Want To Experience Life on a Frozen World? Make Room for the Star Wars-Inspired Echo

If you've ever wondered what the rich do with their money, get a load of what one luxury travel company plans to unleash in Antarctica in November 2022: the "space-inspired, ultra-luxury adventure" resort dubbed Echo.
Echo Sky Pod 8 photos
Photo: White Desert
Echo Sky PodEcho CampsiteEcho Sky PodEcho Sky Pod InteriorEcho Sky Pod InteriorEcho Sky Pod InteriorEcho Sky Pod Interior
Folks, in 2005, a group of kindred explorers got together and started a private luxury travel company dubbed White Desert. As far as I'm aware, there seems to be just one white desert in the world, and to us common folk, it's known as Antarctica. Well, it's here that this luxury host unfurls their activities. Currently, this company already manages two campsites and various activities on this continent. From flights over snowcapped mountains to overnighters on ice shelves, e-bike tours, and penguin watching, it's all here, for a price, of course.

However, business seems to be booming because this crew has just announced their most futuristic idea yet, Echo, their third and possibly most out-of-this-world concept yet. To understand a bit more about what's going on here, Patrick Woodhead, CEO & Founder of White Desert, says, "The inspiration behind Echo Base comes from too many years of watching Star Wars as a kid. I loved the style and vision of how they perceived the future would be in the 1970s." Take those words, add a few millions of dollars, sprinkle in some luxuries, and we have Echo.

Echo Campsite
Photo: White Desert
Now, let's say that you and a group of 12 friends have decided to take a trip out in the middle of this frozen landscape. Well, according to Dwell, each guest will need to dish out $65,000 (€59,844 at current exchange rates) for a five-day stay inclusive of flights, transfers, food and beverages, and an array of activities like those mentioned earlier.

Imagine this for a moment. It's 3 am, and you're in Cape Town, South Africa, waiting on your transfer to Echo. On the flight, you're pampered and served, as you should be after spending $65K on a five-day stay. Finally, with the sun on the horizon, you arrive at a private airstrip in the middle of a landscape that looks a lot like Hoth. There, in the middle of it all, sits a central compound with four wings and six prefabricated dome structures, the Sky Pods, and your living space for the next few days.

Since White Desert isn't an architectural team, the habitats are designed and built by Skulpod, a crew from South Africa. They're responsible for the off-world shells, but the interiors are a joint effort between the two companies.

Echo Sky Pod
Photo: White Desert
Overall, the central structure, the one with four wings, will act as a center for dining, drinking, activities, storage, and even training sessions if necessary. But, it's the pods that are the point of attraction here. With their design, not only do they fit into the landscape, but they complete that off-word feel the campsite gives off. With ground-to-floor windows, a large bed for two people, and an ensuite bathroom, you should have everything you need if you just want to stay in for a day. I wonder if they offer room service out there.

Just imagine waking up in a place devoid of buildings, noisy cars, honking horns, and the first thing you see is a white landscape with mountains in the distance; the sun warms your freshly woken face. You look around the room and see velvets, woods, composites, and LED lighting create your temporary abode, all aimed at emulating a "space station" feel.

As I dove deeper into this project, it soon became apparent that Echo isn't just a place to enjoy the finer luxuries in life. It also doubles as a research center, allowing for teams of scientists to explore, conduct experiments, and study a fleeting natural habitat before it's gone. Oh, and don't worry about carbon footprints; all activities carried out during your stay will be as green as possible.

At the end of the day, $65K does seem like an attainable target for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Maybe you get in cahoots with the White Desert team and become a brand ambassador; whatever is needed to experience such a setting.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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