Extreme wild world travel for billionaires | WIRED

Since the onset of the pandemic, Madison has noticed an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals booking entire expeditions. “A customer bought the entire Vinson climbing trip in Antarctica for $200,000 last year,” he said. “It’s the latest trend: billionaires want private adventures with friends; they flew to Antarctica by private jet. It’s the next level.”

Although his mountain expeditions are high-end, Madison says they provide only minimal comfort. The most luxuries he brings are at Everest base camp: Warm baths, yoga sessions and a dining tent with movie screens are among the amenities on the 75,000-dollar excursion, he added. dollars. “Those who join my adventure ultimately want to suffer a little – that’s how they feel alive. Otherwise, they’d be at a five-star Four Seasons resort somewhere.”

However, a luxury tourist cottage industry also exists. White Desert Antarctica offers upscale accommodations near Antarctica for $15,000 a night, complete with heated, luxuriously furnished cabins and private chefs. Harding also made that trip. Founder Patrick Woodhead said: “Hamish has been a true friend of the White Desert for many years. “He’s been with us to Antarctica many times, including with astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he visits.”

With these extreme tour companies, safety often comes with a high price tag. Madison says his service provides a network of professional guides and logistical know-how, as well as Western and Sherpa teams that train, assist and lead adventurers at 8,000 meters above the sea level. seawater. Supplemental oxygen, delicious food and enhanced communication are also provided. “But you can climb Everest for a fraction of the cost and climb in your own tent without a guide,” says Mountain. “There are a lot of operators offering rudimentary services—and that’s when it can get really dangerous. You are left alone.

OceanGate seems to have set foot on both sides. Be the only tour operator that offers rides to see Titanic-And giant one of the few manned submersibles capable of reaching depths of 12,500 feet – tickets don’t come cheap. At the same time, the conditions inside the submarine are far from luxurious, and diving carries significant risks. OceanGate’s disclaimer is not just about died three times on page one, giant bolted from the outside—making those inside survive on a finite amount of oxygen and rely on outside support to get out of the submarine, even after emerging. The ship is also controlled by a modified video game controller. “No one on board the train has the illusion that it’s safe,” says Mountain. “That’s part of the appeal: The wreck is incredibly inaccessible, dangerous to visit, and steeped in mythology. And very few people have done that.”

Grace Lordan, an associate professor of behavioral sciences at the London School of Economics, says these perilous expeditions have replaced the luxuries available to thrill-seeking entrepreneurs. “Joy and purpose tend to determine happiness, and it used to be about material purchases and philanthropy. Over time, redistributing wealth still provides purpose, but joy is harder to achieve.”


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