite possibilities of galaxies out there, the chances are that there are planets resembling the ideas given to us in works of fiction such as Star Wars and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
A Cruise to a Galaxy Far Far Away - What are the Dangers?
The galaxy created by George Lucas is one of extremes, so any cruise, especially a cruise from the UK or US with limited fight power or experience in combat, would have to be wary to avoid planets with rebels and smugglers.
Indeed, it may be that a cruise in this galaxy would find itself propelled back to a 17th century experience of having to be on the alert for pirates. In 2009, security guards on an Italian cruise ship opened fire on Somali pirates with pistols and water guns to beat them off. The majority of cruise ships in the present day, though, would be hopeless if faced with any real attack. Major cruise lines like NCL Cruises and Royal Caribbean are entirely unarmed, and therefore would need a complete mental shift to prepare for space travel with threats.
And What are the Destinations?
But the real question is, where would be the hot destinations? Where would be the vogue places to cruise to, the travel packages that fly off the shelves?
For City Lovers Who Never Sleep - Coruscant, the planet sized-metropolis would be a natural hit for tourists. With its neon-bathed streets and thousand-storey skyscrapers, it would resemble Hong Kong or Tokyo, both currently hot destinations for travellers on a cruise from the UK or US. As the hub of the galaxy, it would be impossible to miss it off any itinerary.
For Nature Lovers - If you wish to see indigenous species in their natural environment, Endor, home of the Ewoks, would be a natural must. In the film, this destination was shot in Redwood national park, home of the world’s largest trees, but that would have nothing on Endor itself. The chance to watch the Ewoks in their natural environment is certainly something which would be a highlight of any cruise.
For Those Who Are Intrepid Travellers - When we see Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, it’s a desolate planet of ice and snow. Not only is the weather lethal without proper protection, but deadly creatures such as Wampas are also a threat to travellers and inhabitants. With cruises to the arctic being so popular, though, a cruise to Hoth is definitely not out of the question for those who are more adventurous. We’re sure they’ve made it a bit more tourist-friendly over the years; igloos, waterparks, that sort of thing.
What About a Cruise Closer to Home?
If you would rather stay closer to home on your space cruise, within the bounds of this galaxy we already exist in, then we can turn to Douglas Adams for some inspiration on what may be awaiting us. In the radio series of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it’s mentioned that Zarniwoop is on an intergalactic cruise, but this is never expanded on. Where he was going, therefore, remains for us to elaborate.
Got Cash to Splash? Han Wavel is Your Holiday - Han Wavel, mentioned by Douglas Adams in Life, the Universe and Everything, is an exotic holiday planet covered with hotels and casinos formed by the natural erosion of wind and rain. We don’t know how this came about, as scientists researching it can’t afford to stay there. If you love exotic and luxury holidays and have the money to spend, then Han Wavel is the place to head to.
Want a Good Time? Drinks and Women Await - Of course, we only endorse responsible and ethical tourism, but no hypothetical cruise itinerary of the galaxy created by Arthur Dent would be complete without a mention of Eroticon VI. Home to the triple breasted whore Eccentrica Gallumbits, whose erogenous zones are thought to extend to several miles outside her body, it’s a location that would feature for sure on an adult-only cruise. Follow that up with a visit to Fallia: not especially remarkable in landscape, but the marshes have special hallucinogenic properties. The proper instructions on how to make a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster tell one to allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through the drink “in memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia."
Will We Ourselves Be a Cruise Destination? - The answer to this question is a resounding “no”. Unless the inventors on Magrathea create an Earth in a different part of the galaxy, our little planet (hopefully not destroyed by Vogons) won’t be featuring on any hot travel itinerary. Our little planet is located firmly in the unfashionable end of the galaxy.
Will the real intergalactic cruises, when they arrive, be anything like these? Unfortunately, we probably will never find out, as it doesn’t look like they will exist in our lifetime. Although Royal Caribbean got all of our hopes up one year with their ‘Orbiter of the Galaxy’ April Fools, we’ll have to trust that our ancestors invented time travel, so they can come back and tell us what Ewoks and Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are really like.